FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Weather conditions aren't always ideal for outdoor running or biking, but indoor cycling provides the same fitness benefits in the comfort of a gym.

Kendra Pena-Collazo, fitness programs coordinator, said indoor cycling caters to a wide range of patrons including beginners seeking to kick off a new fitness routine and more experienced patrons seeking to enhance their current training.

"Each of the stationary bikes is equipped with a resistance knob an instructor will use throughout the workout," she said. "Participants can adjust the resistance to suit their comfort and current level of fitness when the workout begins."

Indoor cycling workouts typically begin with a warm-up period, according to Pena-Collazo, where participants ease into the workout, become familiar with the bike and learn what starting resistance level works best for them.

Participants can also discreetly adjust resistance to fit their fitness needs throughout the workout.

"Instructors will give directions throughout the class to either increase or decrease the resistance by turning the knob to fit the day's workout," Pena-Collazo said. "If the instructor calls for a full turn and that doesn't fit your fitness level, then you can do a half turn or no turn at all. If you feel like you need a little more, then you can do more than one turn. The class really provides a lot of freedom for participants to determine their individual needs and goals."

Nicole, Crowley, fitness specialist and indoor cycling instructor, said indoor cycling provides numerous health benefits.

"Indoor cycling can increase cardio endurance, build muscle tone and is a low- impact exercise -- so, it is easy on the joints especially for those that have knee and hip problems," she said. "A 45-60-minute class can burn over 500 calories. Indoor cycling is an all-weather activity because you are indoors. Rain, wind, heat, hail or even snow can't interfere with this workout."

Why should patrons try indoor cycling?

"Indoor cycling can be a fun way to get that cardio and lower body workout in for the day," Crowley said. "Some instructors choose great music to go with their ride or create a whole visual experience. Every person sets the tone for their own ride. So, you learn to challenge and really push yourself. Who wouldn't want to come to a karaoke party while getting that sweat on?"

Patrons who have never attended an indoor cycling class should arrive early to properly setup their bike for the class, according to Crowley.

"You should arrive 10-15 minutes to get your bike properly set up," she said. "Make sure you have water and grab a complimentary towel and be prepared to sweat. Don't be nervous -- this is your ride."

According to Pena-Collazo, indoor cycling has become increasingly popular with units on post.

"I think it is because it allows everyone to participate as a team," she said. "No one is singled out and it provides an excellent workout no matter the weather conditions."

Units can reserve time for physical training classes by contacting the Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center. Cost is $1 per person and a minimum of 12 people is required to reserve a class.

Indoor cycling is currently offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-7 a.m. and 8:30-9:30 a.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. Strength and Cycle, which combines indoor cycling and weight training, is currently offered Fridays from 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Cost is $3.50 per class. Patrons may also purchase two weeks of unlimited classes for $15 or one month for $30.

Class availability is subject to change. Patrons are advised to check the current month's group fitness calendar for current class offerings. Schedules are available at the front desk of both physical fitness centers on post or online at https://rucker.armymwr.com/programs/fitness-centers/.

For more information, call 255-2296.