10 Key Benefits of Exercise Bikes

Getting some form of physical exercise in every day helps boost your immune system, manage your weight, and keep your body in check. One of the best ways to get your daily cardio in is on an exercise bike. Exercise bikes are becoming increasingly popular, as they’re light, easy-to-use, and can be folded away for easy storage. Plus, you can use them whenever, wherever, no matter what the weather may be outside. And today’s machines are better than ever before. Many models feature customizable fitness programs, built-in heart rate monitors, cooling fans, and so much more. Read on for an in-depth look at the major benefits of exercise bikes.

1.) Weight Loss

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, an exercise bike is a very efficient way to burn calories. Riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a time can burn anywhere between 200-300 calories (depending on the users weight).

2.) Toning

Cyclists are known for having amazing legs. It makes sense: when you’re pedaling away on a bike, your quads, glutes, and calves are hard at work propelling the bike. Bonus: if you’re working that handlebar, you’re giving your upper body a workout, too.

3.) Muscle Strengthening

Stationary bikes work tirelessly to strengthen the major muscle groups that support the back, leg, thigh, and hamstring muscles. There are 2 different strokes that are used on an exercise bike: the push and the pull. Pushing down on the pedals is a great way to strengthen the quads, while pulling up is a great way to strengthen the hamstrings. Bonus: exercise bikes cause less stress on the knees than outdoor bikes since you’re riding on even terrain.

4.) Ease on the Joints

Running, jogging, and many team sports and classes can be hard on your joints because of the amount of impact involved. An exercise bike is an exceptional way to get your heart rate up without putting excess stress on those precious joints. In fact, a bike puts even less stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles than walking. Proper form on the bike means your knee should bend just slightly on the down pedal stroke. If it’s too bent or too straight, you’ll need to adjust that saddle.

5.) Convenience

The best part about an exercise bike is that you can use it whenever, wherever. If the weather outside is too hot, too cold, or too rainy, who cares? You can keep a recumbent bike in your home office, bedroom, or patio, giving you the chance to work out after dinner, before breakfast, or during a break at work. Plus, when you’re on your machine, you can catch up on your favorite TV shows, read the newspaper or a book, or keep an eye on your little ones.

6.) Cardio

Cardio exercise works to lower high blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and prevent heart attacks. Not to mention, it’s a great way to lose weight. Hopping on an exercise bike is an exceptional way to work your body because it will help your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. It also works hard to increase the good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol in your body. To put it simply, riding an exercise bike for 30 minutes a day for a handful of times per week can extend your life.

7.) Heart and Health Benefits

Riding an exercise bike can strengthen your heart and lungs, while also improving your body’s ability to utilize oxygen. Using a stationary bike regularly can also help regulate high blood pressure and improve respiratory function. For best results, it’s recommended that you exercise five days a week for 30 minutes.

8.) Energy-Boosting

According to a study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent. Why, you ask? It’s simple: cycling triggers your brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to energy.

9.) Allows for Interval Training

Interval training is a proven effective method to torch more calories, increase efficiency, and improve overall aerobic performance. When using an exercise bike, you eliminate a lot of the hurdles on the road like uneven terrain that can limit peak intensities and stoplights that break the flow.

10.) Safer Than Road Biking

With road biking come inherent dangers. From T-junctions and roundabouts to parked vehicles, potholes, impaired drivers, and so much more, defensive riding is critical. However, an exercise bike keeps you safe in the comfort of your home without all the added hazards.

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of exercise machines, it’s time to find one that works for you and your lifestyle. To ensure you’re choosing the best bike for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want an upright bike, an indoor cycle or a recumbent bike (this type of bike allows you to pedal from a more reclined position)?
  • Do you need something smaller that folds up, or do you have room for something with all the bells and whistles?
  • What do you want to spend?
  • How often are you planning on using it?
  • What will you use the bike for? What is your primary goal?

To make your workout work for you, it’s important to go to the next level. We suggest finding a friend to exercise with – this will hold you accountable for your workouts and ensure you stick with a routine. We also recommend setting your intention before you get on that bike. Whether it’s strength one day, or recovery the next, it’s great to know what you’re working for. Lastly, it’s important to change it up every once in awhile. With so many fun and innovative videos on the market, you can cycle through the city one day and France the next with a click of a button.

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does riding an exercise bike work?

Riding an exercise bike is a great cardio component to incorporate on leg day, because this activity requires top-to-bottom leg action. While both upright and recumbent bikes cover the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, those who want more action in the calves may opt for the recumbent. This is also a better option for those with physical limitations. With that being said, the upright bike engages more muscles across the entire body. This positon requires more effort from the upper body while also providing more programming variability with the ability to change grips on the handlebars, stand up, and even throw in some push ups if you want.

How long should you ride a stationary bike to lose weight?

The amount of time you need to spend on a stationary bike to lose weight is dependent on a couple of variables that can help you customize your cardio to meet your goals, schedule, and workout style. Do you have a busy lifestyle and often find it hard to spend much time on your stationary bike? High intensity interval training could be a great fit. In as little as four minutes, you can complete a heart-racing sweat session proven to boost metabolism for the rest of the day. This style of training is best performed in the morning and consists of short bursts of all-out intensity followed by a brief break. These intervals continue back-to-back. A popular style, Tabata, follows an interval ratio of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of four minutes. If that level of intensity isn’t your style, it’s better to stick to something you’re more likely to adhere to like steady-state cardio for 30-60 minutes. Whether you crank up the intensity, take it slow and steady, or anywhere in-between, aim for a schedule that allows for 3-5 days per week with consistency. Fat loss takes time, and finding the stationary bike routine that fits your style makes it more likely to stick with for the long-term.

What are the different types of exercise bikes? How should I choose?

Stationary bikes come in three primary styles: recumbent, upright, and dual action. The upright bike allows for the highest degree of variability as you can strengthen the upper and lower body, change grip, and even stand up all while getting in your cardio for the day. This is a good option for those looking for a full-body solution and can be great if you have limited space. If you suffer with physical limitations, have joint and/or back issues, struggle with mobility, or don’t like the discomfort associated with sitting with all your weight bearing directly down on an upright seat, the recumbent bike is a great solution. Finally, if upper-body strength is a primary goal of yours, the dual-action bike features handles that move while you pedal.

Does an exercise bike tone your legs?

Many associate exercise bikes with cardio. However, newbies will be surprised at how sore their legs will be the next day. Exercise bikes tone your legs since they effectively work all the muscles from the glutes and hamstrings to the calves and more. Best of all, since you can change resistance, positioning, and grip, you can shift the focus from one muscle group to another throughout the course of a workout to switch things up and keep plateaus at bay.

Which indoor exercise bike is the best?

There’s no one-size-fits-all indoor exercise bike. For the average shopper, the NordicTrack Commercial S15i offers something for just about everyone. From its Silent Magnetic Resistance and interactive workouts to iFit spin classes, -10%-20% power incline, and more, it’s a versatile option to meet varied needs and goals. The ProForm Studio Bike Pro provides excellent overall value, and we recommend anyone on a tight budget to check out the Echelon EX3. For our full breakdown of the best indoor exercise bikes, check out our full roundup- https://www.exercisebike.net/best-home-exercise-bikes-2021/

Should you ride an exercise bike every day?

Unless your doctor has specified otherwise, riding your exercise bike everyday is safe and can be effective in meeting your cardio needs. If you feel like you’re reaching a plateau, it can be a good idea to allow yourself 2-3 days off per week. Or, you can switch things up by creating a new routine like a heart-racing HIIT regimen to keep things interesting and get your metabolism fired up.

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