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Indoor Cycling

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says: continued...

Taking classes involves going to the gym or a specialty studio, and this can get pricey.

If you enjoy working out with others in a very structured environment, then indoor cycling is a great fit. If you like to sweat it out alone, then you may enjoy riding your bike outside instead. If you do that, wear a helmet.

Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

A good aerobic workout like indoor cycling may be just what the doctor ordered if you have diabetes. Check with your doctor first.

Cycling helps your muscles use glucose more efficiently, so your blood sugar level is likely to go down. If you have diabetes, your doctor will need to adjust your medications. Scheduling your classes at the same time every day will help keep your blood sugars on an even keel. Talk to your instructor before class. Most programs let you vary the intensity of the workout to match your fitness level and your needs by adjusting speed and/or resistance.

If you are at risk for heart disease, a solid aerobic workout like indoor cycling can help bring down your blood pressure as well as your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol while helping raise your "good" (HDL) cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of a good cardio workout each week (which you can split up any way you like), but check with your doctor first. Even if you already have heart disease, an indoor cycling program can often be tailored to your specific needs.

If you have arthritis and think you should pass on exercise, think again. With your doctor’s approval, indoor cycling could be the key to lifting your energy level and your mood, as well as helping to protect your joints.

When you cycle, you will be building up your leg muscles, and this helps support the knee joint. Stick to the seated and limited standing core movements. The jumps and some of the other more advanced movements can be tough on the knee joint.

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