Monday, 28 January 2013

4 Moves to Spice Up Your Indoor Cycling Routines

There certainly isn’t anything wrong with moving your workout indoors, especially during cold, winter months. Indoor cycling is an intense cardiovascular exercise but after some time, you may find yourself getting bored, especially if you are used to the challenges of cycling outdoors. This is only normal and is something that many cyclers experience. Instead of throwing the towel and turning into a couch potato, you can spice up your regular workouts to keep you challenged.

Break out of Exercise Boredom with these Moves

Over and Under Interval Workout
Traditionally, threshold interval indoor cycling workouts are performed at a steady pace for about 15-45 minutes. If you are getting bored with this, then add a little twist by doing over and under intervals. How does this work? Start with anaerobic threshold intensity for 5-10 minutes, then increase your effort over your threshold for about 3 minutes, then go back to the threshold level and alternate this routine for 30 minutes.

Spin Ups Workout
This workout is normally performed on a bike with a minimal resistance setting. It helps increase leg speed and pedalling efficiency. “This is an old routine!” you say. Well, you can spice up this workout by modifying it into spin ups. In the first 30 seconds, using little resistance, try to build up the highest cadence that you can reach. Do this while keeping your form smooth. Keep that cadence for about 1-3 minutes and rest for another 3 minutes before repeating. Keep going at it until you reach your highest pedalling speed.

Breakaway Simulation Workout
Usually, these VO2 max interval indoor cycling workouts last for 3-5 minutes. It is meant to enhance your ability to maintain high intensities over anaerobic threshold. To add a twist to this exercise, you can do a breakaway simulation, where you begin with a fast acceleration and maintain it for 30 seconds. Afterwards, shift to an easier pace and maintain for 2 minutes, then accelerate again for another 30 seconds.

Make-It / Break-it Interval Workout
A one-minute maximum effort workout is often done for improving anaerobic capacity. If this type of routine bores you, level it up by transforming it into a make-it / break-it interval. These types of intervals are meant to push you physically and mentally, so it’s meant to push you to your limits. Begin the workout with a high resistance level and give it your all. For 30 seconds, pedal hard at 60rpm giving 100% effort. Then quickly drop but still give 100% effort during the next 30 seconds.

If you are getting bored with your traditional routines, try these alternative routines to give you that boost. You will find cycling a lot more challenging with these! And you won’t be bored for one second.

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Indoor Cycling and its Effects on Your Body

Performing cardio exercises regularly is highly recommended to maintain a healthy body. Indoor cycling is one of the popular cardio workouts today because it’s very convenient. Simply hop on a stationary bike and get your workout started. In addition, the bikes are available in various sizes, some of the models are so compact, they can fit in a tiny closet.

Here’s What You can Get for 30 to 40 Minutes of Indoor Cycling:

1.     Lose or maintain weight effectively
If you are looking to lose weight or trying to maintain a healthy weight, then indoor cycling is definitely the workout for you. Performing this exercise for about 30 minutes will help you to burn a good amount of calories, even when you’re not really trying. Of course, if you are looking to really burn a lot of calories, you need to pedal faster and increase the bike’s resistance. If you want to increase your heart rate, you can sprint or stand on the bike. Doing short intervals will also give you the same effect.

2.     Low impact and gentle on the body
The fact that indoor cycling is a low impact exercise makes it ideal for those who are prone to knee injuries, even pregnant women. Individuals who have knee problems, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis can still perform this exercise. Anyone suffering from these conditions who don’t exercise tend to suffer from balance problems, but by doing stationary cycling, they have the chance to perform a cardio workout without worrying about falling or having issues with steering a regular bike. Basically, they can practice staying balanced without worrying about obtaining an injury.

3.     Good for your overall health
Cycling is both an anaerobic and aerobic exercise. This workout reduces your chance of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. If you exercise routinely, you are also effectively managing chronic conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

4.     More health and physical benefits
Indoor cycling also strengthens your lungs, heart, and immune system. In addition, it also improves your stamina, builds strength, and tones your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. This exercise is also recommended for older adults to enhance their flexibility and mobility.

As you can see, indoor cycling has a lot of benefits to offer. Finding an exercise that works for you and provides the effects you are after is important, if you want to keep your exercise regime. Plus, the great thing about stationary biking is that you can do it whether it is raining, snowing or shining outside. The weather won’t be able to prevent you from getting the exercise you need, since you will be doing it indoors.

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons