How can you change the way you get fit? Whether you want to lose weight or maintain your good health, an exercise bike can help you achieve your goals. And you don’t need to visit a gym to use one.
How Exercise Bikes Fit into Fitness
Are exercise bikes adequate for a whole workout, or should I supplement with other activities?
Exercise bikes provide a complete aerobic workout. Great for cardiovascular training, exercise cycles allow for low-impact, safe and effective cardio for general fitness and weight loss, according to Marc Hukle of LiveStrong.
You will notice muscle development in your legs, with regular use of an exercise bike. If you want to build more muscle, consider supplementing your bike session with weightlifting and abdominal work. Medicine balls and bodyweight exercises are simple and affordable ways to tone arms and abs.
Choosing the Right Bike
What model is right for beginners?
Exercise bikes come in different styles, with a variety of features. Consider the primary attributes of each type when selelcting which model fits your needs:
- Upright bikes allow users to stand up during the ride as cyclists do during competitive cycling events.
- Recumbent bikes have a seat that’s much lower to the ground, offering low-impact exercise. This style is an option for all users but most appropriate for those with injuries or joint problems.
- Indoor bikes most closely resemble outdoor bikes. The user sits upright and can lean forward to use the handlebars.
Using an Exercise Bike
What is the best way to exercise on a stationary bike? Do I just hop on and ride?
The exercise bike is incredibly versatile. You can use the bike in many ways for a great workout, as mentioned by Kevin Rail of LiveStrong. If you need help getting started, consider integrating the following in your workout:
- After a simple warm up, aim for a 60- to 90-minute session to build endurance.
- Great for boosting weight loss and aerobic capacity, interval training uses short bursts of energy at a high level with rest periods interspersed. Aim for 80 percent of your maximum effort for 20 seconds, and then assume a moderate pace for 40 seconds. Repeat this pattern for the rest of your workout and finish with a cool-down period.
- Tabata training is interval training to an extreme. Go as fast as you possibly can for 20 seconds, and then rest completely for 10 seconds. Repeating this cycle eight times gives you a four-minute workout . Some research has demonstrated superior results in this short workout.
You can even use your exercise bike as part of circuit training, when combined with other devices and types of exercise.
Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, regularly implements interval training. Her workouts have rubbed off on her husband. Later this year, they will put their training to the test when they run a marathan in Portland! Read her work at eatbreatheblog.com.