Long before the many monstrous exercise machines of today, the stationary bike was a very popular piece of workout equipment. It was so popular that chances are you have one stashed away in your attic or basement. If you’re thinking of getting back into shape, then now is the perfect time to bring out this classic piece equipment out of storage. The secret to a good exercise routine is ease and simplicity and in this category, nothing beats the stationary bike, most especially if you’re a novice exerciser.
Benefits of a Stationary Bike
- Assistant fitness director Kim Escola, MS, of Little Rock Athletic club says “A stationary bike is very easy on the joints.” Compared with a treadmill or an elliptical machine, a stationary bike offers a non-impact workout which makes it easier on the back, knees, and other joints in the body. Novice exercisers, people who are a little out of shape, and those who have back and knee problems benefits greatly in using the stationary bike as it allows them to work out at a comfortable speed with almost no risk of straining their muscle.
- On the other hand, much like the treadmill and the elliptical machine, the stationary bike is the fair weather exerciser’s best friend. Because it is designed to be used indoors, even too much heat, cold, and rain is far likely to inhibit your workout. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD of Web MB Weight Loss Clinic remarks, “I can do it watching television… I can do it at night, when it’s dark, when it’s raining or cold. It’s a great way to burn calories and fat stores, and it’s a good oxygen boost.”
- Riding the bike in not unlike other cardiovascular workouts. Spinning gets your heart rate up, making it an effective weight loss exercise. Spinning allows for a comprehensive workout of both the heart and lungs. Regular biking tends to reduce blood pressure, and prevent related complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke.
- Usually, an exercise bike consist of resistance which you can readily be adjusted to suit your comfort level, therefore you need not worry about overdoing your workout. Like all aerobic workouts, cycling builds stamina as it improves lung function and blood oxygen efficiency.
What to Consider Before Buying a Bike
If you don’t happen to have an old stationary bike at your disposal, or if you are keen on buying a new one, you might want to explore your options –
Classic Vertical Bike
Also known as the city bike, the classic vertical bike is the closest thing to a traditional road bicycle. The position you assume during workout using this machine is the same as when you are riding a road bike, with the torso mostly leaning forward.
The reclined bike affords you a more comfortable and accessible seat. During workout, your body is supported by a backrest which you can be adjusted to suit your body. When using the reclined bike, you assume a more open workout position with both the shoulders and back in a more rested position.
The indoor bike closely resembles the classic vertical bike. Unlike the classic bike, however, it consists of mechanical resistance that allows you to adjust your workout intensity. It also comes with a special flywheel that allows you to control your pedaling speed more accordingly. The indoor bike is usually the go to choice of those who require a more intense aerobic workout, especially those who are training for a competitive sporting event.