Getting the Most Out of Your Cycling Class
Cycling classes (especially Spinning classes) have been enjoying a resurgence in popularity in gyms and fitness centers recently, and with good reason. Cycling not only increases your cardiovascular endurance, it also works out your leg muscles much more than other cardiovascular exercises. A cycling class is a great way to burn calories and improve muscle tone in your lower body!
Benefits Of Cycling Classes Over Other Cardiovascular Exercises Compared to some other forms of cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, cycling is a very low-impact exercise. Jogging, especially if you are jogging on a treadmill, can place excess strain on your ligaments and joints; it’s not uncommon for joggers to suffer debilitating foot and ankle injuries if they over-train.
Cycling, conversely, is very gentle on the joints and ligaments in your lower body. This is incredibly important for people who have already suffered injuries to their knees or ankles in the past, as high-impact exercises can aggravate these injuries. To avoid the risk of having your fitness goals derailed by sudden injury while working out, you should stick to low-impact cardiovascular exercise such as cycling as much as possible.
Cycling Classes Are One of The Best Exercises For Toning Your Legs
Practically every form of cardiovascular exercise, whether it be cycling, jogging, using an elliptical trainer or cross-country skier, works out both your calves and your thighs. However, cycling has two distinct advantages over other forms of cardiovascular exercise. The first advantage is that the bikes in cycling classes have adjustable pedal resistance; by increasing the resistance on your bike, you can increase the amount of force needed to pedal the bike, which will result in building up both your calves and your thigh muscles.
The second advantage of cycling is that proper cycling form (which your instructor can help you with) works out your core muscles. Maintaining proper form over a 30 or 45 minute workout is a great workout for your core muscles, which include your abs, obliques and your lower back. Having strong core muscles not only improves the way you look, but also significantly reduces the chance that you will injure your back from carrying heavy loads or making sudden movements in the course of your daily life!
Why Take Classes Over Cycling On The Road?
Cycling classes are much safer than road cycling. Not only are you safe from traffic, but you are also safe from inclement weather. In hot weather, you risk suffering from heat stroke; in cold weather, you risk slipping on icy roads and losing control of your bike.
Taking classes also has social benefits. You can meet other fitness enthusiasts while cycling, and making friends in your classes has the benefit of making you accountable to going to the gym on a regular basis; after all, if your friends don’t see you at the gym in a while, they’re likely going to be calling you, asking if you are okay and trying to get you to come back to the gym! The social atmosphere of cycling classes and accountability can definitely help you stick to your workout regimen.