Cyclists have always been at the receiving end of jibes. They are dorks of the sporting world. The helmets, shorts and padded safety gear make them look quite funny, especially if these cyclists are not competing in Tour de France. Honestly, it is fun peddling for hours on end across the countryside with friends and family, but how many adults really see it as an effective exercise? The truth is not many people do.
Biking isn’t as popular as it should be
Running and jogging are still more popular than biking. Regular runners only turn to cycling after sustaining joint injuries or arthritic pain in their lower limbs. However, you should not have to wait for a snag in your fitness to turn to biking. There is a secret to cycling that many fitness experts do not know – regular cycling makes you a better runner. It strengthens your calves, glutes and quads. It improves your speed and tenacity.
There might be another advantage of cycling you have not considered yet – you can swap your outdoor bicycle for an indoor stationary bike. The indoor exercise bike will allow you to cover kilometres of different terrains with varying intensity levels without even stepping out of the comfort of your home. Rain or snow, you will always be able to burn the excess calories you pack on over the weekends or the winter holidays. A state-of-the-art exercise bike gives you the option of setting different intensity and resistance levels to challenge your body into becoming healthier, fitter and stronger than before.
How does cycling help in improving a runner’s performance?
Now, you must be wondering how cycling can make you a better runner than you already are. After all none of us learn to ride a bike before we learn to run! How can a more complex activity help with something that seems so straightforward? So, here we are about to let you in on a secret that the fitness industry won’t tell you –
It is the best form of recovery there is
When you go for a long run on a Sunday morning, you might find it hard to get out of bed on the following morning. Monday, your muscles will feel sore, and you will find difficulty moving around the house. Tuesday, you will be too fatigued to take the regular running course, so you will probably just walk briskly to the park and back.
Working out one day and resting for two more does little to boost your metabolism. You need some active recovery workout like cycling that will loosen up your muscles and give your metabolism the necessary boost. Even when you are not recovering from an injury, you should consider exercise bikes as a part of your daily fitness routine. If you have never tried using an exercise bike, visit the Hire Fitness Company website for a detailed guide.
Your lower limbs will thank you
Runners who participate in ultras, and marathons, put too much pressure on their knees, ankles and hip joints. Usually after the preparation for such long-distance races is extensive and it requires high-intensity long distance running. Now, it can be challenging to cover long distances during the training, every day. Alternating running with cycling usually helps boost the runner’s tenacity and speed. Cycling is an excellent form of workout that gives you the benefits of running without the same impact on your joints. Hopping on the exercise bike at least twice a week can keep your joints happy and your muscles strong.
Biking builds the strength of complementary muscle groups
You should not restrict your workout to running or jogging only. An anaerobic workout is excellent for staying lean, but you need to indulge in some aerobic exercising like stationary biking. Exercise bikes give your muscles a chance to breathe. They work the thighs, abdomen, calves and buttocks at the same time. Cycling regularly will strengthen your core muscles as well, and it will also make you a faster runner.
It will give you the feeling of a long run, without a long run
We cannot insist on this point enough – exercising cycles can help you achieve the same level of workout as running, without wearing your joints as much. The secret is the brick workout. There are several routines to a brick workout, but the basics involve the juxtaposition of a cycling bout with a short run.
Example of a beginner brick workout
In the morning, you can begin with cycling for about 10 miles and then complete a 1-mile run. Your body will perceive this workout as a long run, without you actually going on one. This workout will help you focus on your form and help you finish strong at the time of the real race. The 10:1 brick routine is typical for beginners, you can take it up a notch by increasing the distance of the bike ride and the run alternatively. You can also add the element of swimming if you are interested in competing in an upcoming triathlon.
If you are unsure about the exercising bike you should get, you should begin with the simplest one. These bikes are ideal for cycling enthusiasts, who do not want to brave the weather every day to remain fit. If you have prior experience on exercising bikes at the gym or home, you should purchase a programmable one. These bikes let you set the distance, speed and intensity for a smooth and predictable workout. It is imperative to go with programmable and electronic bikes if you want to invest your time and energy in the brick routine.
Indoor exercise bikes do not require helmets or protective gear. You will only need to provide enough space for use and storage. The modern designs have foldable parts that may allow you to stow the bike away when you are not using it. Novices should rent exercise bikes from reliable gym equipment rental companies for getting a taste of the mechanism. It will help them find out what additional features they need to enhance their daily fitness routine, and it will leave an opportunity open for the user to trade their current models with advanced ones.
Article Submitted By Community Writer