No matter what your fitness goal is, the only way you will achieve it is if you commit to regular training and give every session your all. This is the number one secret to success.
To do this, you will need to maintain your determination and motivation because, while your first workout might be fiery and energetic, most of us find that our 100th does not carry the same enthusiasm if we do not take active steps to pump ourselves up.
While there is no magic elixir that will make you love working out, there are some ways to boost your desire to continue on your exercise journey. In this post, we are going to discuss how activity trackers can help you to reach your goals on your exercise bike. We are going to be concentrating on the features available through Fitbit and Apple watches, as these are the most popular activity trackers on the market (other brands are available and we are not affiliated with either brand).
Indoor cycling and spinning
Indoor cycling or spinning, depending on the type of bike you own, is one of the best cardio exercises out there. It provides the setting for a calorie-busting workout while being low impact and safe for the joints.
Spinning also conditions the lower body and core muscles because of its options to ‘add on gears’ (i.e. increase the resistance level). This promotes the development of endurance muscle and tones the physique.
Given that the benefits of cycling/spinning are so good, why would you need to do anything else to motivate yourself to get on your bike? Well, we are all human, so we tend to discount future benefits when faced with short-term costs (in this case, the effort of working out). Moreover, any exercise is only as good as you make it. You need to show up, give your workout your all, and repeat. This is why it is important to foster motivation to exercise. A Fitbit or Apple Watch can be a helpful way to keep your spirits high.
Why use an activity tracker?
There are two ways an activity tracker can assist your workout: tracking and guided classes. To track indoor cycling, enable the ‘indoor cycling’ tile through the Fitbit or Apple App. Tracking your indoor cycling/spinning workout involves looking at specific metrics, including distance cycled, the time spent on your bike, your heart rate during the session, and calories burnt.
Looking at this data will allow you to compare your performance across time and to track your progress. It can be useful to collect data because, sometimes, small improvements may not be apparent if you solely gauge your workout by how you feel.
Seeing in cold hard numbers that you are becoming faster and stronger will help to motivate you as it proves that all your effort is having an effect.
While you could try to monitor your workout without an activity tracker, having a watch that collects all the data and sends it to your phone is so much easier. The corresponding apps also store your historic data and make comparisons easier. Moreover, by allowing tech to collect your stats, you can concentrate on your workout and look at the numbers later.
Both Fitbit and Apple have corresponding fitness apps that include guided on-demand classes. However, Fitbit’s app does not include indoor cycling, so it will not be useful for using on your exercise bike.
Apple Fitness requires a low monthly subscription, around a tenner a month. If you are not an Apple watch owner or if you prefer android tech, you can subscribe to other platforms for indoor cycling classes. Zwift, Digme, Pelton (you do not need to have a Peleton bike to use their app), Rouvy, and Road Grand Tours are all good examples. Most include a free trial period so you can test out the app before committing to paying.
The benefits of following a class are that you follow a workout that has been designed to deliver specific benefits, including getting your heart rate up and staying on your bike for a set amount of time. Joining a structured session is often more productive than getting on your bike and freestyling, particularly towards the end of your workout when you might be inclined to get off the bike early.
Classes are given by high energy instructors who will keep up your motivation throughout the class by encouraging you to push yourself and to maintain your effort. Most classes are also synced to music that will match the tempo to the intensity of the moment. When you are trying to maintain a certain speed, it is much easier to follow the rhythm of the beat than it is to stare at your cadence data.
Is it worth buying a Fitbit/Apple watch?
If you own a home exercise bike and are working towards a fitness goal, then we would recommend buying a Fitbit or Apple watch, or indeed another brand of activity tracker, because of their ability to collect data and make comparisons across sessions. Moreover, using an activity tracker in conjunction with online classes will help to structure your workout and maximise the benefits of each session.