Of all of the home gym equipment, I have a feeling the exercise bike is the most common and also the most under-used. I believe that in my lifetime I have owned at least two. Admittedly, they typically doubled as a clothes hanger instead of a piece of home gym equipment. If you are like me, you probably also own a outdoor bike as well. You know, the one behind the ladder in your garage collecting dust. However, even if you don’t belong to a gym, own an exercise bike, or own a outdoor bike, you can purchase one relatively cheap. Because cycling is not a weight bearing activity, it is generally suited for almost anyone.
Reasons to Cycle: Not only does cycling tone your entire body, it can also torch calories promoting weight loss. Additionally, cycling is great for your joints. Bike fit specialist Andrew Pruitt, EdD, director of Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Colorado says, "Cycling puts very little impact on your joints, so it's kind to your body. Even if you have pain walking, you can still ride a bike, because it isn't weight bearing." In fact, most people find that they are able to cycle comfortably when they're well into their 70s and 80s.”
Cycling can also help you fight fatigue. “A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent. Why? Cycling triggers your brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to energy, says lead author Patrick O'Connor, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia at Athens. There's no need to ride hard to harness the perk. People in the study who pedaled at a low to moderate pace three times a week fought fatigue best.”
Cycling Workouts: Not sure where to start? Music seems to be the best way to time-out a ride, as coaches are able to match beats per minute to the intensity level of the cycling workout. If you don’t want to go it alone, charge up your ipod and download Spin Coach. Mixes like these combine perfectly timed songs with a coached spinning/cycling workout with experts like Gregg Cook. (photo credit)
Check out Skinny Mom's favorite sweat-inducing, heart-pumping cycling workout here!