The Head-to-Toe Benefits of Indoor Cycling

Improved Brain Power

Happy people at a spin class
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Indoor cycling, along with other forms of aerobic exercise, can lead to improved performance on mental tasks that involve rapid decision-making as well as memory storage and retrieval. In a review of studies on the subject, researchers at The University of Georgia in Athens found that cycling was linked with enhanced cognitive performance both during and after the exercise session. This could lead to a boost in your work productivity and job performance, perhaps allowing you to ride your way to a promotion.

Enhanced Heart and Lung Health

If you regularly ride at an intensity that gets your heart rate into the vigorous zone (65 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate; using a heart-rate monitor will let you know), you'll enhance your cardiovascular strength and fitness level. Keep up the good workouts and over time, you can reduce your risks of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, or cholesterol abnormalities and keep your vascular system functioning well. In addition, you'll boost your lung function and help yourself breathe easier, which will help you move more comfortably through everyday life. It's a positive change of heart, indeed!

Better Body Composition


It's no secret that regularly participating in intense indoor cycling classes can help you shed excess weight. What's not as well known: Doing three indoor cycling classes a week can help you lose up to 5 percent of your body fat and increase your lean muscle mass by 2.6 percent after just 12 weeks, according to research from the University of Palermo in Italy. This could be your first-class ticket to a svelter, better, healthier bod!

More Sexual Pleasure and a Hotter Sex Life

Besides enhancing blood flow, which can lead to greater sexual arousal, cycling and other forms of aerobic exercise can rev up your sex life by boosting your stamina, muscle strength and tone, and flexibility. In a pair of experiments, researchers at the University of British Columbia had the same group of women watch two different films—a travel film and an erotic one—after engaging in 20 minutes of cycling at a high intensity. While watching the erotic film, the women experienced a significant increase in vaginal pulse amplitude and blood flow (both are measures of physiological arousal); the same wasn’t true after the neutral film. The take-home message: Cycling can put your body in the mood for love; all you need is the visual and sensual stimulation later. 

Shapelier, Well-Defined Legs

Indoor cycling is a great form of exercise for toning and strengthening the muscles in your thighs, calves, and butt, in particular. An added perk: Giving these leg and butt muscles a good workout on a regular basis can help strengthen the adjacent bones, tendons, and ligaments, which can help you perform everyday activities with greater comfort and ease. Your legs will end up feeling strong and sexy, and they'll look that way, too!

Enhanced Energy and Well-Being

Cycling regularly can help you gain physical energy and a greater sense of psychological and emotional well-being. Part of this effect stems from the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which bring a sense of euphoria and enhanced well-being (they’re the substances behind the "runner’s high"). And part of this feel-good lift probably comes from the can-do attitude and the sense of self-efficacy that regular indoor cycling cultivates in riders. These effects can put a spring back in your step and a smile on your face. Ride on!

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