Do you want to make your lower body super-strong? Have you ever felt the need to have a ‘magic’ equipment that can take care of your fitness needs even when you feel lazy to hit the gym? Then here you go, you have the all-time favorite exercise machine – the exercise bike!
Every gym has an exercise bike. So, most probably you know what it looks like. An exercise bike is a stationary cycle, which has a saddle, peddles, handlebars, a monitor to record work done and heart rate, and other varying options for resistance and cycling speed.
And to top it all, it has some amazing benefits! If you want to know what those benefits are and need help in buying one, this post is the one for you!
Let’s have a look at the amazing Exercise Cycle benefits:
1. Great Cardio Option:
You can’t simply run on every cardio day you have; you need variety. It is a known fact that going through the same motion repeatedly makes our body immune to that activity. So, if you are running every day for your fill of cardio, then probably you are not burning as many calories as you would be doing if you keep shocking and surprising your body. Cycling is a great cardio option that you can incorporate in your workout schedule. It gives you all the cardiovascular benefits you get from any other cardio exercise. It is a good way to train and strengthen your heart and respiratory system without overloading it with excessive activity.
[ Read: Benefits Of Elliptical Trainer Workout ]
2. Strength Training:
Cycling targets most of the muscles in your lower body. There are options for increasing and decreasing your resistance. This provides effective strength training for your lower body. When the cycling motion is repeated for a period of time, it burns fat as well as exerts your muscles. The constant contraction and expansion of muscles provides isotonic exercise. It strengthens and builds your lower body muscles as well as trains a strong core.
3. Weight Loss:
This should have topped the list of cycle exercise benefits, what do you say? We are trying to lose weight these days. And your exercise cycle can be the thing for you! Since it is a good cardio exercise and it is also an effective strength training option, cycling burns a large number of calories. According to womenshealthmag.com, a 135-pound woman can burn up to 500 calories from an hour of cycling. Cycling provides a double punch to your weight loss goals as it not only burns fat but also strengthens and builds muscles. Regular cycling for even 20 minutes helps in maintaining weight on days when you don’t have much time for a workout.
4. Low-Risk Exercise:
The amazing benefit of cycle exercise is that it is a low-risk and low-impact exercise. With a full-on cardio like running, skipping, etc., there is a risk of knee injuries as they shock and jerk the knee and ankle joints constantly. But with cycling, the impact on knees and other joints is very low. In fact, studies show that instead of harming your joints, cycling actually strengthens them.
5. Improved Joint Mobility:
Cycling helps in improving the range of motion of your joints. Knees, ankles and hip joints are affected by cycling. When you paddle, all these joints rotate, which is good for their range of motion and they also become strong.
6. Easy And Convenient:
Cycling can be done by all levels of exercisers – beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Since the bike provides you with the options to change your resistance, clip and pace, you adjust them according to your own level. Stationary bikes are also very convenient as you can multitask while using an exercise bike. You can watch TV, read, brush, and can do many such things just by being seated. This definitely comes as a boon to us who are cursed with an ever-busy and ever-hectic life and can’t find proper time for our exercise.
7. Climate Friendly:
You see, sometimes it is too cold, sometimes it is too hot and sometimes it is downright raining! It almost feels like fate is conspiring to keep us from exercising. With indoor biking, you can get your pack of cardio without any interference from climate. So it’s a win-win.
8. Mood Lifter:
Oh yeah! Many call stationary bike a mood lifter. It improves mood and boosts energy levels to a great extent. It is also great as a stress-buster. There is a definite perk to cycling as a stress-buster or mood-lifter than binge-eating, don’t you think? It improves both your physical and mental health.
9. Killer Lower Body:
Oh, you know how envious you feel every time you see the legs or butt of a cyclist! Repeatedly cycling exercises your quads, calves and glutes to sculpt them into a killer shape. Cycling targets most of the muscles of your lower body – inner thighs, outer thighs, hamstrings, calves, shins and the glutes. So no more thunder thighs or thick calves.
10. Better Health:
Cycling not only helps in weight loss but also improves your overall health. According to womenshealthmag.com, a cyclist lives two years longer than non-bikers and suffers 15% less illness. Cycling is also amazing for cardiovascular health. Therefore, it improves internal health and also increases longevity. So are you ready to reap the amazing exercise cycle benefits?
Tips For A Good Cycling Workout:
Wondering how to use exercise cycle effectively? Here are a few tips you should incorporate in your cycling workout to get the best results from your session:
Choose your saddle wisely. Your saddle or seat should be comfortable so as to not hurt your butt while working out.
Get your seat fixed by a professional. If you are doing it yourself, keep in mind your seat should be at such a height that your legs are only slightly bent while you are cycling. It takes away the risk of putting pressure on your knee joints and gives you better control as well.
[ Read: Benefits Of Rowing Machine Exercises ]
Most professionals recommend that you should buy an exercise bike with handlebars, and the handlebars should be adjusted to a height higher than your seat. Using handlebars engages upper body, which is not possible in mini exercise bikes that do not have handlebars. Also, the handlebars should be at a forearm’s distance from your body.
Resistance is as much a part of your cycling workout as is the speed. While speed provides you cardio benefits, resistance is needed for strength training. If you do not use enough resistance, you are not working your muscles sufficiently. That means you are not burning as many calories as you can and are compromising the results. Therefore, use enough resistance even if it means your pace slows down.
5. Positioning Your Body:
Do not lean much forward while cycling. Many people tend to lean forward so much that their upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Lean only a little and keep your core tight during cycling. When you lean forward much, it interferes with your breathing and oxygen intake. This means you will exhaust faster and not work to your optimum best.
6. Have Variations:
Make sure there is a variety in your workout. If you are peddling at the same pace for an hour without any variation, you will not get the desired results because your muscles adapt to movements repeated for a long time. Therefore, you need to shock your muscles constantly with variations to keep your body on edge and burn maximum calories. Cycling, much like treadmill, has options like hill, descent, flat road, resistance variation, and much more.
Use music to amp up your workout. See, we humans have this instinct to move with the beats (and you don’t have to be a dancer for that). Make a playlist for your cycling workout. You can choose songs according to their beats and use them to bring variation in your workout like peddle faster to a fast beat song and using hill or resistance for a slow beat one.
How To Choose Your Exercise Bike:
Exercise bike is comparatively one of the most budget-friendly gym equipment out there. It is important to know how to choose your exercise bike.
Your exercise bike should have a comfortable saddle, which is adjustable to a good height.
Next, know the weight your bike can take before buying. While it is true that a bike for lower weight categories is cheaper, you should take into account the weights of all possible users of the bike in your family before you buy.
If you or any other possible user of the bike might have back issues, it is advisable to get a bike with an attached backrest. On the other hand, if there are no back related problems, then do not get lured into buying a more expensive model just for the sake of an added accessory which you do not need.
The handlebars should be adjustable and movable, much like a cross trainer.
Make sure your bike has an option for using resistance. Usually, there is a pump near the handles through which you can change the resistance. Check beforehand if it works well or not.
The next important feature to look for in your bike is the display screen. Make sure your bike has a display screen that can show you your speed, heart rate and number of calories burnt. This helps while working out as you can record your progress.
If your budget allows you to look for more expensive options, you can try the bikes which come with additional features. There are options for exercise bikes that come with dumbbells, or a stepper and twister attached like Bodygym’s 6000R model. Then, there are bikes that are modified as elliptical trainers and provide the benefits of both. See whatever fancies you.
Check the reviews before you make your purchase to find out if the bike is sturdy and safe enough and if it can take a little rough use.
These are the basic things one needs to know about before buying an exercise bike. Make sure to ask your seller for the guarantee card that the company provides. At the end of the day, invest in a good bike that can take you in all your fierceness while working out.
Cycling is great for your weight loss goals and effectively tones your body. You get a shapely round butt, killer legs and sculpted calves. But, there is a catch. You just can’t do only cycling all the time because while cycling is one of the best ways to sculpt and strengthen the lower body, it doesn’t do much for your upper body even with the dual action of handlebars. So make sure you do enough upper body workouts apart from cycling. You should also include other cardio activities so that cycling doesn’t become boring to you. Lastly, while an exercise cycle is great, you can also get a normal bike for you to use when you need to travel small distances. It not only gives you all the above-mentioned health benefits but also is eco-friendly and pocket-friendly!
Do you own an exercise bike? Do you use it regularly? Do you know any other benefits of exercise cycle machine? Share with us in the comments section below!
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