Cycling For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know
Indoor cycling has become uber popular in the last decade. Even though it has been around since the late 80’s, the recent onset of ambient rooms with great beats and high-energy instructors has turned an unused bike in the corner of your gym to the cornerstone of a lot of people’s workouts. Cycling—in general—has been gaining popularity on the roads, popping up in boutique gyms, large gyms, and home gyms all across the globe. So, what is it and how should you add it to your routine? Let’s cycle through those questions, now!
What is Cycling?
Cycling refers to either indoor or outdoor bicycling workouts. Someone who rides on the road is referred to as a ‘Cyclist,’ and they often train outside. Indoor cycling means that one will complete a cycling workout on a stationary bicycle indoors. Cycling is a low-impact cardio exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You may have started on a bike with three wheels before you could even form a whole sentence. And seniors who are looking for group exercise often turn to indoor bikes or 3-wheeled bikes as a form of exercise as they age.
First, let’s break down indoor cycling. You can partake in indoor cycling either individually on the gym floor or in a cycling studio with a group. The cycling studio can look intimidating if you have never stepped foot onto a stationary bike, but we are here to let you know that indoor cycling classes are fun—like really, really fun. You may have noticed that there are some bikes in the studio that look a little different from the ones on the floor, here are two versions of stationary bikes that you are likely to find in the gym:
The recumbent bike might sound like an intimidating name, but these bikes are very inviting. They are usually found in the cardio area of your gym and sit a bit lower to the ground with back support on the seat to help to keep you upright and protect your lower spine. While cycling is low-impact and good for your joints overall, recumbent bikes are even easier on the joints and knees which helps to prevent injury. If you are looking for a cardio workout but want your back and spine to be supported, then you should give this bike a try.
The upright bikes include the bikes you see in indoor cycling studios. Upright bikes allow you to work the same muscles as you would if you were outside and cycling on the road. You will be able to get a great core, glute, hamstring, calves, and lower body workout on an upright bike. A significant difference between the upright and recumbent bike is that the upright bike does not have back support, and allows for sitting or standing.
Both of these styles of indoor cycling allow for equal calorie burn based on how hard you work, so choose which is right for your needs! If you need indoor cycling beginners training, come on into one of our classes where an instructor will be there to guide you on your way and help you to get your bike set up!
When it comes to cycling outdoors one of the main things that you need to think about is what type of bike you need. Speed bike? Mountain bike? Beach cruiser? Are you planning to do most of your cycling on the road, up mountains, or cruising around the beach? All of these places require a different kind of bike in order to truly reap the cycling benefits, so read up on them a bit before you spend your money on something that won’t suit your needs. Next, you need to make sure that you have the right gear which will include a helmet, maybe some protective eyewear, and sometimes cycling shorts depending on the length and difficulty of your ride. The key is to find gear that is functional and fits comfortably. Take a look at cycling forums or join a meetup in your town to learn more about the type of cycling that you are interested in.
Tips For Cycling For Beginners
Whether you are on the road or in the house, there are a few beginner cycling tips that you need to know.
The easiest way to fall short on your exercise goals is to burn out too soon. Make a goal that pushes you but is attainable. Crush that goal a few times and then up the ante. You don’t need to join the Tour de France on your first day. You don’t even need to do more than a leisurely ride around the block. Little by little, day by day, you will get stronger and better.
Please. Hydrating is an essential part of any exercise (and life itself). You want to make sure that you stay safe by hydrating yourself along the way. It can be helpful to get a great reusable water bottle that you love to have with you at all times. Fill it up at the filling station in your gym or home before you hit the pavement and don’t be afraid to stop and take a sip.
Bring a Towel
Cycling is a hard workout—so you will sweat. Bring a towel with you to wipe your brow when you start to sweat it out.
That’s what health and wellness are all about, right? If you aren’t having fun, find something that is fun to you. Whether you love biking, hiking, running, swimming, dancing, or walking around the block, your workout should be fun and something you want to enjoy a few times a week.
If you would like to give cycling a try, head to a Chuze Fitness near you—all of our locations have indoor bikes in the cardio area, and some of our gyms even have cycling studios. Stop by and see what you think!