Just like an In-N-Out restaurant, where diners can choose to eat inside or take out, exercisers have the same choice. Take cycling, for example. You can brave the roads outdoors or tackle a stationary cycle indoors. It’s all about choices.
Harvard Medical School research states that stationary cycling is one of the best calorie crunchers around, burning up to 466 calories per hour for a 185-pound exerciser. That’s about 155 more calories per hour than outdoor cycling.
How can that be?
The wind through your hair during an outdoor ride is an incredible feeling — until that headwind or tailwind sabotages your workout. During an indoor workout, there is constant effort, with no wind to interfere with the plan. Indoors, each rider works harder because there is no coasting, which can be 10 percent to 20 percent of a workout. According to that stat, a 60-minute class could be equal to 75 minutes outdoors. Therefore, an indoor cycle workout can be more effective in a shorter amount of time, making it an efficient option. And, American Council on Exercise research says that indoor cycling keeps heart rate at 75 percent to 95 percent of maximum consistently.
American Ironman Andy Potts likes it because there are no stoplights or traffic. In addition, there is no need for daylight or watching the weather forecasts for each workout. Best of all, no flat tires.
You, the rider, are in the driver’s seat. All the control is in your hands, literally. You can choose your own resistance levels and speed so you can build up your fitness level over time. You decide which hills to do, or not.
Need an extra push? Try an indoor cycling class led by an instructor who will lead you through a challenging routine with motivating music. You can still modify to suit your fitness level while enjoying the camaraderie of a group workout.
Join the YMCA and the Challenged Athletes Foundation for a fun and sweat-drenching four-and-a-half-hour stationary cycling marathon with 100 riders and over 50 challenged athletes at the Tour de Cove on Sunday Oct. 23. Visit challengedathletes.org/events/tour-de-cove-2016/ for more information.
Come out for the inaugural Trick or Treat, Sunday, Oct. 30 at Copley-Price Family YMCA. This fun event, costumes encouraged, features a swim, run and bike on stationary cycles — all at the Y. Visit ymca.org/copleyprice/tott.html.
Try one of the brand new Stages cycles during one of the 24 weekly classes at the Mission Valley YMCA. And, start training now for the Mission Valley YMCA Bike-A-Thon in January 2017.
If you have a stationary cycle at home or have a trainer for your road bike, consider following along on your tablet or iPad for a great workout. Les Mills On Demand has a free, 10-day trial called RPM. The On Demand instructor takes you on a journey of hill climbs, sprints and flat riding.
—Erica Moe is an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist who writes on behalf of the Mission Valley YMCA where she is fitness director.