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Indoor cycling 101

Posted February 05, 2014 in Advice Column, Ames

BRRRRRR! It’s not a news flash that Iowa winters are long, cold and snowy. These elements don’t bode well for outdoor cycling enthusiasts who oftentimes are forced to hang up their bikes for the winter due to the weather.

Good news! Indoor cycling offers a perfect option to bring your workouts inside, both for the avid bikers as well as for those new to the sport. Here are some of the top benefits (among many) that indoor cycling can offer:

• It is welcoming to all fitness levels and ages. Many people are often scared that indoor spinning is “too hard for them” because it’s only for experienced cyclers. This is a myth. The great news is each individual is in charge of putting on his or her own amount of resistance as well as how fast he or she spins the pedals.

• Improved cardiovascular endurance. Regular participation in indoor cycling can improve your heart and lung capacity, ultimately increasing your fitness level and lowering your chance of heart disease.

• No coordination is needed. Everybody can ride a bike, especially one that isn’t moving.

• It’s fun. Working out with the benefit of a motivational instructor, the energy of a group and driving music can result in not only a fun workout, but also push you toward better results. People tend to work harder when with a group, as well as to stick with their workouts longer.

• It burns a lot of calories. Don’t expect to leave a spin room without a little (or possibly a lot) of sweat. Indoor spinning is known to burn a lot of calories, which can help with weight loss or maintenance.

• Provides a safe supplement for outdoor cycling. The weather is always good inside. No rain, ice or dark roads to worry about. Indoor cycling can be a great avenue to stay in shape when training for a spring triathlon or biking event.

• What to expect. Arrive a few minutes early so the instructor can help you properly set your bike for your height. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the class. Give the class a few chances before making any decisions; sometimes it can take between three to five times before you get the full benefit from the class.

Information provided by Mandy McGuire, group fitness director, Ames Racquet & Fitness, 320 S. 17th St. Ames, 515-232-1911.

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