When life gets in the way, it’s difficult to keep up with a routine, and it feels easy to let exercise fall by the wayside. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5% of adults engage in 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Luckily, companies such as Peloton and NordicTrack may have cut out the excuse that exercising can’t be convenient, and many people have found spinning to be a rewarding form of exercise for their mental and physical health.
Thanks to a surge during the pandemic, at-home spin classes have become many women’s solution to maintaining their overall health. While running is a “go-to” cardio exercise, as it requires no equipment or membership, riding a stationary bike has become a worldwide trend in the past couple of years for those of us who don’t have the option or motivation to run but want to ensure we stay in tip-top shape.
Cardiovascular exercise is non-negotiable, and running, spinning, swimming, and walking are great options for heart health. However, each choice has different endurance, time, and budget requirements, which can sometimes result in us choosing “none of the above.”
Running can be a great workout that burns a lot of calories, is cost-efficient, and gives you the boosts of serotonin and dopamine that are crucial in maintaining happiness. Unfortunately, our joints may not love running as much as we do. Approximately 60% of runners will have a running-related injury at some point in their lifetime, and according to Studio Society, every time your foot hits the ground, you “produce a force that is around three to four times your body weight.” On top of joint stress, running is not incredibly time or weather efficient as there’s no way to know how long a run will take if you account for traffic, stop signs, intersections, or what the weather will do mid-way through your run.
Cycling, in general, is much better for your overall joint health because the workout is a low-impact, high-intensity activity that builds more muscle in your legs while causing less stress on your joints. Women are also more likely to suffer from arthritis, and keeping your joints moving while not creating more damage is very manageable on a bike and the perfect way to stay active. Though running burns slightly more calories per hour, cycling for longer periods is more manageable, resulting in the same amount of calories being burned with just 5 or 10 more minutes on your bike.
Depending on your time constraints, you can also customize your workout’s duration and intensity. If you only have 20 minutes in your day, hop on your at-home bike and take a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class that will be sure to work up a sweat. If you’d rather have more of a gradual, slow-burn workout and you’ve got 45 minutes or an hour to spare, take a “Feel Good” class with your favorite online instructor and an uplifting playlist that will be sure to release all of your feel-good endorphins.
At-home biking is accessible and convenient. Instead of hopping in the car and making the commute to and from your gym, your at-home setup can save you a lot of time and even money. Working a full-time job or engaging in multiple obligations leaves you very little time to carve out for a workout. With an at-home bike, you don’t have to rely on gym hours, sign up for a timed class, or worry about what time the sun will rise and set because you can hop on your bike whenever you see fit.
Stationary bikes such as Peloton and NordicTrack that include a large touch screen and online classes are an investment, with an at-home setup costing upward of $1,000 plus a subscription to access all of your favorite instructors. Many feel the investment is well worth their money. As a USA Today review stated, “Compared to what we were spending on the gym and classes prior to purchasing our bike, we’re actually saving money.” This is the case for many households, as the whole family can use one bike and one subscription.
At-home spinning can be a great option for those of us who lead exciting, busy lives yet still want to prioritize our overall health. Because our cardiovascular health is essential to maintain, any movement that increases your heart rate is beneficial and will contribute to your overall health. It’s helpful to have a reliable workout that you know you’ll be able to fit into your day, and, for you, that could be your at-home bike.