Indoor biking and spinning classes, which have taken off with great zeal, are among the many ways available to you today to get and stay in shape. A simple way to burn those calories, just hop on and pedal away! It’s a great cardiovascular activity, and needs no special skills, thought or coordination. It can fit right in with your schedule, allowing you to watch TV, catch up on your reading, or just chill out.
There are so many reasons why this is a great workout choice. The risk of injury is very low. It’s a good choice for first-time exercisers, while it can also be a challenging workout for seasoned exercisers.
1. Warming up and cooling down adequately are very important segments of your workout. The precise function of your warm up is to prepare the body for the rigours of exercise. The body’s internal temperature needs to be raised. Blood and oxygen need to be directed to the working muscles and limbs. This is accomplished by stretching the large muscle groups, limbering exercises and whole body moves.
The quadriceps stretch, for the front of the thigh, can be achieved by holding the position in figure 1.
2. The hamstring and calf stretch (for the back of the legs) can be attained by holding the position demonstrated in figure 2. These, among other stretches, are extremely important for pre and post your Indoor Biking workout. Hold each of them (& on each leg) for 12- 20 seconds.
3. The basic biking stance observes a flat back, with the participant sitting on the seat, holding the handlebar, & pedaling away as demonstrated in figure 3.
4. To challenge different muscle groups and intensify the workout, one can do a variety of things such as cycle, while sitting upright with the arms out by your side (figure 4), bike while keeping the hips off the seat, cycle with toes pointed or feet flexed, or cycle with the upper body weight tending forward on the handle bar. There are various options. Changing the pace of cycling from half time to double-time or even otherwise can also be taxing.
Try and get in biking for 15- 60 minutes a day. Remember that for fat or inch loss you need to stay on ideally for 40- 60 minutes continuously. If you feel the need to stop due to exhaustion, slow down instead. You’re probably working too hard to be burning fat anyway, as for fat loss, one needs to work within a low to moderate intensity range.
If the intensity is too high, the body doesn’t utilise fat for fuel; instead it switches over to other energy systems such as quick energy or glycogen. There are a lot of health benefits here as well, fat loss is just not one of them. So it’s important not to lose sight of your goals by getting carried away with the workout.
Have fun pedaling away!
(The writer has trained, taught and certified in America as a Fitness Professional by American Council on Exercise and International Dance Exercise Association. She founded Body Art, the Fitness Centre in 1992. For more information, log onto www.bodyart.in)