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Outdoor vs. Indoor Bikes – Which is Right For You?


Biking is a great way to stay fit, since you can build muscle and get cardio exercise in at the same time. When you think of bikes, you might first picture an outdoor bike. However, indoor spin bikes are having a moment, and they are an exciting new option for many people.

These bikes have an edge in terms of convenience, and many people are looking for indoor exercise options because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Is indoor cycling right for you? Read on to learn more about outdoor versus indoor bikes.

What Makes Cycling So Good for You?

Cycling is a form of exercise with plenty of health benefits. It can improve strength, get your heart pumping, and it’s even an enjoyable pastime. Let’s get into the details of how cycling can benefit your health.

Cardiovascular exercise is a vital part of any workout routine. It’s good for your heart, lowers blood pressure, helps with blood sugar levels, and can help you get to sleep more easily. As you pedal your feet and push yourself forward, you’re making your lungs and heart get stronger over time.

It’s also a low-impact form of exercise. It’s not hard on your knee and hip joints, because you’re not bringing weight down on your feet by jumping or stepping down. Instead, your feet stay planted on the pedals during your workouts. Despite this, you can still get an intense workout from cycling.

Cycling also helps you build up physical strength. Since you use your legs to power your bike, the effect is especially focused on your lower body. Your core and back will also get a good workout as a side effect because you’re maintaining balance and staying upright as you pedal.

All of these health benefits make cycling an excellent, low-impact way to strengthen muscles and stay healthy.

What’s the difference between cycling indoors and outdoors?

There are plenty of differences between indoor and outdoor cycling, both in terms of experience and in terms of training.

The flywheel on an indoor bike is one of the most important differences between the two. An indoor bike includes a weighted flywheel, which will determine how much pedaling you need to do as you get started.

A heavy flywheel requires lots of pedaling at the start to get you into the groove of things, just like outdoor cycling. Lighter flywheels take less time to get up to a high speed. You can get a great workout with either option, and it comes down to personal preference.

Riding a bike outdoors means you’ll have to deal with the great, unpredictable outdoors, which has its advantages but also its downsides. Outdoor bikes can go with you to a variety of places, including gorgeous, scenic destinations, and you can use them as a form of transportation.

However, there are also environmental obstacles to consider. If you choose to bike on a road, you’ll need to keep an eye out for cars. The weather can be inhospitable, with scorching hot days or cold, rainy ones. COVID-19 is still a major concern, and it spreads through the air.

On the other hand, indoor cycling gives you control of your environment. You can make yourself comfortable by adjusting the temperature, or even putting on a movie.

Indoor cycling isn’t necessarily less rigorous— you can still burn up to 600 calories an hour. That makes it a great tool for weight loss, just like outdoor cycling.

What Are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?

Indoor cycling is done on mounted bikes that are kept indoors, and you stay inside with them. There are plenty of reasons you might want to stay inside as you bike.

Stationary bikes are sturdy. Many of them are specifically designed to add resistance, meaning you get a great workout from the comfort of your home.

Speaking of resistance, you can also adjust the resistance level of your stationary bike. During outdoor cycling, the difficulty of your route is mostly out of your control. If you’re far from any hills or mountains, you have to be content with a flat route.

Another advantage is that a stationary bike gives you more control over your workout. You can manage the temperature indoors, and that’s just not possible outside even with the best temperature-regulating workout outfit.

The road can be a dangerous place to be if you’re not in a car. Outdoor cycling can expose you to cars, slippery roads and other dangerous situations. If you choose an indoor setup, you can relax and focus on your workout.

Indoor cycling lets you work out at night without having to worry about your visibility. Outdoor biking requires safety equipment like reflective gear and a helmet.

Why Should You Get an Indoor Bike?

Getting an indoor bike of your own has plenty of advantages over using one in a gym. For one, you won’t have to make the trip to the gym every time you feel like cycling.

It becomes easy to exercise at home, and you can get on your bike whenever you’re motivated to work out. You can keep in shape and stay healthy, even when you don’t want to leave the house.

With the current coronavirus pandemic, owning your own gym equipment is a huge advantage. During this coronavirus pandemic, many gyms are on a cycle where they reopen, but have to shut down again soon after. As a result, it’s hard to get consistent access to gym equipment.

Even if your local gym is open to members, the required safety measures tend to be uncomfortable and inconvenient. When you ride your own indoor machine, you won’t have to wear an uncomfortable mask or remember to wipe down the bike before and after you use it.

You can also choose your own pace when you have a bike of your own and set the pace of your workout according to your needs and skill level. However, if you like the structure of spin classes, you can always join one of the Zoom spin classes that have popped up during the pandemic.

Will you include indoor bicycles in your future workouts? Are you already a huge fan of indoor cycling? Let us know in the comments section!

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