With so many places across the world experiencing record-high temperatures, it’s increasingly important to find safe ways to beat the heat while exercising. One great option is using an exercise bike in a home gym. Whether you’re a big cycling fan or just want a fun workout under your air conditioner, an indoor bike can deliver.
Want to see for yourself? Follow along as we take a closer look at indoor cycling with an exercise bike (and a little help from iFIT®)!
Should You Exercise In The Heat?
Outdoor exercise can add excitement and entertainment to your fitness routine. However, when the weather’s too hot, it might not be the most comfortable option—or even the safest (2).
That’s because outdoor exercise can sometimes lead to heat illness depending on elements like (2):
- Your overall fitness
- Certain health risk factors
- The type and intensity of your workout
- The temperature
Heat illness can take many different forms. Here are just a few of the things you need to watch out for when you exercise in hot weather:
Heat cramps are involuntary, often-painful muscle spasms (3). They can occur when you do high-intensity exercise in the heat and can be exacerbated by fluid and electrolyte loss. Although you can have heat cramps in any muscle group used during your workout, the most commonly affected areas include (3):
- Abdominal wall
Dehydration occurs when you lose too much water—for example, when you’re sweating a lot during outdoor exercise. Losing just 1.5% of your body’s water can lead to unpleasant symptoms, including (4):
- Low blood pressure
- High heart rate
- Dark-colored urine
Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, and treatment may require a hospital visit.
- Nausea or vomiting
- Clammy skin
Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat illness, and it can be life-threatening (5). This condition occurs when your body isn’t able to cool itself anymore, often because you’ve stopped sweating, and your temperature rises above 104°F (5, 6). Symptoms can include confusion, seizures, and coma (6).
iFIT Bike Workouts: A Cooler Way To Exercise
With so many types of heat illness to look out for, you might be wondering how you can get your exercise indoors. Luckily, that’s where an exercise bike comes in.
Like a treadmill, elliptical, and other workout equipment, an exercise bike makes a great addition to your home gym. That’s especially true when you choose a machine with iFIT compatibility. With an iFIT membership, you’ll have access to a variety of fitness classes, interactive workouts filmed in exotic locations all over the world, and a community of people just like you working out from their home gyms.
An amazing feature that iFIT offers on capatibile machines is the iFIT trainer’s ability to virtually adjust your speed and resistance on your bike during a workout—that way, you can focus on the exercise itself without increasing or decreasing your bike’s intensity and incline.
Benefits Of Indoor Cycling With An iFIT Bike Workout
Indoor cycling is more than just an opportunity to stay under the air conditioner while you exercise. The benefits of a home exercise bike also include:
- Improved Cardio Fitness: An indoor bike workout is aerobic exercise, which can improve the flow of blood and oxygen in your body (10).
- Increased Muscle Strength: Cycling may improve the strength of your legs and other lower body muscles, especially if you use higher resistance settings (10).
- Low-Impact Exercise: Unlike some other workouts, like running on the treadmill, indoor cycling uses smooth movements that don’t put too much pressure on your joints (10).
- Boosted Workout Performance: Workouts on your indoor bike may improve your performance during other forms of exercise. For example, cycling may help you run faster.
- Reduced Anxiety And Depression: Regular exercise, like cycling, can help protect your mental health (12).
- Reduced Disease Risk: Every time you use your indoor bike, you’re one step closer to reducing your risk of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (12).
Best iFIT Bike Compatibility For Indoor Exercise
When it comes to the best stationary bike for your home gym, we recommend the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle. This indoor bike has plenty of impressive features, like:
- Included 30-day iFIT Family membership with bike purchase
- Google Maps™ workout technology included with iFIT functionality (paid iFIT membership required)
- Rotating 22” HD touchscreen
- 24 digital resistance levels
- -10% decline to 20% incline
- Two 2” digitally amplified speakers
On top of all this, the Commercial S22i comes with a pair of three-pound dumbbells to help you add upper-body exercise to your cycling routine. Learn more from our NordicTrack S22i bike review.
iFIT membership start at $15/mo. + tax, and auto-renew unless canceled in advance. Cancel at any time. Credit Card required for activation. Internet and Wi-Fi™ required.
iFIT Bike Workouts For Your Home Gym
Now that you understand why you should add an exercise bike to your home gym and which model we recommend, it’s time for the big question: How will you actually use this new workout equipment?
It all comes down to iFIT. With iFIT technology, you can choose any workout that fits your workout style and fitness goals. Participate in iFIT classes to help you improve your form, endurance, or strength. There’s so many workout options available, to do on and off your bike, that you’ll be able to choose a new bike program each week.
As we mentioned above about interactive workouts filmed in exotic locations, you can find cycling workouts that introduce you to some of the most incredible places on Earth, all the way from Hawaii to Costa Rica. The best part is that, with an expanding library of workout options, there’s always something new to discover on iFIT.
Here are just a few of our favorite iFIT workouts for your NordicTrack Commercial iFIT bike:
With iFIT trainer Ryan Petry by your side, you’ll experience 18 cycling workouts that take you through some of Turkey’s most breathtaking locations. As you build cardiorespiratory strength and stamina, you’ll combine different fitness approaches, including:
- Interval training
- Endurance cycling
- Recovery rides
Along the way, you’ll explore ancient churches, caves, castles, and other scenic views—all without having to leave your air-conditioned home gym.
This series is perfect for anyone who’s new to cycling. Following up on his French Polynesia and Costa Rica Beginner Cycle Series, iFIT trainer John Peel hosts a 15-part series that encourages you to increase resistance levels and pedal a little longer. While you improve your fitness, you’ll take in some of Hawaii’s most incredible sights, from historical locations to new trails.
If you’re looking for a program that will help you get off the couch and get moving, this is the option for you. iFIT trainer, Yuri Hauswald, invites you on an adventure to Arizona, where you’ll work on improving aerobic fitness through:
- Interval training
- Proper nutrition
- Healthy hydration
This 12-part series acts as a progressive training plan, giving you the support and motivation you need to improve your fitness. And don’t forget about the views: Giant Saguaro cacti and famous mining towns are waiting right around the corner!
Led by iFIT trainer and professional athlete, Chris Davenport, this 12-part cycling program is designed to help you improve strength and endurance. It’s a great opportunity to brush up on nutrition tips and cycling form, all while experiencing beautiful lakes and fun trails.
If you’re hoping to beat the heat and improve your fitness at the same time, an indoor exercise bike might be your new best friend. Because of its impressive benefits and multiple speed and resistance levels, we couldn’t recommend the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle enough. With plenty of features to discover—not to mention all the classes and workouts available on iFIT—you may never want to leave your home gym for the local gym again!
iFIT memberships start at $15/mo. + tax, and auto-renew unless canceled in advance. Cancel at any time. Credit Card required for activation. Internet and Wi-Fi™ required.
This article is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Exercisebike.com assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.