Riding a stationary exercise bike is an effective way to perform a cardiovascular workout. A stationary bike is also ideal for warming up the leg muscles before a ball game or other fitness activity. Professional athletes can sometimes be seen on the sidelines riding a stationary bike, to keep their muscles warm while they're out of the game.
Benefits of Riding a Stationary Exercise Bike
There are many benefits you can get from riding a stationary bike. The convenience of having a bike at home will allow you to train without having to travel to a gym or health club. If you are a runner, on a day when the weather is bad you can use the stationary bike to get your workout in.
People with joint problems may want to try riding a stationary bike instead of running, as a low impact way to stay in shape. Riding a stationary bike does not put a lot of strain on the knees and lower back like running does. Someone with an ankle or foot injury can train on a stationary bike as part of their rehabilitation program, since they cannot run on a track or treadmill.
Working Out on a Stationary Exercise Bike
There are many different types of stationary exercise bikes available to use for your cardio training. Do some comparison shopping if you intend to buy a bike to use at home, so you can find one that meets your needs. Try to purchase a stationary bike that has a heart rate monitor and a calorie counter, so you can adjust the length or speed of your workout to meet your fitness or weight loss goals.
Before you ride a stationary exercise bike, do some light stretching to loosen up. If you have a specific distance you want to ride during your workout, set the bike's mileage counter to the appropriate length so you can keep track of your progress. Get on the bike and begin your workout at a slow pace, until you warm up your legs.
Gradually start to increase your speed as you ride the bike. Once you are riding at the speed that you want to maintain for the majority of the workout, keep an eye on the heart rate monitor and calorie counter. Slow down a little if your heart rate starts to exceed the maximum level for your age. After you either travel the distance that you want to cover or burn the desired number of calories, slow down your pace for a few minutes and then dismount the bike.
To increase the intensity of your stationary bike training, vary the speed of the workout. For example, ride for a mile at your normal workout speed. After you go one mile, increase your speed for 30 seconds, then slow back down to your normal pace for one minute. Continue to speed up and slow down in these increments until you either tire or your heart rate starts to exceed the maximum age-recommended level.