I spent a few day in Chicago last week at the amazing Velocity Studio
Yes it's a new and upcoming brilliant place to get in a workout live or on demand.
But it's a tad different.. It's like a live spin class you can have from your home. Some of the greatest cyclists lead you through a workout and guide you to become stronger. Mari was even a rider and has her series of workouts up there and now I just pushed out a gravel training series. I came across velocity a few months ago. I look at it as a tool to help me here on Zwift and in real life.
This is so because you have someone verbally guiding you through the workout and you don't have to have other things to enable that… just your computer and google chrome. But it's more about the people Behind Velocity that make it special.. Robbie Ventura has that vision of not taking people away from places like here… he wants to add onto that.. Create even a bigger community and help others get stronger. Whether its getting stronger for Zwift or an in real life event or race. His passion and expertise through Velocity is really something special. I am so happy to be a part of both those worlds now! It has fully enhanced reasons for why I ride!
It's great to have both the world of Zwift and the new Community of Velocity. I definitely recommend you to check it out.
Now I want to talk about a topic that remains very important to all of us to ride.
I want to discuss the power of the bicycle.. The power of pedaling a bike and what it does for your health, wellbeing, and mental wellness. Now first and foremost, I want to ask why do YOU Ride a bike..
What is your reason for getting on the bike?
It doesn't have to just be a single answer, it can be a multiple layered answer with many reasons. The bike is a powerful tool that can enhance anyone's life. I know it has not only enhanced my well being and physical health…It has enhanced my happiness, my sense and feeling of community. It has enhanced my ability to have goals and keep myself accountable for making time to train for those goals. It has helped me know the feeling of accomplishment, and also the feeling of defeat. It has helped me learn to overcome that defeat and move on. Most of all, Riding my bike has opened me to the world of the community that surrounds us. You all. Everyone here has taken the time to help sweep or just join today's special ride. I have made so many lifetime long friends that have impacted me greatly not just on the bike but in my life.
Yes I like to race and push myself, but there is more to it. I like that personal challenge and I know all of you have more than just one reason.
What are some of those reasons to you… what are those reasons to why you ride a bike… inside…outside?
Spending time with the Velocity crew last week was so special. It opened my eyes to even more that sense of community and how we all use community to create connection. The involvement of passion to help others cycle and find their reasons to WHY they ride. Robbie and the whole Velocity team created velocity to help others. The passion of their drive to help others and create that sense of community regardless of platform or where you are from was contagious. That energy we have all created here around cycling and riding our bikes is incredible. I can't simply put words to that feeling and that involvement of this community.
So now, I want to give you reasons why cycling is so beneficial to us to better give you even more reasons on why you ride to add to your list! I came across this wonderful article from a while back From the Better health Channel that opened up about the wonderful benefits of cycling and I would love to share them here!
To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. It can also bring you to a community of new friends that become lifelong friends and a place you know you can go to and thrive. Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise
Now what is low impact exactly?
Low impact exercise typically means that you don’t lift both feet off the floor at once. Low impact exercises refer to those activities or movements that do not involve a significant amount of force being exerted on joints. The word impact refers to the force exerted onto bones and joints by a particular physical activity. Our bodies do benefit from being subjected to high impact activities to an extent: much like our muscles need regular use and exercise to stay strong, so do our bones. But undertaking a lot of high impact exercise on a frequent basis can put strain on our joints, so it’s important to find the right balance. These activities temper the amount of force being applied to the body, and are therefore less jarring to joints, bones and connective tissue. However, as researchers from Detroit University concluded, low impact exercises when undertaken regularly enough can be sufficient in improving aerobic fitness.
Furthermore, according to NHS Choices, low impact exercise can be just as beneficial to heart health as high impact activities. Now I still encourage you to get some high impact and resistance training in off the bike at least once a week to keep your bones strong.
So now what are those benefits of Cycling for health and fitness?
It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health. Cycling is:
Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
A good muscle workout– cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
Easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
Good for strength and stamina– cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
As intense as you want– cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
A fun way to get fit– the adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains or buses with healthy exercise.
What are those benefits we also get from regular cycling. Training and slotting time each week to hop on the bike and get a ride or workout whether its here on Zwift or on Velocity. Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.
Now this can…
increased cardiovascular fitness
increased muscle strength and flexibility
improved joint mobility
decreased stress levels
improved posture and coordination
decreased body fat levels
prevention or management of disease
reduced anxiety and depression.
Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and can reduce the chances of experiencing many health problems. Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and can reduce the chances of experiencing many health problems
Obesity and weight control
Cycling is a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. Now a lot of cycling isn't just low endurance pace. You better help your metabolic rate, I encourage you to do some high intensity workouts. You can do some here or head over to Velocity and do a killer live workout and pop back here to cool down or knock a route badge off. Research suggests you should be burning at least 8,400 kilojoules (about 2,000 calories) a week through exercise. Cycling burns about 1,200 kilojoules (about 300 calories) per hour. The more you increase that, the more you are able to burn, but also train your body through low, mid and high intensity to become metabolically healthy.
Cardiovascular disease and cycling
Cardiovascular diseases include stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels.
Research also shows that people who cycle to work have two to three times less exposure to pollution than car commuters, so their lung function is improved. A Danish study conducted over 14 years with 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years found that regular cycling protected people from heart disease.
Cancer and cycling
Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Research has shown that if you cycle, the chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Diabetes and cycling
The rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing and is a serious public health concern.
Lack of physical activity is thought to be a major reason why people develop this condition
Large-scale research in Finland found that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes.
Bone injuries, arthritis and cycling
Cycling improves strength, balance and coordination. It may also help to prevent falls and fractures. Riding a bike is an ideal form of exercise if you have osteoarthritis, because it is a low-impact exercise that places little stress on joints. Now this is one of my favorite benefits cycling has for us…
Mental illness and cycling
Mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety can be reduced by regular bike riding. This is due to the effects of the exercise itself and because of the enjoyment that riding a bike can bring. But it also keeps blood flowing to the brain. You build mental strength, connectivity, reliance and health to keep your cells and neurons firing properly. It's incredible what cycling and riding that bike of yours can do. So now do you have more reasons to add to your list?
If so, tell me.. WHY is it you ride?
Now let's remember some good points here…
Cycling can help to protect you from serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.
Riding a bike is healthy, fun and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages.
Cycling is easy to fit into your daily routine by riding to the shops, park, school or work.
I want to conclude on the community and the growth of the community that cycling creates. We have that growth aspect. Velocity and the people behind velocity want to link together.. Help you and help us grow as cyclists. Bring more on board…
It's such a great opportunity to have the ability to ride.
I wish you all a happy start to the week and please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about training, physcology, and nutrition.
Be Kind, Do Fearless