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The spinning class I used to go to seemed to be completely dominated by women, and indoor cycling seems to be an ever-increasing activity among ladies. But what are the benefits of indoor cycling for women in particular?
Indoor cycling provides many benefits to women, being one of the best forms of cardio exercise with a low impact on the joints. It is excellent for weight loss, can boost mental health, help prevent breast cancer, and ease the symptoms associated with periods and menopause.
In this post, I’ll look at the top 15 benefits of indoor cycling for women.
1. Helps Prevent Breast Cancer
Studies have found that women participating in physical activity like indoor cycling can dramatically reduce their chances of developing breast cancer compared to inactive women.
Exercising regularly on an indoor bike can help you maintain a healthy weight which also helps regulate hormones and keeps the immune system healthier.
Also, there is a strong link between women who have had breast cancer, exercise, and positive benefits.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal carried out research on the effects of exercise on women who either currently had breast cancer, or who had survived it. They found that ‘ Exercise led to statistically significant improvements in quality of life.’ (Source)
2. Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease By 45%
Indoor cycling is the ideal form of exercise to get your heart pumping.
Workouts on a stationary bike strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles and improve oxygen flow throughout your body. It is one of the best forms of cardio out there!
It reduces your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lowers your chances of developing diabetes.
Heart disease is now one of the most common causes of death in women, but studies have found that regular cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease by a staggering 50 per cent. (Source)
3. Helps Alleviate Period Pain
Experts state that aerobic indoor cycling exercise is ideal for relieving painful period cramps.
However, to be effective, you must exercise a minimum of three times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time.
Endorphins are released when we exercise, known as “happy chemicals”, which function as natural pain relief and improve mood levels, which can help keep PMS at bay.
A stationary bike also provides safe and easy exercise if you suffer from heavy periods.
It will help if you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration and cramps while cycling.
If your looking for more tips on how to manage your period while cycling, then check out this brilliant Youtube video from Rad Bike Adventure:
4. Tones Legs and Lower Body
It’s no secret that indoor cycling is great for your legs and lower body muscles, particularly when you use a higher resistance.
When you pedal, your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps are activated.
Indoor cycling helps shape your legs, thighs, and buttocks and tones them quickly.
Here’s a table of all the key muscles used in cycling, their role, and how important each one is:
|Muscle Group||Importance In Spinning||Role In Cycling|
|Quads||High||The quads are the most important muscle group in cycling and act to push downwards on the pedals|
|Hamstrings||Medium||Help the leg bend again from the bottom of the pedal stroke to the top|
|Glutes||Medium-High||The glutes keep the hips stable, and also help the quads to drive power to the pedals|
|Calves||Medium||Work alongside the glutes and quads to power the pedals|
5. Helps with Menopause
Most women experience menopausal symptoms between the ages of 45 and 55.
The duration can last around four years.
Many of these symptoms can be severe and impact their daily lives and those around them.
But research reveals that regular exercise like indoor cycling can help manage some of those symptoms, including hot flushes, sleeplessness, anxiety, and weight gain. (Source)
After menopause, you may be affected by osteoporosis, a condition whereby your bones become weaker because you have less of the hormone estrogen, vital for bone density.
Keeping active by doing exercise like indoor cycling helps keep your bones healthy and strong and reduces your chances of them breaking or fracturing if you fall.
6. Low-Impact Exercise
This one is a biggie!
Indoor cycling is low-impact. This means it is gentle on your joints, tendons and ligaments and is a great alternative to high-impact exercise like running, especially if you are recovering from an injury.
Because of the hormonal difference, arthritis is more common in women than men, especially knee osteoarthritis, so indoor cycling is a good form of low-impact exercise if you suffer from this painful condition.
If you want a gentle workout for your knees, ankles, hips and back, then give indoor cycling a go.
But always consult your doctor first if you have a history of injury or pain.
7. Safety Compared To Outdoor Cycling
Outdoor cycling is not particularly dangerous at all, but it does come with some hazards to be aware of, such as:
- Unexpected debris
- Hazards in the terrain
- Bike maintenance issues
- Flat tires
Indoor cycling has none of these issues! It’s pretty much hazard free.
You can do it at all times of the year, in different weather conditions, and using the same easily maintained equipment.
8. Strengthens Back and Core
Not only does indoor cycling strengthen your legs and lower body, but it also strengthens your back and core.
A solid core enhances balance and stability, can prevent falls and injuries during sports and other activities, and help prevent low back pain.
It also supports a better posture, especially if you sit at an office desk all day, and keeps you mobile as you grow older.
Slouching compresses the space for your lungs, meaning less oxygen gets to the brain, and it is easy to think negative thoughts.
A good posture increases your energy level and enables the brain to function better, helping you think more clearly and calmly and giving you greater confidence.
9. Safe Activity when Pregnant
It is perfectly safe to do indoor cycling when pregnant, so long as you have an all-clear from your doctor. (Source)
Not only does exercising on a stationary bike keep you fit during your pregnancy, but it also boosts your mood and benefits your baby!
However, there are a few top tips that you should be aware of:
- However, you must stay hydrated and pace yourself to avoid exertion and not let yourself get too hot, as this can compromise your circulation.
- If you are taking indoor cycling classes, speak to your instructor and tell them you are pregnant.
- Preferably take a class with an instructor who has prenatal exercise training.
- It is advisable to stay sitting while cycling as standing may prove too challenging as your belly grows, and you may encounter pain in your lower back and joints.
Indoor cycling regularly can also help prevent complications during childbirth.
Here is a great video of three top tips to try while cycling pregnant:
10. Multitask Opportunities
Indoor cycling offers many opportunities to do other things at the same time as exercising. There is no need to be overly aware of your surroundings, or watch out for hazards.
Some things you are able to do on a stationary bike include:
- Watch TV
- Listen to music
- Talk to friends close by
11. Improves Digestion
Indoor cycling can reduce the time it takes for food to move along your digestive system.
The increased heart rate and accelerated breathing allow your intestinal muscles to contract and prevent bloating, a common condition in women.
12. Helps Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, exercise must usually be part of the equation.
In a 45-minute indoor cycling class, you can lose between 400 to 600 calories, and it also helps to increase your metabolism.
Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your indoor cycling workout, as your body needs sufficient water intake to keep your metabolism going and burn calories efficiently.
It would also help if you varied your indoor cycling workouts, alternating between strength, endurance, and interval training to coax your body into burning calories faster.
But make sure you supplement the workouts with a nutritious diet and keep yourself moving throughout the day.
13. Get Into A Positive Herd Mentality Vibe
One of the great things about spinning is that it is often done as a collective, either as a group at a gym or in an online format.
There can be great power in exercising collectively for many people. It generates a sense of herd mentality, with everyone spurring each other on to a degree.
Joining a group class is fun and highly motivating and can incorporate light weights and dance moves to upbeat music!
Of course, there are many people who prefer to cycle individually as well – and indoor cycling is great in that it is versatile enough to allow for both options.
14. Improves Your Sleep
Women tend to suffer from insomnia more than men.
Forbes states that men are 54% likely to suffer insomnia at some point every week, compared with 63% of women. (Source)
Poor sleep can make you tired and irritable and contribute to several conditions that affect your physical and mental health.
Research by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that moderate-intensity aerobic exercises like cycling and walking help people with insomnia fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. (Source)
Also, regular exercise on an indoor bike is an excellent way to boost your energy levels and function better in your daily life.
If you have a sleep disorder and want to see if indoor cycling will help, exercising earlier in the day is better, as revving up your heart rate before bed might keep you awake.
15. Improves Your Mental Health
Women need to look after not just their physical health but also their mental health.
Indoor cycling provides many mental health benefits, as engaging in low-impact exercise helps you to focus better.
More and more women have discovered how fun and effective indoor cycling is and how it helps reduce stress.
Engaging in constant cardio exercise helps your body and brain at a fundamental level, allowing you to maintain higher concentration levels, resulting in a much better mental outlook.
During indoor cycling sessions, natural endorphins are released, helping you feel calm and relaxed.
But not only does exercising on an indoor bike help treat depression, but it can also prevent it, especially if you do indoor cycling around three times per week.
Cycling helps you to be in the moment and practice mindfulness which means your brain can have a welcome rest from worrying thoughts.
Indoor cycling is a fun fitness activity that improves your overall fitness and has many long-term benefits when it comes to both your physical and mental health.