In need of a new way to get back on the saddle? Virtual bike rides are a new way of getting your feet back on the pedals. For whatever reason you can’t get yourself out on a proper bike, cycling down the streets and paths of your city, virtual bike rides have got you covered.
But what is a virtual bike ride? In this article we cover what a virtual bike ride actually is and how it can help get you back into cycling. With group sessions and an entire virtual reality to dive into, the progress you can make is endless! Find out more below.
What Is A Virtual Bike Ride?
You take virtual bike rides while seated on a stationary bike or bicycle that is connected to a trainer in front of your home TV. With the help of an app you can enter a new world of cycling adventures without ever having to leave the comfort and warmth of your own home.
You can purchase tech that you strap to your head and enjoy a fully immersive experience. Although, downloading an app makes things a lot simpler and avoids VR sickness.
Virtual bike rides are a great way to start your fitness journey through low impact cycling. You will feel and experience all of the challenges of cycling and really get the benefits of a good workout.
There are a plethora of apps available with group activities that make it more social, personal trainers and even games to keep your workouts exciting and motivating!
Benefits Of Virtual Bike Rides
If you love cycling but are tired of crowded streets, the changing weather or can’t seem to find the time. Virtual cycling is perfect. Offering all of the benefits of cycling with none of the downfalls.
You can ride through parks, mountains, deserts or even the moon! All depending on what app you decide to download. All from the dry, cozy comfort of your own home!
- Exciting. You no longer have to sit on an uncomfortable saddle, staring at the blank walls of the gym. In addition to making riding more enjoyable, having something to look at while riding can enhance performance by boosting awareness, focus, and effort.
- Motivation. Majority of virtual cycling apps include games. This involves steering the handle bars and pedaling in order to complete the levels. This will motivate riders to stay focused and helps make cycling more enjoyable even though you aren’t physically moving.
- Social Facilitation. Virtual bike rides can add a competitive element to riding. You can join in on group rides, compete in races and play against your friends in an endless amount of games. Through a mechanism known as “social facilitation,” this may actually result in increased muscle fiber recruitment. If you’ve got a competitive streak, this will only improve your workouts and give you that burn you are working for.
- Cost. If you prefer completing your cycling in the walls of a gym, there are in person virtual cycling classes you can attend. This will keep the cost of buying a virtual reality bike while giving a sense of community in each class.
- Lowers Blood Pressure. Indoor cycling is a low impact exercise that will get our heart rate up and increase blood flow throughout your muscles.
- Protects Joints. When you cycle, your leg muscles will get stronger, which supports the knee joint. Stick to the seated and limited standing core activities if you are experiencing knee pain. Also adjustable is the seat height. If recovery from a back or knee injury, wait until fully healed and have approval from your doctor before beginning virtual cycling.
What Do You Need?
Now, in order to get started there are a few things you are going to need. We’ve got a list of the items you will need to get involved in virtual bike riding.
- A virtual bike. The most essential component for a complete virtual cycling experience is a stationary bike or a bicycle that can be held in place with a trainer. Whether you want a specific piece of exercise gear or want to keep using your regular bike determines which option you go with. There are
- Computer or TV. You will need a decent working computer, laptop or TV which you can connect to your app. Some bikes now come with a small screen with the app already set up. But they can come at a rather extravagant price. You can even use your smartphone if you have a small shelf to balance it on while you ride.
- App. The app you use may be the app in conjunction with the bike you select or if you are using a simple stationary bike then you will have a whole range of apps to choose from.
- Internet Connection. To ensure your virtual reality doesn’t come to a sudden halt during your ride, a strong internet connection is needed. This is also how you will be tracking your performance on the app. If your connection goes down, you may lose your progress.
Tips To Get Started
1. Find A Training Space
Whether you decide to clear out your living room or find a small space in your bedroom, you can place your virtual bike anywhere you can find. However, you may want to ensure there is a functioning window nearby for some fresh air.
You also want to consider the noise. Virtual bikes can be rather noisy when in action and you don’t want to irritate or disturb your neighbors with the noise.
2. Find A Workout
While it may seem simple, finding a workout that not only challenges you but that you also enjoy can be difficult. You want to make sure that you’re getting a workout and elevating your heart rate but you can still hold a small conversation. This is the prime spot for a good workout.
3. Purchase Accessories
This step is not a necessity to get started but once you become comfortable with virtual riding, you may want to invest in some accessories. This may include indoor cycling shoes, workout clothes and even a fan to keep you cool.
Virtual bike rides could just be the future of fitness and technology. As more and more advancements are made, virtual cycling becomes more enticing.
You can immerse yourself in a completely new world without ever leaving your home or the gym. However, headsets and the latest virtual reality bikes can be rather expensive.
But don’t worry. If you can get your hands on a simple, stationary bike, download a virtual bike riding app on your phone or laptop and cycle to new exciting places!
The possibilities are endless with virtual bike rides whether you want to ride through challenging terrains or take a ride through gorgeous countryside, you can get a good workout in.
It can be difficult to enter a new activity, virtual cycling makes it simple. Simply open your app, hop on your bike and you are off! Watch as your fitness progress reaches new heights and you fall in love with cycling all over again.