What Does an Exercise Bike Do?

Exercise bikes are a simple, inexpensive way to get vigorous workouts. It doesn’t matter whether the weather outside is hot or cold. Just like other exercise forms, people use stationary bikes to enjoy several health benefits. Such include improving one’s cardiovascular health, building muscle, and weight loss.

This bike provides low-impact, yet effective workouts. It’s less stressful on one’s body when compared to other aerobic exercises. Running, aerobic classes and various other activities can stress your joints and knees. This aerobic exercise will also stimulate the release of endorphins. Those are your body’s natural painkillers. It’ll thus boost your mood and enhance a sense of well-being.

Muscle Toning

Riding an exercise bike is resistance training. It’ll help your tone your muscle in the lower body. That includes the hip flexors, butt, and legs. The main key here is ensuring the right amount of resistance. If the tension knob is at the easiest setting, you’ll find it easy to pedal. But, it won’t offer enough resistance to build as much muscle as you’d if the tension knob was set higher.

Enhancing Cardiovascular Fitness

Riding an exercise bike is a cardiovascular exercise. Your lungs will take in more oxygen and the heart will beat faster. Short-term effects include feeling like you’re out of breath and sweating. Long-term effects include making your heart stronger, thus able to pump more blood.

Over time, you’ll find it much easier to breathe. Increased pumping of blood will help deliver nutrients to body cells. It’ll also eliminate waste products like lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Improved blood circulation will increase the good cholesterol while decreasing the bad one.

Your arteries will be less probable to develop plague buildups. This form of cardiovascular exercise can help reduce your blood pressure. It’ll decrease your risk of getting heart disease or a stroke.

Weight Loss

Also, riding the exercise bike burns calories. That leads to weight loss. Your workout’s intensity, as well as your weight, will affect the number of calories you burn. To lose a pound of fat, you’d need to burn almost 3,500 calories.

Let’s consider a person weighing 160 pounds. They’ll burn approximately 438 calories per one-hour cycle at a ten mph pace. What about a person weighing 180 pounds? They’ll burn about 492 calories cycling for the same duration at that same pace. Exercise biking will help you slim down after a multitude of training sessions.

Back and Skeletal Frame

Exercise biking is a low-impact activity. It doesn’t place excessive stress on the spine and back. That’s important for anyone suffering from low back pain. It’d also be useful for those suffer spinal stenosis and compression of spinal nerves. Such conditions cause numbness or tingling in one’s lower back and legs.

Exercise biking is easier because you’re able to lean forward. You’ll avoid an upright position, which would otherwise cause discomfort. Those who suffer osteoarthritis can also engage in exercise biking. It’d help strengthen muscles which support the joints, maintain flexibility, and reduce stiffness.

How do Exercise Bikes Work?

Bear in mind that one exercise bike is different from another in how they provide resistance. There are multiple different ways through which exercise bikes offer resistance while pedaling. This resistance helps stimulate the sensation you’d get when riding an actual road bicycle.

The market is populated by bikes that employ magnetic and direct-contact systems. Such offer resistance which can be fully adjusted. Besides those two types, there are stationary bikes which feature a fan. This fan helps convert air resistance into the resistance you’ll feel while pedaling away.

Brake-Based Systems

At the heart of most exercise bikes, you’ll find the flywheel. In essence, the flywheel is a mechanical device that stores rotational energy. Let’s put it much simpler. It’s a weighted metal disk that’s often located at the front, instead of the wheel. You wouldn’t see it working as a casing covers it. A chain or belt connects the pedals to this flywheel.

When pedaling, the flywheel stores the momentum and releases it until it gets used up. It’s usually heavy to avail enough resistance for intensive workouts. The first several rotations can seem hard. This approach is limited, though. The wheel’s weight limits you. To overcome this problem, manufacturers are developing direct-contact and magnetic braking systems. Applying the brakes to the flywheel creates resistance on each of those systems.

I. Direct-Contact Resistance

This kind makes use of the principle of friction to provide resistance. The brakes are applied directly to the flywheel. That reduces the rotational speed you’re providing through pedaling. Such exercise bikes are accurate. They allow you to choose one option among different resistance levels. In turn, that makes for a custom fit workout.

Friction is provided when brake pads come into contact with the bike’s flywheel. Also, some manufacturers fit friction bands, instead of brake pads, to the wheel’s edge. Since the braking is purely mechanical, this kind of bikes tends to make noise.

II. Fan-Based Resistance

This kind isn’t built around a flywheel. Instead, it makes use of a huge resistance fan. A belt and pulley system connects the fan to pedals. As you pedal, the fan will start turning. The air resistance of the fan’s blades will increase as your speed increases. Pedaling faster will provide more resistance. It’s an effective type of exercise bike once you’ve learned how to use it. Also, you’ll get to feel the fan’s breeze. That will cool you down during intensive sessions.

III. Magnetic Resistance

Before, direct-contact exercise bikes were the sovereign leaders. But, they lost that position following the emergence of magnetic exercise bikes. The magnetic models are helpful in that their parts don’t wear or tear. There’s neither direct contact nor friction.

They make use of electromagnetic induction to provide the needed resistance. Exercise bikes that have magnetic braking offer a smooth, continuous resistance. You can adjust that resistance at the touch of a single button. They’re quieter than the other two types.

Exercise Bikes are a Safe Form of Exercise

Stationary bikes, as named, don’t move. Maybe you’re not agile or comfortable enough to ride a moving bike around in heavy traffic. You need to consider using the exercise bicycle. It offers you an opportunity to work out in a safe environment. Also, it allows you to work out where outdoor conditions wouldn’t allow.

An exercise bike will improve your cardiovascular fitness. As well, it’ll help you tone your muscle, and lose weight. It’ll be especially handy is you’ve limited mobility or any upper-body injury. We recommend exercise biking to individuals who’ve got back problems. Stationary bikes will help improve your health.