Cycle your way to fitness

Cycle your way to fitness

Now is the perfect time to tone up those legs in time to show them off this summer. Yes, we are predicted a good one this year so get ready to dust off those shorts!

Cycling builds strong and toned legs and body core, and will easily dispose of 800 calories an hour. It also makes a great indoor workout, with no need to worry about traffic or balance. An exercise bike in the gym is the safest way to cycle with the added bonus of not having to worry about unpredictable weather.

If you want to take your cycling outside, don’t forget to wear long sleeves and trousers as padding, plus closed-in shoes. A helmet is strongly advised especially if you are on the roads.

Whether indoors or out, it is essential to make sure that the bike is correctly adjusted for your height, leg length and arm reach. This is very important as otherwise you risk back and knee injury. Wear close fitting clothes, and good trainers that fit into the straps on the pedals.

Let’s be honest though - pedalling nowhere for an hour on an exercise bike can get rather boring. Try some of these ideas to increase the motivation:

  • Hill climbs; set the programme to take you ‘up hill and down dale’ – and see if there is a video to match!
  • Cycling to music; whether via earphones or from a screen on the bike, music really motivates. Plan your playlist to speed you up and slow you down.
  • Try a different style of bike; how about a dual action which will also work your arms and upper body?

Finally, why not join a class? A cheery instructor and plenty of company – and probably some loud music with a strong beat - will definitely make the time fly.

 

Comments

Olga N.
30 April 2014

Olga N.

Like Emma I live for my spin class. I do have a standard road bike but it's so much more fun to go to the class at the gym and the instructor pushes me harder than I push myself!

Olivia C.
27 April 2014

Olivia C.

Cycling is great - it really works out the legs and it's so much nicer than driving

Derek B.
26 April 2014

Derek B.

I'm a great fan of cycling. If you combine outdoor cycling with gym-based workouts you can't get bored because they're such different things and complement each other really well.

Clare R.
25 April 2014

Clare R.

my physio definitely recommends cycling for knees - and as mentioned in the article, he really stresses the importance of correct adjustment of the bike. Get it wrong and things will get worse.

Sasha B.
25 April 2014

Sasha B.

Cycling is also a great cardio exercise for anyone who finds running hard on their joints (like me). Personally, I don't run more than 20 minutes any more due to hip and knee pain, so I add in some extra cardio time on the exercise bike, either at home or at spin classes.

Emma C.
25 April 2014

Emma C.

Spin classes are great. You get a much better workout than road cycling, in my experience. I went for a lovely bikeride in some local countryside. Very scenic, but fast cars and couldn't work up a sweat like in the gym.

Melissa F.
25 April 2014

Melissa F.

I live in London and would never dare to cycle on the roads, I;m not a good enough cyclist! Just joined a spin class though and it's great fun. The nearest thing I get to going to a club these days..!

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