The Pros and Cons of a Stationary Exercise Bike
This is the 3rd and final installment of our three part series, pointing out the pros and cons of the 3 main types of exercise equipment. We already talked about whether or not a treadmill is the right purchase for you, and we went over the pros and cons of the elliptical, so now it’s time to move on to the exercise bike!
Upright bikes are similar in structure to regular road bikes. The seat is high, usually almost level with the handlebars, so that the user is in racing position while using it. If you do a lot of road biking and racing, then you can easily continue your training indoors with an upright bike. Like the name implies, users can also stand upright while using this type of bike, and this can help with calorie burning and toning. A good example of an upright bike is the Proform 290 SPX.
Recumbent bikes are more commonly used by those who aren’t as concerned with form, but still want to get a good cardio and lower leg workout. The seat sits much lower on a recumbent bike, and allows more balance for the user. So one doesn’t have to worry so much about falling off, but some people feel as though there are less calories burned on these bikes because the user can truly sit comfortably while using them. They are also generally more expensive than upright bikes, and are more popular among the average gym-goer. A good example of a recumbent bike is the Proform 315 CSX.
As with any indoor exercise equipment, one good thing about an exercise bike is that you are always able to exercise, regardless of the weather or any unsuitable outdoor conditions. It’s nice to be able to workout in the comfort of your own home – with a bathroom nearby and a controlled climate.
Another major perk to biking indoors is that you don’t have to face the dangers that you would have if you were riding a bicycle outside. Biking is a very dangerous activity – nearly all bikers will tell you that there are 2 categories that all cyclists fit into: those who have already been in an accident, and those who haven’t been in an accident yet. By using a bike indoors, you don’t have to worry about being in a dangerous accident, and you don’t even need to wear a helmet!
They are a great form of very low impact exercise. If running hurts your knees or back, then an exercise bike is a good option because you are less likely to worsen your joints, and incur further injuries and strains.
Compared to other exercise equipment, like treadmills and ellipticals, bikes are much more affordable. You can get a sturdy new exercise bike for under $1,000 so if you are on a budget, then this might be the best choice for you!
Entertainment while riding a bike is very easy to use. In fact, you can even read a book with ease while cycling. Try reading while getting a hard workout on a treadmill or elliptical… Actually, don’t. It will probably end up in disaster.
Most exercise bikes come with a nice display that will keep track of all of your stats during a workout. Many of them also have workout programs and interval workouts so that you can just set a workout and go through it without worrying about making the adjustments to speed and resistance manually.
While running on a treadmill or using an elliptical, you usually move your arms and get somewhat of an upper body workout while using these machines. On an exercise bike, your arms are motionless, and there is practically no workout to your upper body. You should compensate for this by doing some sort of arm workout after using the bike.
Because of the low impact workout that you are getting, you are burning less calories than you would on other exercise equipment. Basically you will just have to work out for a longer amount of time to burn the same number of calories that you would on a treadmill or elliptical.
Sitting on a bike seat for long periods of time can be uncomfortable and can leave you with a sore bum. It can also be more boring and repetitive than some other workout types.
The bottom line is that exercise bikes can be a fun and safe way to get in a good cardio workout. However, there are a few things to consider before making a bike purchase. Weigh the pros and cons and decide whether or not an exercise bike is the ideal piece of exercise equipment for you! For more info about Proform exercise bikes, just check out their website!