How I Use My Bicycle To Defeat The Winter Blues

by Ron Fritzke
(United States)

Bicycle for Winter Exercises

Bicycle for Winter Exercises

I don't know about you, but because I choose to live in the mountains of Northern California, I have to make a few adjustments to my exercise routine to keep my fitness level up during the winter.. and to ward off the mid-winter blues.

Even now (late March) I'm largely housebound due to over three feet of snow on the ground. But that doesn't keep me from riding my bike, and that keeps the endorphins going. And with endorphins comes a cheery disposition.

But how does a guy ride his bike when the roads are packed with ice and snow?

Turn Your Bike into a Four Season Machine

When most of us think about cycling, we think of warm summer days. But your bike can serve up some healthy workouts no matter what kind of nasty weather is raging outside.

By attaching your bike to an indoor cycling trainer, you can stay in shape year-round without having to pack up your gym clothes, and travel to and from the health club.

In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, there are also important emotional advantages to regular winter workouts.

Many people are susceptible to some semblance of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The short days and long nights take their toll on their emotional health. I find that getting in regular workouts on my bike (some of them at pretty hard intensities, since that's what really gets the juices pumping), keeps my supply of nature's strongest anti-depressant (endorphins) topped off.

Different Types of Bike Trainers

Bike trainers come in three basic types. There are wind trainers, magnetic (mag) trainers, and fluid trainers.

Wind trainers may be appropriate for casual riders, but they are largely noisy and under-powered. Because of these weaknesses, they may not work well for a cyclist who is intent on doing some high intensity workouts.

Mag trainers are a bit quieter and are able to generate enough resistance to accommodate hard workouts. In the not too distant past, this category of trainer was notorious for breaking down. But the current crop of mag trainers are a reliable group. A good example of a high quality mag trainer is the CycleOps Magneto bike trainer.

The type of trainers that most serious cyclists gravitate toward are the Fluid trainers. The current champion of this category is the Kinetic Road Machine. Because of its proprietary design, the old weakness of fluid trainers.. leakage.. has been eliminated with the Road Machine.

Fluid trainers are the least noisy of the three types, and are the most capable of providing tremendous amounts of resistance. Even pro cyclists are unable to overpower fluid trainers.

Whatever the Weather, Put Your Bike to Work

Let's face it.. no matter how much we love to ride out bike, weather doesn't always cooperate. But with the correct indoor cycling trainer attached to your bicycle, you won't be held hostage to the whims of nature.

And when the time does come to get outside, you'll be in 'screaming shape', both mentally and physically.

This article is courtesy of Ron Fritzke from

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