How Does an Exercise Bike Help You Get in Shape?
A stationary exercise bike provides a low impact exercise that you can adjust to your level of skill. Using an exercise bike for at least 30 minutes a day several times a week can help build cardiovascular fitness, leg strength and lose weight. An exercise that can grow with you will help you be consistent in your fitness routine.
Exercise Bikes and the Heart
A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart disease. Aerobic activity increases your heart rate and increases the fitness of your heart and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also consumes a large amount of calories and increases you basal metabolic rate helping control weight. Riding an exercise bike for 30 minutes a day can help improve your overall health and protect you from diseases.
Exercise Bikes and Spine Health
Unlike running, an exercise bike will not excessively strain your joints and muscles according to J. Talbot Sellers, D.O., of Spine Health. This can be beneficial to avoiding injury and maintaining an exercise routine especially if you are overweight or out of shape. An exercise bike can strengthen the supporting muscles and reduce the symptoms of arthritis and other joint problems.
Exercise Bike Workouts
Without coaching or experience it can be difficult to decide on an exercise program yourself. Start your exercise bike workout with a warm up and end with a cool down. Your exercise should continue for 20 to 60 minutes depending on your fitness level. Once your fitness level has improved, incorporate interval training into your workout by alternating between 10 to 30 seconds of high-intensity pedaling with 45 to 90 seconds of low-intensity recovery.
Types of Exercise Bikes
There are two types of exercise bikes: an upright bike similar to a bicycle and a recumbent bike where you sit behind rather than above the pedals. An upright bike helps build posture and develop the muscles in the torso but may be more awkward and unstable for some individuals. Upright bikes also place strain on the hands and wrist. Recumbent bikes engages the glutes more than an upright bike. Recumbent bikes may reduce fatigue and allow you to be physically active for a longer period. Look for the different features that are important to you. In other words, do you want a back rest or do you want the option to do inclines?
- Spine Health: Exercise Bikes for a Low Stress Work Out; J. Talbot Sellers DO; April 27, 2005
- FitnessVenues.com: Exercise Bike Workouts
- Bicycle Man: Recumbent Exercise & Fitness Bike Benefits vs. Upright Bikes
- Ho SS, Dhaliwal SS, Hills AP, Pal S. The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:704. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-704
Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.