Whether it’s escalating fuel prices and congestion, a drive for healthier lifestyle, post Olympic positivity or just the new cool that surrounds cycling, it is clearly a fitness trend that isn’t hitting the brakes.
20 percent of Chinese and Europeans either walk or cycle to work. Also in developing countries like Colombia streets are reclaimed on sundays and holidays exercise such as cycling. And the cycling boom shows no signs of losing momentum.
It has been suggested that someone who weighs 80kg (12st 9lb) will burn around 650 calories in an hour of cycling. Pushing the pedals works and tones the legs and bottom, while cycling up hills or off-road will also work the upper body. British Heart Foundation states that around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves fitter. They say that cycling just 20 miles per week reduces your risk of heart disease to half of those who are inactive.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise allowing you to remain active while taking it easier on your joints, making it particularly effective or those with joint conditions or leg/hip injuries that might keep them from being active. Research also shows that cycling regularly can reduce the signs of aging. Increasing blood flow in any area of the body flushes out toxins and encourages your cells to heal and grow. More blood to the dermis (inner layer of skin) provides a better environment for collagen growth resulting in younger looking skin. Cardiovascular exercise such as cycling, which encourages blood circulation, can therefore keep your skin healthy and vibrant.
Bikes for modern fitness
UK cycling retailer Evans Cycles advises that Hybrid bikes are the obvious choice for urban commuters.
Indoor cycling has also seen a number of advancements in recent years. The RealRyder indoor cycling bike uses patented articulating bike frame and operational headset allowing the rider to lean, turn, steer and balance through three essential planes of motion. By becoming fully engaged with the bike it offers a superior biomechanical and physiological experience, providing a one-of-a-kind tactile, dynamic and functional riding experience.
The Wattbike was created with British Cycling to provide an affordable indoor bike for training and testing that is suitable for everyone from school children to Olympic Gold Medallists. The Wattbike Performance Computer is designed to be simple and intuitive to use. It records 39 parameters 100 times per second, but displays only the key information for the cyclist through seven different views. The rider has the option of viewing their data in Power (Watts), Energy (Joules), Speed (km/h) and Pace (time per km).
Indoor Cycling Programmes
Victoria Pendleton Pro Cycling is a brand new group cycling class exclusive to Fitness First gyms in the UK. Based on the training programmes, techniques and events of 9 times World Champion and double Olympic Gold Medallist, each 30 minute high intensity interval cycling session consists of three stages. The Team Sprint focuses on power with short 15 second burst sprints set at a high resistance followed by a race element where riders work in teams. The Individual Sprint focuses on speed interval training. Finally is The Keirin based on longer bursts of interval training followed by short recovery periods.
Myrideplus is created by ICG, the world’s largest specialized designer, manufacturer and marketer of indoor cycling equipment. Myrideplus is a class based indoor cycling system which uses the myride console connected to audio visual equipment, which is operated by a real or virtual instructor (or even without any) to deliver a range of indoor cycling programmes which include a visual simulation of real-world cycling location challenges as well as virtual coaching.
RPM by fitness program company Les Mills is an indoor cycling workout where you ride to the rhythm of music. Each 45 minutes session consists of moderate to high intensity exercise helping to promote cardio health, improve endurance and can burn an average of 675 calories. This, classic class based spinning workout is lead by a coach, beginning at an easy pace to warm up, followed by sprint and ‘hill’ tracks using the bikes variable resistance controls, before a relaxed recovery track to conclude.