The Cycle Craze: How To Make Cycling Work For You

When it comes to your workout it often takes trial and error to figure out both what works best for your fitness goals, and what works best for your body. Everyone has a different method for their fitness; some people prefer large blended classes, others prefer to sweat it out on a run with ankle weights. Finding what both gives you results and allows you to enjoy your workout is important, and with so many options and variations to choose from it’s hard to try them all. This is especially important when it comes to how long you’ve been on your fitness journey. If you’re relatively new to working out regularly you may be overwhelmed with what seems like endless options. Should you take the plunge and attend a crossfit workout, or are you better off finding a 20-minute bodyweight workout to do in the comfort of your home or local gym? Contrary to what you might believe, there’s a workout that can be modified to fit all fitness levels and give you the endorphins you crave: cycling.

Cycling as a means of fitness, especially indoor cycling, has been on the rise with cycle boutiques popping up all over the United States. Perfect for the most experienced (or inexperienced) fitness junkie out there, cycling is a great way to get your heart rate up while torching a wild amount of calories. Instead of building up intense muscle like traditional weightlifting, cycling helps trim fat all over the body while also toning the muscles all over your body. Cycling was once one of the most underrated ways to get a workout in, but now it’s all the rage. The best part is you can cycle indoors or outdoors! Swap your hour long indoor gym session for an outdoor ride: your fitness cravings will be satisfied and you’ll have gotten to enjoy the beautiful outdoors (weather permitting). Worried about joint pain? While cycling is a low impact workout, ideal for achy joints, SSLA Lifestyle’s Soothe Muscle and Joint Pain Relief Cream has you covered. Perfect for minor or major joint and muscle pain, aloe based Soothe is ideal for helping you get through a taxing workout. Keep it in your gym bag to use before or after a workout. Soothe’s silky smooth finish will make you forget you’re even using it!

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There are many benefits to cycling as a workout, and one of the biggest ones is that it helps to build muscle throughout the body. Cycling uses not only your lower body muscles like your glutes and quads, but also the muscles in your arms and shoulders. Uphill, downhill, or stationary your body will feel the positive effects of cycling. This type of workout also increases your bone density by putting pressure on the bones via peddling. Not only does it do wonders to your muscles and bones, but it helps with other important things such as balance and endurance. This particular type of workout is also known for reducing the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Another key positive focus of cycling is that your ride can be adapted to any type of workout you want. If you’re looking for a simple ride to clear your head, cycling both indoors and outdoors can give that to you. On the flip side, if you’re looking for an intense sweat session cycling has you covered too. High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT, is a popular way to torch calories and build muscle. Crafting a HIIT workout on a bike, whether it be stationary or outdoors, is no problem with the endless supply of online resources to choose from. You can burn anywhere from 400-700 calories in an hour on a bike while also toning the rest of your body in the process. Sounds pretty great!

Arguably the most important benefit to cycling as a workout is that it is low impact. Low impact workouts are much easier on the body and the bones, and perfect for anyone who has suffered from injury, arthritis, and other joint or bone related problems. Take a break from pounding the pavement, literally, and swap your run for a bike sesh. You get your workout on and your joint pain doesn’t get in the way. Cycling is one of the top exercises for those who have recently suffered knee injuries, as it adds both a cardio and strength training component to your rehabilitation. If you choose to cycle outside it can even be a way to socialize. Meet up with friends and spend an afternoon biking trails. You get to have fun and socialize while also burning off anything you may have eaten at brunch beforehand.

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If you’re interested in other low impact workouts, there are so many to choose from. Yoga for example is one of the more popular low impact workouts. Find your zen and work your core at the same time while not bothering your joints and improving your flexibility! Focusing on your breathing, a staple of practicing yoga, allows you to understand what is pain and what is merely discomfort on a deeper level. Swimming is another wonderful low impact exercise that works you all over while keeping you cool in the heat. The water works as your resistance, and you tone your whole body while also getting a cardio workout in much like cycling. The best part? It puts virtually no pressure on joints.

Pilates, which recently gained popularity with the addition of pilates reformers (the machines you see celebs using to cure their pilates fix) is one of the more interesting low impact workouts. Regardless of doing pilates on a mat or utilizing a machine you will get a workout that flows; an additional plus is that most pilates routines can boost your metabolism, so you continue to burn long after your class has ended. If you’re looking for a stress-free mood boosting workout, pilates is for you. Choosing a low impact workout might not be for you all the time, but knowing there are alternative options out there to some of the most joint-intense workouts is a nice push to get you to the gym and on a bike!

SSLA Writer