What’s the Big Deal about Cycling – The 101 on Women’s Cycling Classes
Women’s cycling classes are all the rage in your living room and in the studio, but what’s all the hype about? Stationary cycling has been around for years but seems to be making a comeback with many subscription-based cycling programs that you can join from home. If you’ve been debating taking the plunge into buying a new bike or joining a remote cycling class, here’s everything you ought to know!
To Bike or Not To Bike
Cycling is a great form of aerobic exercise that rivals running. Running isn’t for everyone, and cycling could be a great alternative. It supports cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and helps you burn calories, build muscle, and lose weight. It could potentially reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. On top of that, it’s also much gentler on your joints and has a lower impact than running.
Solo bike rides can help you get out, enjoy the weather, and squeeze in some physically-distanced physical activity, but the “freeform” terrain is difficult to account for. When paired with a smartwatch, you can monitor your heart rate, calories, and distance to hit your health goals. Alternatively, as the temperatures drop, stationary cycling is a great way to keep up with your fitness routine without bracing the cold. Nowadays, you don’t even need to visit a cycling studio to get started. Today, there are many different “spins” on cycling classes, from luxurious bikes that come with access to live coaches, to pre-recorded videos that can be joined with whatever bike you can get your hands on.
What Do I Need to Get Started Cycling?
Picking up a new fitness routine can be intimidating, especially when you don’t have the in-person experience of a coach to teach you and show you how it’s done. If you’re new to cycling here’s everything you need to know before you get spinning.
Not surprisingly, you’ll need a bike. Some subscription-based cycling classes require that you use their bikes in order to join (we’re looking at you Peloton) but these can be upwards of $2000! With that said, you also don’t want to head over to craigslist to get any old stationary bike from the 90s. When shopping for a new stationary bike to get started, there are a few things to keep in mind:
There are three basic styles of stationary bikes: upright, spin, and recumbent.
- Upright bikes typically have more technology features.
- Spin bikes are designed to mimic road cycling where you lean forward onto the handles.
- Recumbent bikes typically have backrests and are best if you need comfort due to back issues.
Before investing in a stationary bike, we recommend using a day pass to a gym (if possible) to try out their bikes and see which is the most comfortable for you!
No matter what style stationary bike you choose, you’ll want to look out for one that includes:
- An adjustable seat
- An adjustable foot pedal cages
- A resistance knob
- A place to hold your phone so you can watch your class while you ride.
- Make sure that your model doesn’t require that you also pay into their subscription service to use it!
Fitting your bike to your body is one of the most important steps. This will ensure that you’re not straining any part of your body and that you’re getting the best ride possible! Once you have your bike, all you need to do is grab a bottle of water and to choose a cycling class that suits your needs.
If you’re struggling to choose a women’s cycling class that fits your experience level and budget, read on!
What Women’s Cycling Class is Right for Me?
There are plenty of subscription-based classes to suit every budget and style – here are some of our favorites!
For penny-pinchers: CardioCast
CardioCast, previously known as CycleCast is like an audio-based fitness program from jogging to bodyweight and cycling. It’s like a health podcast that gives you a workout! Classes are pre-recorded by a number of different coaches and synched with curated music so you can choose which coach and style of music you like! Memberships start at just $7.50 a month and kick off with a 7 week free trial.
For beginners: Aaptiv
This app-based fitness class has a collection of over 2,000 video classes in many different disciplines. Before you start, it will ask you a variety of questions like your fitness level, goal, preferred workout type and length, and music preference. From there, it’ll curate a selection of classes to get you started and adapt with you as your progress.
For a live experience: Peloton
Peloton has done a great job of making the “new normal” feel even more normal by offering live-streaming classes that you can tune into from home. If you need that live experience to stay motivated and connected to others, you can use Peloton’s app for a monthly fee without buying their bike. It comes with a free trial so you can try it out without spending a penny!
If you’ve been tuning in to Women’s Health Conversations, you probably know by now how important mobility is for our physical and mental health. Women’s cycling classes have reached their famed popularity for a reason – they’re fun, exciting, and easy to start at any age. Join the Women’s Health Conversations Facebook group to connect with other women who have tried out cycling classes and can offer candid, honest advice on their experiences. Who knows, you may even make a virtual riding buddy!
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