We’re big fans of indoor cycling. It’s one of the reasons why we’re putting microgeneration devices into static bikes so that gyms can generate their own clean energy, reducing electricity bills and carbon footprints.
But the indoor fitness bike isn’t just useful in renewable energy generation; it’s great for health and fitness, too.
We wanted to find out more about what the advantages of using an indoor fitness bike and the benefits of doing it every day.
- One of the biggest benefits every day is improved cardiovascular fitness. You're going to get a good workout of the heart and lungs on an indoor bike and it’s low-impact. Low-impact workouts mean that you’re not putting as much pressure on the joints as in running, for example. It means it’s a good exercise to do if you’re looking to get back into shape following an injury.
- The fact that its high-intensity means it’s easy to fit into your everyday routine: you don’t need to spend hours and hours slogging it away in the gym. You can jump on an indoor bike and either take a class or go at your own pace to experience a real heart, lung and calorie burn. Jinger Gottschall, an associate professor of kinesiology at Penn State University told TIME that ‘“In every study we’ve done, we’ve seen increases in heart and lung capacity,”
- It's also a good way to burn calories. The average class can burn up to 600 calories which means you’re getting a far bigger bang for your buck compared to other forms of exercise.
- Cycling indoors every day can also help the training of anyone who races road bikes. If the weather is poor, or if you’re unable to step into your Lycra, and hit the road, the bike is the second-best option as it provides a gruelling cardio workout whilst imitating the feel of a road bike.
There’s a lot of benefits to indoor cycling, but we wouldn’t advise that you do it every day. Given that it’s such an intense exercise, you’re at risk of injury and overexertion, if you’re riding hard each day. We’d advise that beginners start for just a couple of days a week to start with and to then build up. Even when you are fit enough to handle daily sessions, we’d probably advise that you do alternate days. Of course, you can cross-train on the days you’re not on the bike: get in some core strength training, swimming or yoga, etc.
Indoor cycling regularly is also a great way to be social, too. Classes are informal but tough and many riders say they’ve bonded with classmates during some of the more intense sessions. Feeling part of a community is a great way to ensure that you keep returning to your classes or sessions, too, as other people can hold you accountable and can encourage you on those days where it’s difficult to jump on the bike and go.
It's also a great way to relieve stress. It can help reduce the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety in some people, too. Cycling helps the brain release dopamine and serotonin which are neurotransmitters that make us feel happy.
Indoor cycling has some big benefits and it's not hard to see why some people would want to do it every day. There’s nothing wrong with doing it every day for short periods if you’re fit enough and training for a cycling competition or sporting event but we’d always advise people take adequate rest days to allow the body to recover.