The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many industries and businesses, including the fitness industry. Overall, people’s attitudes towards exercise and the way they exercise have changed. People have now started taking a more holistic approach to health and fitness. On the other hand, gym owners and personal trainers have had to adapt so that they can stay connected to their clients. Many of them have moved to online platforms to offer virtual classes where they alter their workout sessions to address mental and physical health. 

Now that storefronts and gyms are opening up again, there has been a spike in gym memberships exceeding previous years. Part of this is due to the explosion of online classes and thetrend towards maintaining mental and physical health. Experts have predicted that the online shift will permanently change how the $30 billion+ industry works. While 75% of consumers plan to return to their pre-pandemic routine of going to an actual gym, many will retain a somewhat virtual component to their exercise routines. 

At the peak of gym closures last March, class bookings everywhere fell as much as 85%. For example, in 2020, bookings dropped by 15% in states like Arizona and Georgia. New York and California suffered a worse fate, with bookings dropping by approximately 50%.Moreover, the recent return to in-person studio classes in the U.S hasn’t been the same everywhere. This is due to varying state and local restrictions. While 2021 may be looking up for the industry, there is still a long way to go. 

Regardless of whether you are planning to go to the gym or continue with virtual workouts, youneed exercises that will help you stay active and balance your mental and physical health. One form of exercise that seems to do just that is cycling, whether indoors or outdoors. 

From Peloton’s new Bike+ to SoulCycle’s launch of an at-home bike, the interest in cycling has seen a massive spike since the start of the pandemic. Although it seems like a simple solution,cycling is one of the best types of cardio you can do. It also has the least risk of injuries since it is non-weight-bearing. 

If you want to get into cycling, let’s look at what to expect when you first hop onto the bike. 

Whether you’re at home or in a group exercise class, the first time youget on a bike can be intimidating. However, once you’ve conquered your nerves and hopped on,it is perfectly normal to want to ride as often as you can, as long as possible, and as intensely as possible. After all, exercise of any kind releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins – this alleviates stress or pain that you might’ve experienced prior to the exercise.

With cycling, you can automatically start burning calories and your body responds to this by replacing fat with muscles. On average, a 30-minute cycling season can help burn anywhere between 200-450 calories if not more, depending on your weight and speed. Cycling also helps reduce your risk factors for health disease and type II diabetes. Having a consistent cycling routine is a great way to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. It can improve your glucose tolerance by making you less insulin resistant, which reduces your odds of developing type II diabetes. Moreover, your posture will improve because of the position you have to assume for the exercise.

After a month of consistent cycling, your body will most likely have adapted enough to the bike that you can start progressively increasing the intensity. What’s more, your stamina and endurance will also have improved by this point, which means that you can increase the frequency and duration of your cycling sessions. Since cycling offers the benefit of endurance training, it engages your slow-twitch muscles, also known as fatigue-resistant fibers.

This form of exercise also concentrates on sustained smaller movements. This means that you will not have significantly increased muscle mass, but you will develop lean and toned muscles. You will also be ready to start cross-training, which means you will be better protected against injury. While cross-training may not directly impact your cycling performance, it can help build resilience to injury. You might also notice a plateau in your progress from resilience, but this also means that your body is getting more efficient. This means that you can produce more power for fewer heartbeats per minute. 

After several months of consistent cycling, many people will start feeling like a pro. Of course, it is essential to keep going, but you should not forget to check in with themselves both physically and mentally. You need to stay in tune with any physiological changes that you notice, and you should never hesitate to talk to your doctor if there is anything that does not feel right. 

Long-term benefits of cycling can include increasing gains due to a more extensive training load, increased maximum oxygen uptake, and lasting mental health perks. You’ll also find you can handle working out frequently and for longer periods of time. Beyond that, you’ll be able to recover from an intense workout faster. Cycling also helps the body get better at supplying muscles with more oxygen and nutrients. This means more blood flow to muscles and more significant gains for the body. Finally, research has shown that exercise of any kind, when done regularly, can help alleviate long-term depression. This is especially significant during the pandemic, when prioritizing mental health with healthy habits like exercise is more important than ever. 

In an effort to combine physical exercise with some friendly competition, Swerve Fitness has launched a groundbreaking fitness experience built on the power of team sports. In 2013,  Swerve Fitness opened the world’s first-ever team indoor cycling studio. The Swerve Fitness team has watched riders from all over New York City show up, push themselves, and improve over the years. They’ve also seen them set personal bests, turn defeats into motivation for the subsequent victory, and take on challenges outside of their regular workout routine.

Swerve Fitness has now partnered with New York-based gym Crunch Fitnessto stream motivating workouts to Crunch Fitness group classes, beginning in select New York City locations.

Swerve Fitness is offering a virtual group cycling experience that is both immersive and interactive. Swerve’s NYC Innovation Lab streams workouts into cycling studios within gyms and each studio has its team that competes against other studios around the world. They combine beat and power-based challenges to move the body and give the mind something to focus on. Add some friendly competition, and you will have a good time that is also good for your health.

For more information on Swerve Fitness, you can connect with the team on Facebook.