Cycling may be one of the best examples of how sports and technology can mesh in some pretty exciting ways. Bellevue Club instructor, cyclist and Ironman athlete Laura Gooch talks about the variety of ways cycling—both indoors and out—can improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce stress and enhance strength training, all while being easy on the body.
Exercise 1: Outdoor Cycling
Cycling outdoors is a great way to get an invigorating and refreshing workout. Fresh air can improve cardiovascular and respiratory systems, increasing oxygen levels in the blood and lessening the risks of developing health complications such as asthma. There is also the added bonus of beautiful scenery and a connection with nature.
Exercise 2: Recumbent Bike
The recumbent bike is another option for a rainy day. Set up like a car seat with pedals straight out in front of the hips, it provides the most support for the low back. Like the upright bike, recumbent bikes come with monitors and different workouts to follow. Both the upright and stationary bike can give you a great cardiovascular workout if you put out the effort to push yourself.
Exercise 3: Stationary Upright Bike
Riding an upright stationary bike indoors allows you to sit tall with a wide cushioned seat, making sitting more comfortable and easier on those with back issues. Using the latest in fitness technology, there are a variety of different, fun and challenging workouts programmed on the monitor. This means you can get a killer cardiovascular workout that is not dependent on the weather.
Exercise 4: Hand Cycle
Another—often overlooked—way to get a cardio workout is the hand cycle. Using your arms rather than your legs, it is great for anyone with a lower body injury. It’s also great for someone who just wants to work the upper body. You can use the hand cycle either seated or standing, although when standing you will get more oblique work (sides and core).
Exercise 5: Cycle Class
Cycling classes are suitable for all ability levels, and the intensity of the workout can be adapted to each individual, regardless of age, coordination and fitness levels. Indoor classes are set to music and are ideal for those who want a noncompetitive but motivating fitness class. The camaraderie of the group workout and the push of the instructor can help you get a better workout than if left to your own devices.