Have you noticed lately that your favorite pair of tight jeans have become a little too tight? And that when you walk up the stairs not only do your jeans creak but so do your knees? Yes, it’s time to lose some weight and one of the handiest ways to do so is by getting yourself an exercise bike.
You don’t need to be a genius to realize that owning an exercise bike is a good idea, but how do you go about choosing the right one? And how exactly should you use it? This article gives you the lowdown on how to find the right exercise bike and how to use it to get fit and lose those extra pounds.
Choosing the Type of Exercise Bike
In the home as in the gym, choosing the right bike is important. It needs to be safe and comfortable. You also need to make sure that you can adjust the bike to account for your particular height and limb length. Ideally, you would want your knees to be almost fully extended and not stay bent as you rotate the pedals through a full cycle.
A common questions when buying an exercise bike is whether to choose an an upright or a recumbent bike?
If comfort is more important for you, you may want to choose a recumbent bike due to its comfort and stability. However, if burning calories and additional muscle building is more important, then an upright bike may be what you want.
Each type of bike has its own advantages and disadvantages. For a more detailed comparison on which type of bike would better suit your needs, check out our other article on recumbent vs. upright bike here.
Intensity and Resistance Levels
Whether you choose a recumbent or an upright bike, it is essential to have a variety of difficulty levels. Difficulty levels can be adjusted by changing the resistance on the bike. On the better bikes these are displayed on a dashboard in the form of various levels and programs that differ in intensity, resistance, and terrain.
Minor adjustments to the length of exercise time or resistance of your bike can make a big difference in the difficulty of your exercise and the amount of calories burned. There are several ways to increase the intensity and amount of calories burned.
One option is to increase the overall time spent on the bike. However, if you are short on time but still want to increase the intensity of the workout without spending more time, you can also increase the resistance.
You do need to be careful with this as it can be difficult to pedal through to finish your exercise regimen if the resistance is consistently too high. The good news is that there are several bikes that come with preset programs that regularly increase and decrease resistance levels to give you a more variety of exercise intensity.
Moderation and Consistency is Key
There are several things to watch out for when it comes to the intensity, resistance and frequency of aerobic exercise. When it comes to exercising, neither overdoing it nor underdoing it are good ideas.
Consistency when exercising is arguably one of the most important component when working to accomplish your fitness goals.
Some people slack off and work far too briefly and at far too low of an intensity to get any benefit. Either that or they hop on the thing only when an eclipse is about to happen! Others pedal that thing for hours, day in, day out, and soon find themselves exhausted, burnt out, and possibly even injured.
When starting out exercising, moderation is key. You also need to be consistent and keep up with the routine. Don’t be lazy, but don’t act like you need to win an Olympic medal. If you are not accustomed to working out, you should stick to 10, maybe 15 minutes per session, three or four times a week, and preferably on alternate days so that your body gets one complete day of rest between workouts.
Once you start to get fitter, you can increase the length and frequency of your sessions, and this is when the fat burning effects will really start to kick in. When it comes to aerobic exercise for fat loss, most experts will tell you that duration is the key and that it is after 30 minutes that the body starts fuelling the activity primarily through the burning of fat.
Stationary Bikes are Great if Your Time is Limited
One of the great things about stationary bike riding as a form of exercise is that it’s easier to find the time to exercise. You may think otherwise, but if you have your own bike and enough time to watch your favorite TV shows, you have enough time to work out. Just put that TV in front of the bike (or the other way around ) and go for it.
Not only do you save time by doing two things at once, but focusing on the TV will help time fly and before you know it you’ll be hearing that little beeping noise that tells you that, once again, you have put in a fat-burning, fitness-building workout.
Some higher end models also have options for different exercise programs with several terrains you can choose from. You can choose a nice, leisurely ride on a level field or a fast paced mountain race full of grueling ups and downs. Such programs not only allow you to keep using the same bike as you get fitter, they will also provide you with boredom-busting variety once you have been exercising for a while.
With your own exercise bike, you can lose weight and improve fitness in the comforts of your own home and at your convenience. You won’t have to worry about the weather, gym hours, or finding that all the bikes have been taken. With all the great deals on exercise bikes out there, there is nothing stopping you from making a change in the way you look and feel.