Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9437
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby horizon » 1 Sep 2019, 10:56am

gbnz wrote:
I doubt that there are any benefits from meeting the challenge of cold weather in itself,


This is the point I am trying to winkle out. AIUI there are indeed benefits to being exposed to cold and hot. Obviously a very fit (indoors) person will adapt better and need it less, but we do need to be out there in the cold and heat - that is part of the body's ability to adapt and be healthy, not just in a cardio-vascular way (or perhaps, yes part of that).
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

whoof
Posts: 1866
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby whoof » 1 Sep 2019, 5:24pm

horizon wrote:
gbnz wrote:
I doubt that there are any benefits from meeting the challenge of cold weather in itself,


This is the point I am trying to winkle out. AIUI there are indeed benefits to being exposed to cold and hot. Obviously a very fit (indoors) person will adapt better and need it less, but we do need to be out there in the cold and heat - that is part of the body's ability to adapt and be healthy, not just in a cardio-vascular way (or perhaps, yes part of that).

There are psychological health benefits that can be had from being outside. If exposing yourself to hot and cold were of benefit you could stay indoors and turn the heating on in the summer and off in the winter no need to go outside.

LittleGreyCat
Posts: 533
Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 1 Sep 2019, 6:40pm

I don't see why you can't do both.

Indoors exercise is potentially much broader in range than just cycling outdoors, and can work on muscle groups that are generally under utilised when cycling. Also, if you do too much and are completely knackered you can just climb off and go for a coffee.

On the other hand it can be very boring.

On the other hand it can be more accessible when it is cold, dark and freezing.

Cycling isn't the only outdoor exercise either; walking gets you out in the fresh air.

I used to enjoy running but my legs and feet aren't up to it any more. Perhaps an indoor treadmill might be gentle enough?

So cycle for the sheer pleasure of the cycle ride, and the ever changing scenery.
Exercise indoors because you like exercise and there are more options.

Having recently completed a 24 hour static cycle challenge for charity I don't rate exercise bicycles compared to real bicycles, especially because it is so hard to get a decent riding position. Consider the effort you put into bike fit, saddle choice, bar setup etc. to be able to ride comfortably and effectively. Then consider how much variation there is on a gym bike.

gbnz
Posts: 1557
Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby gbnz » 1 Sep 2019, 6:48pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:
Indoors exercise is potentially much broader in range than just cycling outdoors, and can work on muscle groups that are generally under utilised when cycling......

On the other hand it can be very boring..... Then consider how much variation there is on a gym bike.


I'd agree with Line 1. The simple fact does exist that after a quick 50-60 miles on the bike, nothing beats a 120 lengths of the pool. Then head down to the gym the following morning and focus on weights for 60-90 minutes, followed by 20-30miles on the bike. And who knows, head for stroll down to the beach 4 miles away as a rest in the afternoon, prior to making a diversion and adding 7-8 miles by returning home via the moor.

Which pretty much is the answer to Line 2. Can't say I've actually been on a gym bike in the last 17-18 years, despite 4-5 gym visits a week

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9437
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby horizon » 1 Sep 2019, 7:09pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:I don't see why you can't do both.



Quite. But you'll have to ask the people who don't. A side benefit of cycling as we knew it was having to deal with variations in weather and season. It's a benefit because the body needs it. At least that's the proposition I'm making.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

ANTONISH
Posts: 1580
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 9:49am

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby ANTONISH » 2 Sep 2019, 9:26am

horizon wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:I don't see why you can't do both.



Quite. But you'll have to ask the people who don't. A side benefit of cycling as we knew it was having to deal with variations in weather and season. It's a benefit because the body needs it. At least that's the proposition I'm making.


What is your proposition based on?
Cycling will help with fitness and health so will probably help in coping with temperature extremes - I'm not sure that the temperature extremes themselves help with general health.
Could we compare say groups of UK citizens who remain in this country all year round and those who retire to the milder climate of the Spanish coasts ?

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7629
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Cully
Contact:

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby al_yrpal » 2 Sep 2019, 10:03am

Some folk have no choice, if you live in Kensington Peleton must be attractive. The alternative in urban traffic choked streets filled with unhealthy fumes. No, they dont get all the benefits of cycling outdoors, but they do get some exercise.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

roubaixtuesday
Posts: 2077
Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 7:05pm

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby roubaixtuesday » 2 Sep 2019, 10:56am

Some speculative musings:

1. Perhaps the most important attribute of any exercise regime is not what form it takes but whether it is enjoyable, so will be kept up. Most people’s idea of exercise seems to be something which should be inherently unpleasant - a form of flagellation – so whether indoor or out, likely to fall by the wayside. For some people, being out in the cold and rain is a total turn off; these folk are probably better off in a gym. For others, they love being outdoors regardless of the conditions. Also if you’re part of a like minded group eg a regular spin class – that’s likely to motivate you to keep going.

2. I’m not aware of any physical benefit of indoor vs outdoor exercise or cold vs hot. I would guess there are pros and cons but doubt it makes much difference.

3. I would hazard a guess that the major benefit of outdoor exercise is mental rather than physical health. I believe it’s now well established that time spent outdoors is beneficial to mental well being.

Personally, I've given up gym membership. The only form of unpleasant exercise I undertake is cycle commuting in rain or sleet during the dark and cold midwinter. Even that I appreciate the routine, and enjoy the feeling of having done it afterwards.

JohnI
Posts: 21
Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 10:59am

Re: Cycling and health: indoors or outdoors?

Postby JohnI » 2 Sep 2019, 2:39pm

Two factors for me are time and convenience. I used to cycle to work, but nowadays most of my mileage is done on a Sunday morning because work is too far away and also in the middle of London. In the week I exercise in my lunch break - normally my only opportunity - and most days I'll swim but I try to do one session a week on a turbo trainer or exercise bike (my gym has Wattbikes, which are much better than the standard types). This will always be some form of interval session because cycling at a steady intensity is too boring, and a higher intensity does have definite training benefits. This is simply a means to an end, because I feel that one outdoor ride at the weekend isn't enough to maintain my cycling fitness and build up the mileage.

There are times in the winter when I may be working from home so I could go outside for a ride, but often I'll use the turbo trainer instead simply because it saves time, and achieves more in the time available. By the time I've faffed around putting on several layers of clothing and warming up, I could be half way through an indoor session. In the Summer if I work from home I will often go outside for a ride in my lunch break and this feels like a real treat!