In my early 20’s I was a runner and I loved it. As I got older, I developed leg injuries and realized my body couldn’t tolerate pounding the pavement anymore. Eventually, I accepted the inevitable and parted with my running shoes. I tried just about every other exercise, but none gave me the same “runner’s high.” One day, I decided to give indoor cycling a try — why not?
I hated my first class. Ten minutes in I was already questioning why I was there. It was challenging and I couldn’t understand how everyone was pedaling so fast. My muscles ached for over a week. Don’t even get my started on how much my booty hurt!
Somehow, I ended up going back and after my third class I genuinely started to like it. Before I knew it, indoor cycling had become my Saturday morning ritual. It’s a great workout and easy on my joints. I felt my legs getting stronger and every class felt easier. I even got the “runner’s high” I’d been craving!
If you’ve been hesitant to try indoor cycling, here are five reasons you should:
It’s easy. You don’t need to be athletic to take a class — just hop on and pedal your heart out! Arrive 15 minutes early to your first class and let the instructor know you’re new. They’ll help you set up your bike and go over the different cycling positions and lingo you’ll hear during your ride. You’ll pick it up in no time.
It’s great for you. Indoor cycling may sound intense, but when you realize all of its health benefits, you might just sign up. It’s not just a great way to add some cardio to your fitness routine, but it can also help with arthritis, diabetes, reducing stress, and lowering your cancer risk.
It’s low impact. Indoor cycling is a high-intensity activity that’s low-impact on your joints. I found that indoor cycling was easy on my knees, but I was still able to break a sweat. Hallelujah! If you’re battling injury or having knee issues, check with your doctor before taking your first class to avoid further injury.
You’ll feel the burn. Indoor cycling can burn a ton of calories. A 150-pound person can burn 480 calories in a 45-minute cycling class. The amount of calories you burn will vary depending on your weight, class length, ride difficulty, and how hard you work. But don’t focus on how many calories you want to burn —every ride is different, so just pedal hard and enjoy.
You’ll sprint to the finish. Starting a new fitness class can be a bit terrifying. I got a seat in the back so NO ONE could see me being a struggle muffin. But once the lights dim and the music starts pumping, no one will even look at you. Everyone will be focused on their own workout, so there’s no need to worry. If the class gets difficult, just do the best you can.