For the fitness conscious among you, you may find that hitting the treadmill is far better than dusting off those bike tires and hitting the open road. But cycling can beat a gym workout hands down in many ways. How so?
It Gets You Outdoors, Not In A Stuffy Gym!
Going outdoors does something to shake up your workout routine. When you exercise in a gym, it’s a cold, closed, and unnatural environment. When you go into a gym the stench of sweat could be one of the first things to hit your senses! So it’s quite refreshing literally to ride a bike out in the open air and enjoy the stench of bike tires instead! Going outside gives you the opportunity to engage with the big wide world. A gym environment is a very insular and singular approach. If you go on an exercise bike it’s a case of putting your head down and getting on with it.
Going on a bike gives you the opportunity to lift your head up and truly take in the surroundings and gives you the opportunity to be sociable if you want. If you encounter people in the gym that have the headphones on and are focusing on the last 5 reps, it’s no fun. When exercise becomes fun you don’t notice the strains it puts on your body.
It’s Free Fitness!
Okay, while the bike itself is an investment, but when you consider the cost of a bike in relation to an average gym membership, it is a lot cheaper. Yes, the bike itself will come with a few different investments upfront, such as a bike lock, helmet and changing the bike tires on occasion, but if you are someone who has been paying into a gym membership but shying away from the equipment for various reasons getting out into the great wide open on a bike to go cycling is mother nature’s gym membership!
It Uses A Wider Range Of Muscles
One of the main factors people can underestimate when they get outside is the functional fitness aspect of riding a bike. Going outdoors cycling means that you’ve got to navigate various terrains. When you’re riding a bike on the road, you’re not just using your legs to pump the pedals, but you are using your entire body to keep the bike balanced. This helps you to activate your core muscles. When you compare this to something like an exercise bike you aren’t getting the same workout than you are out in the open. Using your core muscles like the abdominals and the back means that when you are working hard to keep a bike balanced while leaning or ducking through various terrains. And whether it’s going uphill or downhill, you are feeling the strain in other places as well, such as your shoulders and upper body.
You Push Yourself Harder
And when it comes to outdoor workouts the one difference between going in a gym to being out in the open is that outside feels different. When you are in a comfortable gym in an air-conditioned environment you can feel more comfortable but being out in the elements means that you’ve got to work with mother nature more effectively. It’s possible that when you ride outdoors it feels different. It may not feel as much work because of the beautiful scenery. As such you will push yourself harder. But as well as this fighting mother nature especially cold weather means that you will develop the ability to push yourself and improve your resilience.
Pedaling away in a climate-controlled gym is nowhere near as arduous as pedaling up a steep hill in freezing cold temperatures with rain lashing down on you. Pushing for that burn has a great impact on your body, especially as the basal metabolic rate increases in cold weather, but the greater benefit is your ability to endure tougher climates. We are creatures of comfort and getting out on a bike and putting ourselves into semi-dangerous situations, rather than the comfort of the gym, will work wonders for our resilience which in turn improves our mental health.
Physically, mentally, and emotionally, getting on a bike can beat many other forms of exercise hands down. If you are someone that doesn’t get on board with the gym mentality, purchasing a bike gives you the opportunity to escape from the cliched approaches to exercising. There is a reason why cycling is so popular these days and if you are looking to get fit and healthy without the faint aroma of “gym stench” it’s time to get on your bike.