During the winter, it doesn’t matter how much you love cycling, the weather can still stop you from getting out and exercising – this is where indoor cycling comes in.
As well as the harsh winter weather, there are other things that can prevent you from getting your kit on and dusting your bike off. Especially in these times of social distancing and quarantine because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Indoor cycling comes in many forms but the basis of taking your cycling indoors revolves around a stationary cycling machine.
Why Indoor Cycling?
Indoor cycling, also known as spinning, is a low-impact activity. If you’re recovering from orthopedic injuries, or because you can’t take your bike out for various reasons, indoor cycling is a great alternative for your health.
If you’re doing it correctly, there is minimal impact on the hip, knee, and ankle joints, but you can achieve great results especially on improving your oxygen consumption, blood pressure, increase in bone density, and “good” cholesterol.
Here are 6 health advantages of Indoor Cycling
- The main advantage of Indoor Cycling is that this type of exercise has been proven to be effective for enhancing maximal oxygen consumption, high-density lipoproteins, and lean body mass levels, and also for reducing body fat mass and more.
- Regarding aerobic capacity, 2–3 days per week of Indoor Cycling shows improvements between 8–10.5% on maximal oxygen consumption.
- The intensity of Indoor Cycling activities, which involves some high intensity periods and where it has been observed that during recovery, the average oxygen consumption was significantly higher than performing continuous intensity exercise.
- Regarding blood pressure and taking into account that hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in subjects with metabolic syndrome, physical training should represent the primary therapeutic approach to prevent these diseases. Based on this, the benefits of Indoor Cycling on reducing blood pressure is higher if the duration of the training is longer
- Apart from body mass, fat mass and muscle mass, Indoor Cycling can be an effective method in increasing bone strength (mineral density) in the arms, legs, pelvis, and spine, especially for older or untrained persons.
- Regarding the total cholesterol levels, the combination of exercise and diet is one of the most effective ways to increase the high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol) and reduce the low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol).
Here you can find more technical details provided by the study that was at the base of this article.
Now that you see Why you should do it, let see How
You can affordably find cycle trainers that support the rear wheel of your road bike and allow you to pedal or “spin” while stationary. These are a great option for someone that is looking for a cheap, brand-new piece of equipment for indoor cycling.
Cycling trainer stands can be purchased brand new for as little as $100 and offer the user a compact piece of fitness equipment that can be stored away in the corner when not in use.
Make sure you purchase the correct stand for your wheel size or ensure that the stand is adjustable. This option is ideal for the cyclist with limited indoor space who wants to keep their home clutter-free and tidy.
Another option for the keen cyclist looking to bring their hobby indoors is the bicycle roller.
Rollers bring the resistance of road cycling indoors, as well as giving the user a great way to improve their balance and form by not adding stability to the bike.
Rollers do not attach to the bicycle frame in any way, therefore they take a certain amount of skill and form to use. This piece of training equipment sits under the bike and allows you to cycle stationary while still having to balance and control the bike as you would on the road.
Be cautious not to run before you can walk on these, they can be quite dangerous if used incorrectly.
Make sure you start slowly then build up confidence and skill with time to ensure you don’t make any potentially dangerous mistakes that could cause you injury.
How Often Should You Cycle Indoors?
You may want to use indoor cycling to train and work out when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor cycling, or if your time schedule does not allow it.
The frequency is totally up to you, but you should understand that your body needs at least 30 minutes of intense exercise per day. That being said, you should choose if you do it daily or 3-4 times a week.
On the other hand, indoor cycling can make an excellent addition to your normal training routine. Seeing your cycling machine or spin-bike standing there staring at you, while you lounge in front of the television, can be an excellent motivator to get up and workout.
Having indoor cycling set up can greatly improve your health, fitness and provide a way to cycle that’s at the tip of your fingers while in the comfort of your home.
Indoor cycling will also increase your weekly cycling miles without eating too much into your work life or precious downtime.
What to Wear While Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling requires the same amount of bodily movement and a similar amount of excursion as its outdoor counterpart. Therefore, it is still important to wear the appropriate clothing.
Sure, you can sit on your spin-bike or cycling machine in your favorite pajamas. However, this isn’t going to benefit your form and recovery times well. We are also advocates of styling your bike shorts for an awesome indoor cycling session!
A great pair of cycling shorts or leggings with well-placed seems and a well-suited anatomical cut will prevent you from chaffing while allowing your body to move freely and comfortably.
When selecting a pair of cycling shorts suited for indoor cycling you want to consider the same aspects that you would consider when selecting a pair for outdoor use.
Obviously, you won’t be selecting a top of the range, expensive pair of touring shorts for indoor use (unless you expect to sit on your indoor-cycle for the extent of the Covid-19 pandemic) but you still want to select a good-quality pair of shorts that will keep you comfortable for the duration of your workout.
The Best Indoor Cycling Clothes
The ideal pair of bike shorts for use indoors is the Terry Peloton TDF Short, not only are they reasonably priced but they also offer comfort and durability for both indoor and outdoor use. Overall, the Peloton TDF Shorts are a great all-rounder that you can keep specifically as your indoor pair or if you like.
Kit up your TDF jersey with a flash of coordinating print on the left leg band. The Peloton TDF Short is also a best-in-class value in a woman’s bike short – fully featured for under $100. This powerhouse has it all going on: sculpted six panels with flattering curved side seam; elastic-free 2 inch waistband; flat seam construction; 2 inch laser-cut, elastic-free comfort leg bands; Fleet Air Chamois for ventilated comfort; 8.5 inch inseam (also available in 18 inch capri length). Made in the USA.
If you feel more comfortable in something with a slightly longer leg, then perhaps a good pair of Capri-Leggings (cropped leggings) are more to your taste and comfort.
The Terry Peloton TDF Capri-Leggings offers all you need in a pair of leggings suited for your indoor cycling needs and they will ensure that you can move freely and comfortably during the entirety of your workout.
Kit up your TDF jersey with a flash of coordinating print on the left leg band. This ¾ length Peloton TDF Capri has it all going on: sculpted six panels with flattering curved side seam; elastic-free 2 inch waistband; flat seam construction; 2 inch laser-cut, elastic-free comfort leg bands; Fleet Air Chamois for ventilated comfort; 18 inch inseam (also available in 8.5 inch short length). Made in the USA.
Another thing to consider when thinking about suitable clothing for your indoor cycling routine is a great vest or top.
Not only will a good cycling vest provide you with excellent comfort and movability when using your cycling machine. It will also provide you with that all-important breathability when cycling in your warm apartment or house.
You will be thankful for a great-quality cycling vest when spinning your pedals inside without that nice cool breeze to ride into. The Terry Studio Top will ensure that you’re just as comfortable riding inside as you are outside. It will also ensure that when you do break that sweat, you don’t feel as if your cycling through a sticky, humid jungle.
We combined a lightweight micropoly spandex with a full mesh back to give the Studio Top superior ventilation for indoor cycling. But we didn’t stop there; the front has a lovely ombre and the mesh is gracefully printed. Wide, open neckline and armholes for air flow; full printed mesh panel runs from the neck to the hem. Relaxed fit.
To conclude, indoor cycling is a great way to get some exercise while in quarantine or during those off-season periods when taking your bike outside isn’t an option.
There are plenty of cost-effective options to consider when selecting a piece of equipment for indoor use.
Finding a setup that is suited for you doesn’t have to be a hassle, after all, cycling is the important bit, right?
Once you’ve found yourself an ideal indoor setup, selecting an outfit to wear during your workouts is essential to getting the most out of your setup.
We hope this article has given you valuable insight into indoor cycling and will give you the motivation to take your hobby inside while you are unable to do so outdoors.
Stay well and happy cycling everyone!