When it comes to cardio workouts, there are many choices. If you're just getting started or looking for an easy way to add activity without having to go to a gym or purchase any special equipment, a stationary bike may be just what you're looking for.
Not only can you enjoy the health and fitness benefits of a workout that's good for the heart, metabolic system and lungs, but you also don't have to figure out how to use new machines or chase a treadmill belt.
Setting Up Your Stationary Bike
When using a stationary bike for the first time, take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with how it works. If you're at a gym, ask the floor manager to give you an orientation on how to use the different bikes and which one might be right for you.
Stand next to an upright bike with the seat level with your hips and knees slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
To fit your height and reach, adjust the seat, handle bars and pedals. Learn how to adjust the resistance during your workout, as you'll be changing it during different intervals.
Workout Programmes for Beginners
If you're just getting started with your fitness, start slowly, and progressively increase the time and intensity.
As your fitness improves, start with a 25 to 35-minute workout, and gradually increase the time in one-minute increments.
• Warm up for three minutes, then pedal for 20 seconds at the highest resistance you can handle while maintaining a pace that feels like a six out of ten. Pedal for 40 seconds at a lower resistance, which should feel like an eight out of 10.
• Continue alternating between harder and easier resistance every 40 seconds till you've completed one full minute of each.
• As you begin a new exercise regimen, it's important to remember that your body needs time to adjust. If you're not used to using a bicycle, your legs may get tired quickly. Building endurance takes time, so go as far as you can, and stop when you are'nt ready.
• To gradually increase strength and endurance, add a little time to each session.If your legs begin to feel fatigued or sore, stop and stretch them out before continuing with the rest of your workout.
• Do this workout three times per week, with one day off in between. Increase your training time by a few minutes each time till you reach 30 minutes. After your workout, stretch your lower body.
Benefits of a Stationary Bike Workout
1) Keeps your heart healthy and strong
Cycling is an excellent way to get your heart rate up and running. Cardiovascular workouts like cycling can do wonders for your body, including improved memory and brain functioning, lower blood pressure, better sleep, improved blood sugar levels, a stronger immune system and better moods. You'll also have more energy and maybe even lose weight.
2) Helps with weight loss
If you ride a stationary bike at a moderate to high intensity—and at an average of 80 to 120 rpm—for one hour, you can burn more than 600 calories. That makes indoor cycling an excellent option for burning a lot of calories quickly. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn.
3) Burns body fat
High-intensity exercise, like indoor cycling, can help you burn calories and build strength.
Combine both of these activities with a low-calorie diet to lose weight and body fat. A study published in 2010 found that indoor cycling combined with a low-calorie diet was effective for reducing body weight and body fat in the study’s participants after 12 weeks. It also reduced cholesterol and lipid levels.
4) Strengthens your legs and lower body muscles
Riding a stationary bike can help build strength in your legs, especially if you use a higher resistance.
You'll get a good stretch in your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps from pedaling. Additionally, it can work the muscles in your core and glutes. If you use a bicycle with handles, you’ll also be able to work your upper body muscles, including biceps and triceps.
5) Low body impact workout
A stationary bike is a low-impact workout that strengthens bones and joints without putting too much pressure on them, making it a good option for people with joint issues or injuries.
High-impact aerobic exercises like running, jogging, jumping and others are difficult on your ankles, knees and hips. A stationary bike lets you pedal without using your feet, providing a challenging workout without putting strain on your joints.
The stationary bike is often overlooked as a fitness option, but it can be an excellent workout for your entire body and get you the results you’re looking for.
Now that you know a little about how to best use the stationary bike for your specific goals and health conditions, start finding some time to fit in your workout routine every week.
If you can start slowly and build up from there, you’ll be well on your way to burning off those extra pounds.
Poll : Indoor or Outdoor Cycling?
I prefer Outdoor!