What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?

According to the U.S. Department of Health ".....regular physical activity substantially reduces the risk of coronary disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.....and helps to control weight, contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints... reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression..." Need we go on? Cycling is also "low-impact" without the joint stress that you get from "ground-pounding" sports and activities. All good reasons to strap-in/clip-on and RYDE!




myfitnesspal logoWhatever your fitness goal, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are the most powerful tools in your arsenal. As Ryders know, RydeOn gives you a fantastic cardiovascular, strength building, calorie slaying workout. Though without changing your diet, you may not achieve the results you desire.

I’ve tried plenty of diet and weight loss programs that limit what you can eat and are “so easy to use!.” You may drop some quick weight, but where are you 6 months, or one year later? Yo-yoing. At RydeOn, we know long-term success happens when we train for real life. Training for life means finding ways to incorporate exercise and healthy eating slowly and sustainably into your existing lifestyle, not scrapping the whole system for an unrealistic food or exercise fad.

Enter MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is a free app that shows you how diet and exercise interact as you work toward your fitness goal. It’s like a free pocket dietician that quickly elevates your internal dialogue with food, and gives it proper perspective. Within a day or two, “Fruits and vegetables, good,” becomes “For a snack, I should choose raisins over a banana because I had plenty of potassium at breakfast, but rarely get enough iron. Look at how low my Vitamin A levels are. I’m not a big fan of carrots. What other foods are rich in Vitamin A?” If only your health teacher could see you now! That mysterious balanced diet you hear so much about? This is how you get it. What nutrients do you, specifically, need more of today? Foods become functional, because you are motivated to learn what their functions are based on what you need. 

To get started with MyFitnessPal, enter your age, your current weight, your desired weight or measurements, your basic activity level, and how quickly you would like to lose or gain weight. MyFitnessPal computes the amount of calories you need to eat each day to reach your goal.

Every day, enter all of the food you eat. I thought this would be the painful part, but it’s actually very quick. Choose from MyFitnessPal’s extensive food library or create your own entry.

Next, enter your Ryde statistics along with any other aerobic exercise you do in a day. MyFitnessPal then computes your net caloric intake, and tells you what your weight will be at the end of your target date if your diet remains unchanged. It also breaks down the food you eat into daily nutritional goals. See a pie chart showing whether you tend to eat a carb, fat or protein heavy diet. Visualize your progress with a chart showing your weight change, or your measurement changes. Look at a bar graph comparing your actual and your recommended intake of calcium.

Previously, I preferred to keep a myopic view of my diet. As long as I occasionally threw back a few fruits and vegetables and exercised somewhat regularly, I didn’t begrudge myself the occasional (frequent) Starbucks brownie. Now, even if I have 3 brownies I get excited to put them in my diary. Something about the charts is soothing. It keeps those brownies in perspective; they become occasional choices, not deal breakers. I’m no longer throwing the baby out with the bath water. There’s definitely a rubbernecking component: ”Whoaaah, each one is like a meal!,” but I’m also reminded that tomorrow I’ll get another chance to bring up my Vitamin A level, and maybe I’ll try something new.

The MyFitnessPal app is free, and available for iphone, ipod, android, blackberry and windows phones. You can also access your account through their website, www.myfitnesspal.com.


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