Seven Ways to Maintain Your Bike Fitness This Winter
By: Riley Lantz
When snow-packed roads and single-digit temperatures keep you off your bike, maintaining fitness requires some creativity. We’ve compiled our favorite ways to raise your heart rate and get your legs moving during the chilliest parts of the year.
1. Ride inside
When the weather outside is frightful, an indoor cycling class will feel delightful! Enjoy the thrill of spinning on two wheels at your local gym or cycling studio – a hassle-free way to ride a bike without checking your weather app. Stationary bikes are a quick route to a heavy sweat and a challenging cardio workout.
2. Give in to the resistance
Build your bike-riding muscles by incorporating strength training into your wintertime fitness routine. Weight lifting and other resistance training can help you build strength and endurance while promoting injury prevention once you’re back on your bike. (If you’re new to strength training, we recommend working with a trainer to get started — learning proper form is key to injury prevention.)
3. Tackle the trails
Some bike riders cringe at the idea of lacing up their sneakers and running on pavement — if that’s you, skip the road and hit the trails. Trail running enables you to explore terrain you wouldn’t be able to enjoy on a bike. (Pro tip: A set of traction cleats will help you grip the trail surface if you plan on running in the snow.)
4. Invest in a bike trainer
If you have a little extra cash, investing in an indoor bike trainer is a great way to bring your bike ride to the comfort of your home. Turn on your favorite movie or blast your favorite playlist and crank out miles while the snow falls outside.
5. Pick up a pair of skis
Cross-country (also known as Nordic) skiing may not seem as intense as downhill, but it’s a challenging endurance activity. Cross-country skiing also happens to use many of the same muscles as bike riding. Fire up your leg muscles and challenge your cardiovascular fitness as you glide over snow-packed trails.
6. Find a bigger set of tires
Yes – you can ride a bike in the snow! Fat bikes (named for their tires) are designed for riding in snowy conditions. Grab your warmest gear and set out on a winter wonderland spin. If you don’t want to purchase an entirely new bike, plenty of shops offer fat bikes as rentals.
7. Let it flow
Improve your flexibility and sharpen your focus with a yoga class. A flow-style class offers a cardio and strength challenge while restorative classes will guide you to deep relaxation. If you’re longing for summer heat, try hot yoga for an added dose of intensity (and sweat!).