cycling fitness, winter cycling

Winter miles for summer smiles – that’s what the pros say…

Not only is it blowing a gale out there today, the windchill makes it feel really cold and sometimes, cycling in winter in the UK, is less than appealing. Have no fear, exercising indoors during the winter months can still offer some good options to ensure you don’t lose your cycling fitness over the winter period, guaranteeing summer smiles.

Liven up your turbo trainer sessions

Maybe you’re not like me and you actually quite enjoy your turbo trainer sessions. Anyone? (*cue the sound of tumble weed!*) To be fair, there are ways to liven up your time pedalling nowhere. Products and services like Sufferfest, Zwift and TrainerRoad provide a virtual and more interactive element to turbo sessions and might be just what you’re looking for to help entice you to cycle whilst not actually venturing away from the warmth and comfort of home.

Swap the outdoors for indoors

If sweating in the local gym surrounded by people dressed in fancy lycra posing in the mirror with their dumbbells and kettlebells is not your idea of fun, how about a home gym? If you’ve a spare room, or an empty garage, converting the space means you can exercise to complement your cycling all year round, never mind just when the winter bites. And if you work from home like I do, a home gym feels like a solve-all solution!

Take to the climbing wall

I’ve only recently discovered bouldering and can vouch for how great it is at working all different parts of your body. Indoor climbing has numerous health benefits and uses lots of different core muscles groups which will benefit your overall cycling fitness. Your abdominal muscles, legs, shoulders and your arms all get a really good workout as well as improving your flexibility…something us cyclists often need to work on! Plus, you’ll be surprised at just how much of a workout your brain gets too.

Fitness DVDs

Ok, ok, don’t shoot me down on this one, I know exercising in front of the TV can be on par with getting on the turbo trainer in terms of the motivation and inspiration it provides, but there are some really good fitness DVDs out there at the moment. Five Week Fit from Davina McCall looks awesome. If my core can look like Davina’s in five weeks I will happily switch off my favourite soaps and exercise in the living room. Or you can turn to YouTube for a multitude of cycling fitness videos. There’s even yoga aimed solely at cyclists on there.

What alternatives to your bike do you turn to in winter to maintain your cycling fitness?

* This post is in collaboration with Homify *

photo credit: KD VI Maryland Blue Crab 2 via photopin (license)

3 Comments on Winter miles for summer smiles: cycling fitness over the winter months

  1. Even though I find it quite boring, swimming is quite a good thing to do. Low impact and does the whole body pretty much.

  2. Being a disabled tricycle user this is more of a problem for me, it’s no fun cycling in the cold on a tricycle and it’s harder for me to take up other exercises.

    So I swim daily at the local gym and I barely lose any fitness!

    • Swimming is great for keeping up fitness. It always surprises me how much difference it makes cardiovascularly. I try to make sure it’s in my fitness routine if I can’t get out cycling too.

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