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!

 

 

No pain, no gain? Find your sweet spot to make the most of a workout

sore thighsHave you ever worked really hard during a ryde and woken up the next morning with surprising soreness? Medical professionals refer to the sensation as DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS sets in 12-24 hours after an activity, and can peak at 24-72 hours. DOMS can affect athletes of any fitness level, and is most often experienced after beginning a new exercise routine, changing your routine, or increasing your routine’s duration or intensity.

The exact cause of DOMS is currently unknown, however many professionals believe DOMS develops after eccentric muscle action, or activity in which muscles are lengthened while force is applied (standing sprints, anyone?). When you exercise, your muscles develop tiny tears in response to the force you apply. As they repair themselves after the exercise, your muscles grow bigger to meet the demands of the new activity. The next time you exercise, they tear again, and again they rebuild larger. Though the pain can seem intense, DOMS is believed to be a byproduct of the repair process, part of muscles’ natural adaptive response to exercise which leads to improved stamina and strength.

Training which is doesn’t overload the body’s muscle systems and fuel stores doesn’t cause an adaptive response. However, intense training that greatly overwhelms the body’s systems can cause soreness, limiting future activity. A little soreness can indicate that you’ve successfully worked a muscle, but what is normal? DOMS is not

• sudden or sharp pain of injury during an exercise
• muscle fatigue experienced during exercise related to lactic acid buildup
• soreness lasting more than 72 hours

While DOMS may not be completely avoidable for fitness gains, there are steps you can take to minimize DOMS without compromising your workout.  

  1. REST after strenuous exercise. Give your body time to repair itself. When you approach your workout refreshed, you will perform better and improve faster.

  2. Warm up & cool down with five minutes with light movement before and after strenuous exercise.

  3. “Build slowly,” said the tortoise to the sore hare. Slow and steady wins this race. Train with progressive intensity to maximize gain and minimize pain.

  4. Eat well. Within 60 minutes of exercising, snack on high quality protein and complex carbs to reduce feelings of fatigue and fuel your body’s recovery. Also, set yourself up for success by eating 2 hours before exercise.

  5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Before, during and after exercise are all great times to drink water. 2% dehydration can result in a 10% decrease in performance. Waiting to drink until you’re thirsty results in dehydration. Try to replace sweat at the rate you make it. Drink more in hot or humid weather.

  6. Compression apparel worn during exercise may help reduce DOMS.

Already feeling the pain? Here are a few strategies to help get you out of the woods:

  1. Tread lightly with recovery activities. Light exercise like walking or yoga can help encourage your body’s adaptions to training. However, use moderation. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it.

  2. Roll out the kinks. Self-massaging sore areas with a foam roller is a fun, relaxing, inexpensive way to relieve stiffness and pain.

  3. Feast on omega-3s. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil, avocado, and almonds can help reduce the inflammation that causes DOMS.

  4. Contrast therapy, alternating hot and cold baths within 30 minutes of intense exercise, increases blood flow to recovering muscles and speeds the removal of lactic acid.  

  5. Get your head in the game. Ryders are very familiar with the benefits of positive affirmation. Talk positively to yourself and visualize your success. Mindfulness, meditation and a internal dialogue of positive self-talk can reduce anxiety and promote a calm, clear, focused attitude, helping you recover both physically and mentally.  

Before initiating a new fitness regimen or dramatically increasing your activity level, please consult your doctor. “Training for life” means improving your quality of life through a responsible pursuit of fitness, not endangering your health.

If you’re still not sure whether what you’re feeling is normal, don’t hesitate to talk to fellow ryders and instructors about your experience. Another RydeOn! family member has probably been in your shoes and may have the perfect advice.

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