Exercise Cycle / Bike
If you are looking to get a simple workout in the comfort of your home or the gym, the Exercise Bike is a good option to explore. When starting an exercise program, simple works best and that’s what makes the stationary exercise bike a great choice. Because it is a low impact exercise and allows comfortable joint movement, it is suitable for beginners, active exercisers or those suffering from joint problems. The exercise bike also works for days when you cannot step out due to bad weather or lack of safe roads to ride a moving bike. Whatever your needs, the exercise bike is easy to use and offers a controlled cardiovascular workout in a secure environment.
Using the Bike: The Benefits
There are many advantages to working out on the exercise bike. The main benefit of choosing the exercise bike as a fitness option is the ability to perform a low impact cardiovascular workout. You not only protect your joints from injuries but maximize your lung capacity and stamina. Exercising on the stationary bike helps lower your blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. A good workout on the exercise bike releases endorphins which keeps your stress free from everyday worries and also helps you live longer.
People also prefer the exercise bike to the elliptical or treadmill machines. Beginners find it difficult to coordinate their joint movements on the treadmill or cross trainer machines. Movement with the bike is safer and scope for injury is less. Though you do not end up burning too many calories and only experience workout of the legs, it is ideal for people undergoing physical therapy.
The exercise bike workout may also help you build some muscle tone and burn fat. While you pedal, you can work your thighs and calves and subsequently burn fat. Slower pedaling on the exercise bike increases tension and help you work your muscles.
The dangers on the road in terms of traffic and uneven surfaces makes the exercise bike an effective choice. One is safe and secure within the confines of your home or gym. If, on the other hand, you are a cyclist and do not get to bike outdoors due to bad weather, the stationary exercise bike provides an excellent alternative for training indoors.
Another point in its favor is its accessibility. If you do not enjoy working out in the gym, you can use one at home.
Types of Exercise Bikes
Different models of exercise bikes are available depending on your fitness levels and the types of exercises you want to do. The popular exercise bikes available are the city bikes, reclined bikes and indoor bikes.
The City Bike is similar in characteristics and motion of a road bicycle. With the torso leaning forward, the exercise bike offers a high performance workout. The reclined bike is more comfortable and has an accessible seat which allows for an open workout position with the shoulders and back protected against an adjustable backrest. The indoor bike is similar to a city bike, but offers mechanical resistance and has a special flywheel that controls pedaling speed. One can customize the training intensity with the amount of power you put in the pedaling. The indoor bike is ideal for intense aerobic workouts or if prepping for competitive sporting events.
Whatever bike you choose; make sure you are comfortable using it. Try it out in the store if you plan to purchase one with your shoes on. And ride for more than a few seconds to make sure it stays comfortable. If trying out in the gym, have an instructor guide you during your workout.
Precautions for using the Exercise Bike
The safe nature of exercise bike makes it suitable for beginners. But there are still a few precautions one needs to take while using the exercise bike.
- Know your equipment and be aware of how to adjust the intensity and workout options.
- Adjust the seat properly while using an exercise bike. A comfortable seating position ensures an effective workout and protects joints from injury.
- On an indoor or classic vertical bike: climb onto the machine and hold the handlebars. Sit lightly and use your abdominal muscles to support your back. Ensure the seat height is correct and you're not sitting too far away from the handlebars. On a reclined bike confirm with both feet on the pedals, one of your legs is almost completely extended and forms an angle of 5/10 degrees.
- Monitoring your heart rate is also important during any exercise. Elevated heart rates can lead to overexertion, which can cause injury, and in worst cases heart problems. It is important to maintain your heart rate at a safe and consistent level in order to get the most out of your exercise session.
- Warming up and stretching exercises are important both pre and post workouts on the exercise bike. Start slowly and work your way to more intense workouts.
Tips for staying motivated
- It is important to have a purpose to every workout. Think fun and variety when you exercise. Focus on strength building, recovery and stamina to provide variety in your routine. Integrate an exercise bike workout with strength training and stretching exercises.
- Reach out to your friends and family who would share the same zest to work out on the exercise bike. This helps you become accountable and also promotes a routine.
- Scheduling a regular workout time is also important. Discipline yourself and try to build in an hour each day of working out on the exercise bike.
- Compared to a treadmill or cross-trainer, one will need more time to achieve the same training results with an exercise bike. For an effective workout, one can work 45 minutes to 1 hour daily to match up to calories burnt when using treadmills and elliptical machines.
- Tracking Your Progress is also a great motivator. Most exercise bikes have devices which will track the amount of calories burnt, distance covered and heart rate levels.