If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking for ways to get fit outside the gym, maybe you are wondering which way to exercise is the best, riding a hybrid bike or working out in the gym.
I will try to answer it by discussing some of the pros and cons of each.
To start with, any type of exercise is beneficial, regardless of the fact that you do it inside or outside. It will burn calories, help you to build muscles and improve your mental health.
Cycling on a hybrid bike is a great exercise for many reasons. It does not cost anything after you have bought your bike, it is good for people of any age, its low-impact so you won’t get any joint injuries and finally it helps to exercise your upper and lower body muscles.
Hybrid bikes come with features like gears to take you up the hills. The handlebars are designed to give you a comfortable sitting position and they are ideal for commuting to and from work.
Gym, on the other hand, offers all types of fitness equipment to build your muscles. If your objective is to develop muscle mass then the gym is the only place for you. However, unless you are a professional bodybuilder, the gym can become boring when you go day after day following the same routine.
Biking has its own benefits and you can easily strengthen the lower and upper body which includes legs, glutes as well as hips. It also offers a gentle workout for your knees, ankles and more importantly your back.
Above all, let’s not forget the great cardio exercise you get from biking.
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of exercising outdoors on a hybrid bike.
Cycling for Muscles
Everyone knows that biking provides an excellent workout for your muscles, here is a list of muscles that you exercise when you are cycling.
Leg muscles: You can tone the muscles like quadriceps muscles (front of thighs), Hamstrings (rear of thigh), Calf muscles, Hip flexors, Gluteus Maximus (your butt).
Upper body: The muscles used for the upper body are abdominal, arms, chest and shoulders, back muscles.
Cycling for Cardio
Heart diseases include high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Cycling regularly will stimulate and improve your blood circulation, resulting in a considerable reduction in cardiovascular diseases.
Cycling can strengthen the heart muscles, lowering resting pulse and reducing blood fat levels.
Some of the best hybrid bikes are designed to take you up the mountains and get the best cardio. These bikes are equipped with gears to vary the stress on your body.
Cycling for Weight Control
Cycling is one of the best ways to reduce weight. It increases the metabolic rate and burns body fat. Cycling and healthy eating should be considered seriously if you are trying to lose weight.
The good part of cycling is that you can vary the duration and intensity of exercise. You can follow a more aggressive weight loss program or a mild one to suit you better.
The experts say that you can lose up to 400 calories in one hour of cycling. This, of course, depends on the intensity as well as the weight of the rider.
Cycling Improves Mental Health
Cycling can give a boost to your mood because exercising outdoors and viewing new routes helps to release adrenalin and endorphins.
This gives you more confidence in life which results in better mental health. There is also a study that reveals that cycling can help people with depression.
Cycling for Better Lung Health
A recent case study shows that individuals who ride a bicycle are exposed to much less dangerous fumes than the people that travel by car.
The results show that a car driver experienced much higher pollution levels compared to a cyclist.
The monthly cost of joining a gym is regularly going up all the time. If you calculate that in terms of what you pay on yearly basis, it can come to quite a lot.
Biking, on the other hand, has no recurring cost. The roads and the mountain are free for you to go anywhere you like.
Lack of Time
It is not easy to find time to go to the gym if you have a busy schedule in life.
The big plus with biking is that instead of spending time sitting on a bus or train, you could bike to work and use the same time exercising.
Hybrid bikes are the most comfortable bikes for leisure rides as well as commuting. As you can see from all of the above that biking is far more beneficial than being inside a gym every day.
The obvious exception is for those who are following a bodybuilding program and working to develop muscle mass. In this case, biking cannot give you the same results.