As a lifelong competitive runner, biking has always felt more like punishment than pleasure to me with flashbacks of interval training while injured on a stationary bicycle. For much of my adult life, I’ve avoided it, preferring pretty much every other kind of aerobic exercise. When we started spending large chunks of time in Miami Beach, I was able to expand my typical NYC gym routine to include all sorts of outdoor pursuits and reluctantly, included biking to the list.
Everyone has seen the amazing transformation photos and success stories of FlyWheel and SoulCycle devotees, but for those still hesitant to try this challenging cardo workout, I’m sharing some of the benefits of biking that will get you off your feet and onto two wheels:
Sexy Stems: Want to show off sculpted thighs and chiselled calves this summer? Hop on a bike for less than an hour of high-intensity cycling to burn over 500 calories. Biking not only burns tons of calories for fat loss, it builds up leg muscles and increases tone.
Joint Health: The low-impact, repetitive motion is ideal for keeping hips, knees and ankles loose without the strain and injuries that can result from running.
Heart Health: The aerobic activity strengthens the heart muscle, making it easier for your body to circulate blood and oxygen. Regular riding can also reduce the risk of heart disease by half – the leading cause of death for American women.
Improved State of Mind: Biking releases endorphins, the happiness hormone, making you feel physically better, helping your brain deal with anxiety and depression, and improving your sleep.
Progress is Easy to Track: Stay motivated with this simple form of exercise that easily allows for trackable goals (time, distance, etc.) that create a routine you can stick to. Spin classes with music and enthusiastic instructors create a positive atmosphere that keeps you moving.
Bonus: If you use your bike to commute, you’re not only being good to your body – you’re being good to the entire planet. Bikes run on fat, not fuel, can park for free almost anywhere and reduces the number of animals killed on the road.