We all have seen inspiring commercials that show healthy women and men, cycling athletically on their stationary bikes. Or seen individuals taking leisurely rides outdoors in the sun. Let’s break this up for you; cycling isn’t just healthy and great on your TV screens, its tons, tons better when you do it for real.
With your body pulsing with energy, your legs working on the pedals and your heart beating faster than ever; cycling makes an arduous and exhilarating exercise experience. Not only stationary bikes are calibrated to help you lose those extra few pound of fat faster, they render an excellent form of aerobic exercise.
While sprinting on bicycle outdoors may fascinate the adventurist in us; it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Plus, it is largely challenged by weather conditions. That is where stationary bikes come to save the day.
They are capable of rendering individuals a thorough and satisfying aerobic workout in the comforts of home or gym. They are also probably the most affordable fitness equipment that many can get to tone their bodies in the warmth of their home and during timings that best suit them.
So what do you achieve by cycling on a stationary bike? American Council on Exercise affirms that an average individual cycling on a stationary bike can burn up to 19 calories per minute. Which means that if you cycle diligently on your stationary bike for one good hour you can burn up to 1,140 calories!
That’s awesome news for anyone who wishes to lose weight quickly in a short span of time. Moreover, it’s an ideal workout option for people with joint problems or injuries.
So, what makes stationary bikes an ideal exercise for all?
Great aerobic workout
Cycling on a stationary bike is largely an aerobic workout as it targets the large muscle groups of your body repetitively for an extended period of time. Stationary bikes allow users to indulge in a non-weight bearing form of aerobics.
Center for Disease Control greatly stresses the importance of getting at least two and half hours of aerobic workout every week. For individuals that wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle, 30 minutes on the stationary bike would be great for them.
However, if you wish to lose weight, you will have to add another 20 to 30-minute cycling session for best fitness results.
Indoor Cycling; too boring? Sign up for ‘Spinning classes’
The only disadvantage that stationary bikes ever came with was the boredom factor. Cycling alone can get boring, hence one might not be able to attain full sessions out of it.
But the rising popularity of “spinning classes” is slowly taking over this disadvantage. Spinning classes consist of cycling in groups supervised by indoor cycling instructors.
A research conducted by ACE revealed that group cycling renders far more speedy and productive results than cycling alone in front of the TV at your home. The indoor cycling instructor led the groups through a session of virtual inclines, declines, and paths as they cycle ahead.
The burgeoning popularity of the group cycling classes has beginners, intermediate and advanced level individuals enthralled. The advanced classes usually comprise of 40 to 50-minute sessions of stretching, some serious cycling and more.
Comfortable workout attire is of key importance while riding a stationary bike. It goes a long way in ensuring that your sessions are extensive and productive.
Donning on long apparels or clothes with strings or tassels is not recommended, as they come with the risk of getting stuck in the wheel of the bike.
For a comfortable cycling session, it is recommended to wear padded cycling shorts, much like the ones outdoor cyclists wear.
Another important consideration is your position as you ride the stationary bike. The seat must be adjusted to the right height.
While you pedal, your knee should not be raised up the hip level. Whilst cycling your legs shouldn’t be straight when the pedal is closest to the floor.
Make sure you have a water bottle at hand, so can hydrate as you exercise. A small, clean towel to wipe off excess perspiration should also be kept.
While working out
If you have taken membership for a group cycling session, you need to keep a number of things in your mind. If you are a beginner, do not feel pressured or obliged to keep pace with the rest of your class. For fresh starters, it can get a bit difficult. They key is to remain motivated and not overwhelm yourself on the stationary bike.
In order to build your stamina, ACE recommends indulging in some self-training before you take the membership for the spinning classes. By pedalling at your own pace and adjustments, you will learn about your personal stamina with the exercise, only then you can attempt to push beyond it. You may even have to take a couple of breaks as you exercise.
A recent research conducted by California State University at Northridge, published in the issue of “ACE Fitness Matters,” states that often these group cycling classes pack high-intensity levels that are way above the levels of some beginners. In this way, beginners are exposed to the risks of over-exertion while exercising. It is important to monitor your heart rate while you workout. Another way of making sure you’re not over straining yourself is the “talk test”, you should be able to talk or hold a conversation while you cycle.
Now that we are much aware of the many benefits of an exercise bike and its ability to significantly boost weight loss, it’s important to keep a few precautions in mind. You should check up with your doctor before you embark on any fitness regime.
If you happen to have a chronic health condition or take frequent medications for asthma, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis or more, it is necessary that you take your doctor’s advice. If you have a history of heart attack, are pregnant or are someone who just started or quit smoking, it is recommended to take your physician’s advise before proceeding.