Bike riding is a fun and easily-accessible aerobic activity for those trying to stay in shape or lose weight. But the ability to cycle outdoors often depends on a number of unpredictable factors, like weather, traffic and road conditions. So, if you can’t hit the pavement, don’t own a bike, or the idea of riding a stationary bike in your fitness center isn’t particularly enticing, try a group class so you can still get all of the benefits of cycling.

 

If you’re new to group cycling, arrive early to your first class so the instructor can help you through the basics of the bike. From there, it’s up to you to choose your level of resistance and decide what pace to maintain throughout the class. Once you’re set up, you can begin to enjoy the many benefits of cycling, such as:

 

Burning calories all day

Cycling classes provide an intense aerobic workout with variety similar to interval training. Participants typically move along with the speed of the music or pace of the instructor, which varies the intensity of the workout based on beats per minute. The varied intensity helps rev up your metabolism, which in turn helps you burn calories more effectively while in the class and up to 48 hours after the class is done. But, you won’t just experience aerobic benefits of cycling, you’ll also work out the muscles of your core and lower body.

 

Building strength

Cycling uses the resistance of the bike to increase or decrease the aerobic difficulty of the workout and the overall impact on your muscles. Depending on your fitness level, there’s often a portion of group cycling classes where you stand and pedal. Standing increases the resistance of the exercise by leveraging your body weight, which causes greater stress on the muscle tissue. By standing or increasing the bike’s resistance level, you get higher muscle impact, which in turn results in greater strength-building benefits.

 

Getting motivated with your classmates

One of the greatest benefits of cycling is the motivation you receive from the instructor and participants of the class. A main reason why exercise classes are so popular and effective is group participation. The group atmosphere helps encourage you to keep pace and forces you to ultimately achieve a better cycling workout than you would have alone.

 

When paired with a healthy diet, the benefits of cycling class not only help you look and feel great, but they also reduce your risks for developing diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. So the next time you’re looking for a workout that will both challenge and entertain you, consider a group cycling class