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!

 

 

Exercise Sick?

sad sickness
Ah, the heralds of fall in southeast Michigan: changing leaves, Michigan football and aaaaachoo! At a time of year when many noses runneth over, if you’re lucky enough to miss the scattershot of germs saturating our indoor air this winter, you are in the minority.

The unlucky majority of us trying to maintain our fitness plans while fighting the funk will have to face that perennial choice: should we try to sweat it out or recover with some R&R?

Is it ever safe to sweat it out?
Winter can be an exercise killer for many reasons, though being sidelined with an illness can really put a damper on your fitness regime. A cold can put you out of action for a week; you could be feeling flu symptoms for 10 days to 2 weeks.

Some experts recommend the “neck check” to determine your ability to work out, while others feel infections are systemic and recommend avoiding anything that compromises the body’s ability to fight the infection. If all your symptoms are mild and above the neck (runny nose, sinus congestion, sneezing), some light cardio could help you feel better, though there is no definitive research indicating it will help you recover faster. If you’re experiencing symptoms below the neck (body aches, coughing/chest congestion, upset stomach) give yourself some time to recover. Serious infection can damage muscles, prevent muscle building and repair, and inhibit fat metabolism1.

Don’t ever work out with bronchial tightness or within 24 hours of a fever. During a workout if you experience chest tightness or pressure, dizziness, or trouble balancing or breathing, seek help immediately. Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease should not work out when exhibiting cold or flu symptoms.

Getting back in the saddle
You are the best judge to determine when you’re ready to resume your workouts. Turn down your brain and tune into your body. You will never be at your peak performance level when you’re sick, so why risk making things worse? If you’re starting to feel that tickle in your throat, back off. Strenuous exercise that gives you a rush of endorphins can inhibit the body’s immune response at a time when you need those white blood cells to be ready for battle. You could also be courting myocarditis or serious illness. Cold medication with decongestants can increase your heart rate, so avoid rigorous activity if you’re taking these medications.

When you’re ready to rejoin the land of the living, start slowly and be hyper vigilant to stay hydrated. Try regenerative activities like walking, yoga or Pilates. When you’re ready to get back in the saddle, scale up your workouts gradually to avoid relapse or injury. Keep your heart rate out of zone 2 for at least 1 week, and cut down on the amount of time your work out. Keep yourself feeling good and wanting to come back and do more tomorrow2.

Prepare for germ warfare
Keep yourself funk-free this winter with the following tips:

  1. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Wash your hands. Often.
  2. Wipe down your bike before and after you Ryde.
  3. Stay hydrated! It’s easy to forget to drink water in the winter.
  4. If you feel something coming on, take it easy.
  5. Wash your hands.
  6. The best offense is a good defense. When you are feeling well, work out regularly to build up your T-cells, your immune system’s first line of defense against infection.
  7. Carry hand sanitizer and use it liberally when you come into contact with someone exhibiting cold or flu symptoms.
  8. Wash your hands some more.

Let’s share in success, not sickness.
At RydeOn!, we work hard to maintain extremely high standards of cleanliness and comfort year round to keep the family moving. That being said, if you’re coughing, sneezing, or otherwise oozing, take it easy. Rest up and give yourself time to get over it. Although the RydeOn! family is a forgiving bunch, but it’s best not to test the limits of familial love by sharing your cold. Training for life means being active today, tomorrow, next week and next year, not just training for your next event. We’d love to see you when you’re feeling better.

Works cited:

1. http://beta.active.com/health/articles/scare-tactics-to-prevent-you-from-exercising-while-sick

2. http://beta.active.com/health/articles/coping-with-illness-during-aerobic-training

Other references

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/exercising-when-sick

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/AN01097

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/exercise-when-you-have-cold

http://www.everydayhealth.com/cold-flu/exercise-for-common-cold.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12959703

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12893713

http://fitknitchick.com/2012/10/10/should-you-exercise-when-sick/

http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/11/09/HM.ill.exercise/

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