Exercise Bikes Which Way To Cycle?

By: Robert Thomson


Exercise keeps the body and mind strong and healthy. For those who suffer from joint aches and pains, exercise bikes might be a good option. They are also a great tool for people looking for a high intensity, cardio workout with a low-impact on the lower extremities. Workouts can be scheduled in any type of weather, and traffic is never a concern when you’re riding indoors. Here are some things to consider.

First, find an exercise program that works for you. Purchasing equipment without some sort of research or experience with the product will lead to a dusty piece of equipment taking up space in your home. Exercise bikes are a convenient tool for beginners or advanced athletes. The key is matching the equipment and program to the user.

Decide on the right bike for your needs. Upright exercise bikes are similar to road bikes. They are for those who want the freedom to stand on the pedals for a more strenuous workout, or have more movement. The seat can be uncomfortable, but padded seat covers or bike shorts can help remedy this problem. Recumbent bikes have a larger seat and a backrest, and the rider’s legs are out in front. People who prefer a longer, slower workout would probably prefer this type of bike.

Next, think about your goals. Exercise bikes are versatile in that they provide cardio training for weight loss and strength building in the lower body. For those lacking the time to go to the gym, a bike can offer a way to exercise at home and in less time. Upright bikes are perfect for high-intensity interval training, and not only build muscle in the legs, but also in the lower back and triceps. A study out of Canada's McMaster University showed that high-intensity training can be as safe as traditional, long and steady cardio routines. The study found that 10, one minute sprints on exercise bikes, three times a week, worked as well at building muscles as hours of steady, less demanding rides.

For those who are interested in steady, longer workouts in front of the television or with a good book, either upright or recumbent bikes are perfect. People with knee and back problems, or those who need low-impact exercise for rehabilitation purposes especially benefit from them. Many think of a recumbent bike as easier than an upright, but legs still get a strong, muscle-building workout. Since you are seated against a backrest, the legs must work harder to pedal since there is no body weight helping you along.

Research exercise routines for exercise bikes to determine the best fit for your needs. The best way to stick with an exercise program is to mix up routines and keep things interesting. Choose strength training one day and high-intensity, speed training another. Exercise bikes are a great option for those looking to lose weight, build muscle and keep joints healthy. Make sure you try out all types of exercise bikes to find out what is most comfortable and fitting for you.

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