Exercise bike

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Why use the exercise bike

The exercise bike is one of the characteristic tools of home fitness, given its simplicity of use and its space-saving nature. Furthermore, it is particularly suitable for any type of need and personal characteristics, no matter if you are an advanced athlete or if you simply prefer to have a device for light training. Very often, for example, the exercise bike is used by elderly people, in order to maintain a good level of functionality of the osteoarticular and cardiovascular systems; but, equally, it is chosen by athletes who wish to always be able to carry out aerobic exercises, so as to enhance their resistance to prolonged efforts. It should not be forgotten, again, that the exercise bike is suitable for use in the event that it is necessary to provide rehabilitation following immobilization by a cast or similar, given that it is able to perform demanding exercises while having a low impact on the joints, certainly lower than what you would have with running. According to experts, to obtain all the benefits of this type of training, fifteen minutes a day, maximum thirty, five or six times a week are sufficient. In this way, the exercise bike becomes an excellent alternative to the gym, especially because it should be easier not to miss a single session, having chosen to place the home bike in your home. The exercise bike also allows you to carry out indoor aerobic activity, helping to lose excess kilos. Obviously, this is not a definitive solution if you do not first decide to start a nutritionally valid path to reduce daily calories, and if you are not constant in training: however, the advantages of purchasing an exercise bike are considerable , which is why it is certainly worth making an investment that is easy to pay off in a short time, especially when compared to the monthly costs of a gym.

Exercise bike training

The exercise bike is perfect for burning calories, as we have seen, but always with a view to a balanced lifestyle and correct nutrition, based on the real needs of our body. Furthermore, in addition to helping you lose weight, training regularly with an exercise bike allows you, month after month, to regain muscle tone, avoiding unsightly "sagging" effects, typical of when you go on a diet. The exercise bike has a lower calorie consumption than other forms of sporting activity, such as running, which means that its benefits can be appreciated over time, requiring greater training consistency. In the past, a contraindication, so to speak, to the use of the exercise bike came from the fact that the muscle groups involved were rather restricted, being limited to the calves and quadriceps of the legs. However, it didn't take long for the first models to evolve, implementing new functions to also allow you to train your arm muscles, using a rowing machine. On the other hand, there is no type of contraindication to the use of the exercise bike, although it is not advisable to proceed with intensive training if you have not done sport for a long time. At the beginning, therefore, even just ten minutes of continuous pedaling may be more than enough, and then gradually increase, until you reach about thirty. It is essential to always perform stretching exercises before and after the training session with the exercise bike, in order to avoid any contractures and muscle tension. To improve your performance, you can then vary the pedaling resistance, changing pace every five minutes, going from emulating a fast run to an uphill run and then fast again. To make sure you don't make mistakes and don't put too much stress on your body, you can keep your heart rate under control, which should be kept around 110 beats per minute.

How to choose the exercise bike

Choosing an exercise bike might seem difficult: the models on the market are numerous and the characteristics possessed by each are also different, not to mention prices and brands. For this reason, let's try to evaluate together what are the peculiarities that make an exercise bike a good piece of equipment for home physical activity, also depending on personal needs. First of all, you need to know the dimensions and dimensions of a bicycle bike, so as to evaluate the environment in which to place it. In fact, beyond the dimensions of the tool itself, you will also have to calculate a little additional space, let's say about half a meter on both sides, so that you can climb onto it easily. For those who have space problems, however, there are also models of foldable exercise bikes, which can be stored in little-used corners at the end of training. Also depending on the purpose you intend to pursue, one model may be preferable to another. For example, if you want to lose weight, it would be better to have an exercise bike that offers the possibility of having a greater number of settings, so that you can adjust the resistance. Furthermore, it seems that it is always very motivating to be able to read the number of calories burned on a special display. If you are a cycling enthusiast and use an exercise bike so as not to interrupt your activity even during the rigors of winter, then it is useful to have an exercise bike that has a set of functions including the possibility of viewing the number of pedal strokes per minute, so as to keep your average high. If, then, it is particularly important to be able to entertain yourself while cycling, so as not to lose the desire to train every day, then you could choose those exercise bikes that can be connected to a computer or console, so as not to be too focused on the exercises.

Characteristics

Whatever the preferred equipment for the exercise bike, you cannot help but evaluate some characteristics common to all good quality products, so as to make an informed choice. These fundamental criteria cannot be overlooked if you want to buy an exercise bike that can last over time and not be damaged immediately even with moderate use, but above all that is suitable for your needs. Every exercise bike has a system that generates resistance in aerobic exercise. This is the resistance that we will encounter when pedaling and is activated by a braking system on a flywheel, i.e. the metal disc that is dragged thanks to the pedaling. Resistance can be mechanical, magnetic or electromagnetic. Today, the mechanical one is only found on very cheap models, having been replaced by magnetic resistance which can be easily adjusted via the display controls. Exercise bikes that feature electromagnetic resistance are also called ergometers and have a set of additional features that make them very quiet and have fluid movements. Usually, in addition, they have real internal software to modulate training. Many exercise bike models also feature a heart rate control system, being equipped with a heart rate monitor that is able to detect your pulse without you ever having to stop exercising. Another important feature concerns the availability of choice between different already set programs, perfect for hitting various and dynamic objectives. Finally, a good exercise bike must be ergonomic and therefore include a system for adjusting the height of the saddle, perhaps also its inclination and those of the handlebars. In this way, you can train by choosing your favorite position, which could be grouped forward or forming an angle of approximately 90 degrees between the torso and the lower limbs.

Types and models

To try to bring even more order, let's analyze, at this point, the models and types of exercise bikes. First of all, let's start from the traditional one which can be considered the most versatile and at the lowest price. It typically has a flywheel of between 4 and 12 pounds and can also be foldable. To use this type of exercise bike, the classic upright position will be adopted, slightly forward to be able to grasp the handlebars which usually allows you to carry out exercises with the arms. Then we have the so-called recumbent exercise bike, which is especially suitable for those suffering from postural and lumbar problems. In this case, in fact, the saddle is not only adjustable but also equipped with a backrest. Furthermore, the pedals are not located at the bottom but in front of the user. The mass of the flywheel is substantially identical to that of a traditional bike. The indoor cycling bike, on the other hand, is typically chosen by those who already train as a cyclist and need to be able to continue with rather intense exercises. In this case, what changes is the mass of the flywheel which is between 10 and 25 kilos, which makes the pedaling very fluid and particularly similar to that of a road bike. Furthermore, pedaling can be fixed gear or free gear: in the latter case, even if you don't pedal, the flywheel continues to turn. The indoor bike is also present in gyms for those who attend spinning courses. Folding bicycles, on the other hand, which can be of different types, are very useful when there is little space available, since they can be stored in just about forty centimeters of space. Finally, it seems interesting to us to also mention the electric bike, despite the fact that it is a particularly suitable model for those who have to carry out passive or rehabilitative gymnastics.

Brands, prices and useful websites

Among the various brands of exercise bikes that we can find on the market, we particularly highlight the Tunturi brand which offers high-end exercise bikes with absolutely high performance. They also stand out for being very suitable for people of large stature and build. The German brand Kettler not only presents products with magnetic resistances but also real ergometers with electromagnetic resistance. There are two production lines, one high-end, the other with lower prices but still of good quality. Still in the field of ergometer production, Daum Electronic stands out. The products of this company are dedicated to all sportsmen and athletes, since they present sophisticated exercise bikes, equipped with operating systems and PC interfaces. To get an idea of the prices, it will suffice to say that the range is extremely wide, oscillating between 100 euros for a very economical product up to reaching and exceeding a thousand euros for the most technologically advanced and full of options. Among the most interesting sites on the web, adieta , written by the Netstyle company of Pavia, entirely dedicated to advice on feeling good and fitness, as well as specializing in the sale of exercise bikes and other equipment for gyms and home fitness. It is often also possible to find offers and promotions that are useful for those who want to save. The freemotion fitness portal is a further point of reference for those who intend to purchase an indoor bicycle, as it is full of information and brochures on the different models. Finally, the Kettler brand offers an online sales site dedicated to our country. Safe and reliable, it allows you to make an online purchase in complete freedom, often offering solutions with excellent value for money, as we have already had the opportunity to underline previously. Please note that almost all orders can be processed in as little as 24 hours.

Published: 2011-07-29From: Redazione

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