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!



To Stretch or Not to Stretch (Before Exercise)?

-Dawn Wolfe

Anyone who has paid attention to their fitness (or to the headlines on the cover of health & fitness related magazines) knows that stretching is supposed to be good for us. In fact, we've covered the benefits of stretching before in this very blog.

Simply put, stretching is a must to maintain flexibility and help undo some of the damage we incur from our mostly sedentary modern lifestyle. That's why RydeOn! indoor cyclers are led in stretching exercises after every class.

However, what's also true is that some of the latest research shows that it's not the best idea to stretch before a workout. Contrary to the common wisdom of the past several years, it turns out that stretching before a workout does not reduce the chance of exercise-related injury. Not only that, but this article in the New York Times and this one at Time.com review research that seems to show that stretching before exercise doesn't help in any way. In fact, a pre-exercise stretch can actually reduce performance for activities that require moving weights or explosive energy like running or racing on an indoor or outdoor bicycle.

Why? According to Richard Cotton, the national director of certification at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (as quoted by Time.com), too much stretching may cause our muscles to actually lose flexibility. “It gets kind of limp. If you overstretch your muscle and then demand a power activity, it makes all the sense in the world that it doesn’t have the power or force that it would if it hadn’t been stretched,” he says.

So when's the best time to stretch? The experts seem to agree that a post-workout stretch, like the ones we do after RydeOn! indoor cycling classes, is the best bet – as well as stretching as an exercise in and of itself. In other words, pre-workout stretching is out; post-workout stretching and stretching as a separate activity, on the other hand, are in.

Putting this new information to use – the Wish-A-Mile 50 on July 28

Speaking of preparing for exercise, a group of RydeOn! indoor cyclers are doing just that – getting extra fit to take on the Wish-A-Mile 50 this July 28. One of our co-founders, Christina Turner, is even preparing to do the entire 300 mile event to raise money for Make-A-Wish Michigan! We first talked about RydeOn!'s Wish-A-Mile 50 team and its founder, wonderful RydeOn! client Tina Farraro of Saline, here.

So how about you? Would you like to take a special fitness challenge to raise money for children living with terminal conditions? We'd love to have you – and if you can't make it on the 28th, please consider sponsoring our team! Just click here to join the team and/or make a sponsorship contribution – we've raised $1,445 as of May 28th and have eight Ryders signed up so far!

Finally, be sure to prepare for the event – you'll have six hours to ride that fifty miles, but it is still fifty miles, after all – by registering for your RydeOn! indoor cycling classes today. Remember – RydeOn! is air-conditioned when it's hot outside, dry when it's raining outside, and warm when (as has often been the case during this crazy spring of 2013) it's cold outside!

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