If even the thought of starting a new fitness regime sends you into a flat spin, don’t despair.
Exercise doesn’t have to be about pounding a lonely treadmill till the sweat is pouring from your brow or leaping around aerobically in an unflattering leotard to the sound of excruciatingly energetic dance music. An increasingly popular alternative these days is to get yourself a set of wheels… Two wheels, that is.
Cycling your way to fitness has a lot going for it. For a start, thanks to the new spinning technology available for home use, as well as in gyms and spa fitness centres, it’s an activity that you can pursue almost anywhere, any time – whether as part of a daily routine or during a restorative spa holiday.
Another great thing about cycling is that nowadays it isn’t as weather-dependent as it used to be.
If it’s gloriously sunny, you can happily take to the highways or country lanes on a conventional bicycle. But if rain, hail or snow makes that prospect less appealing, you can always head off to the local gym.
And if you’re planning a weekend break and want to cover for all climatic contingencies, then you could always treat yourself to one of the many UK spa breaks on offer. That way you’ll be able to exercise indoors or out, depending on what the heavens throw at you.
Health spa breaks are a great way to boost your resolve to make positive lifestyle changes. Once you’re in the inspiring environs of your chosen spa, you won’t have any excuses for “postponing” your exercise activities just because there’s a force 10 gale blowing or 10 cms of snow on the cycle track.
Leading UK spas boast an impressive array of super-smart exercise technology that can tell you just about everything – from how fast your heart is beating to how many calories you’re burning to the colour of socks you’re wearing (okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the picture!).
Many of these stationary “bikes” or spinning machines are equipped with hi-tech video and sound equipment, allowing you to choose between toiling up the Rockies and freewheeling down the Alps. And all the while you can listen to your favourite energising soundtracks.
So, provided your health profile permits, you can hop aboard and start spinning to launch your health and fitness campaign in good style.
And if you harbour a few nagging doubts about whether it’s worth all the exertion, just remember that competitive cyclists are said to be the fittest people in the world – which is probably precisely why they can get away with wearing all that “nowhere to hide” lycra…
In addition to the obvious benefit of burning off loads of calories (and what did the Easter bunny bring you this Easter?), cycling helps improve muscular fitness and blood circulation.
Being mainly an aerobic activity, it’s extremely beneficial to the heart and lungs. In fact, according to the British Hearth Foundation, by cycling 20 miles or more per week you can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease to less than half that of non-cyclists.
With an incentive like that, most folk wouldn’t need a second bidding to get on their bike.
However, if you’re planning a romantic weekend away and your partner doesn’t share your passion for exercise, the joy of spa holidays is that you can exercise away to your heart’s content while your other half enjoys a few days of pampering.