Fitness, Personal Training, & Exercise Science

Is Cycling a Smarter Alternative to the Gym

As the discussion of the importance of exercise continues, many people are looking for different ways to achieve their health goals. The important thing to keep in mind is that exercise helps you feel great, reduces your risk of certain diseases like heart disease and cancer, and also helps boost your mood and to ward off depression. Many people think that going to the gym is the best way to stay healthy and fit, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are a lot of activities that you can do outside of the gym to meet your healthy lifestyle goals. One of those activities is cycling. Do you know how to ride a bike? If so, you might be pleased to hear about some of the positive ways in which cycling can impact your health.

Switch it Up & Cycle Outdoors

One of the most important things you can do when planning out your exercise routine is to make sure to incorporate some variety. This helps keep you engaged and keeps your body from becoming used to a single type of exercise. The gym might seem like a logical winner here, and indeed, it can be a great choice. There are all sorts of different machines and classes that you can use at the gym, and these are all good for helping you keep some variety in your life. Don’t discount cycling altogether, however, because it’s not that hard to mix up your cycling routine! In fact, many people prefer cycling over a gym membership precisely because of how easy it is to find new routes. Consider planning out new rides that have you cycling across all different types of terrain. Rolling hills are great for getting your heart rate pumping, while long rides are perfect for helping you to lose weight and burn fat.

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Take in the Fresh Air!

Cycling definitely offers some benefits over the standard gym membership. One of these is the fact that exercising outdoors tends to have a greater impact on relieving stress than staying indoors does. In fact, cycling outside instead of running on a treadmill or using a static bike can lead to the time going by faster – which, in turn, can lead to you enjoying your workout more and even to exercising more, if you’re having a particularly good time. That’s a great incentive all by itself, but there’s even more to like when considering going cycling vs. the gym. Breathing in fresh air and watching nature as you cycle outdoors is a great mood booster, and can help you feel even better than just working out alone.

Effort and Cost Breakdown

While it would be nice to be able pick a method of exercise that we enjoy without having to weigh issues like cost, that’s not always feasible. In this particular comparison of cycling versus attending the gym, the costs are actually relatively comparable. This depends, of course, upon the gym you attend and the bike you decide to buy. Assuming that you attend a relatively standard gym – nothing overly high class or expensive, for example – your costs will be pretty close to those of buying a decent bike, bike helmets, and other protective bike gear that is important for cycling. The same does not hold true when it comes to time and effort, however, where cycling comes out on top. Sometimes even just getting yourself from your home to the gym can be a pain, and the time spent in transport also increases the amount of time you spend sitting during the day. Cycling can be done more easily, with the added bonus of making transport time into an exercise itself. With cycling, in other words, you can make the workout part of your daily necessary transport time. Consider biking to work instead of driving, for example, and your workout is already done before the workday even begins – and this is without having to find extra time to visit the gym.

Is cycling better than the gym? Both cycling and the gym offer great benefits, and the question really become one of what works best for your lifestyle. If you live somewhere that is prohibitive to cycling, for example, through either excessive heat, traffic, or other inclement weather, then the gym is your best bet. If you find yourself easily bored while working on stationary equipment, then cycling might be a good choice for you. The important thing is to get out there and get moving!

Author Bio: Joy Mali is an active contributor who loves to share informative news on healthy lifestyle, cycling or bike riding for fitness and much more. She advises to wear protective bike gear for safe bike riding and stay fit. You can follow her on Google Plus. 

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