If your choosing an exercise bike to buy then making the right decisions are critically important.
There are hundreds of exercise bikes available with varying levels of features but not all will be right for your needs.
Some useful things to think about when choosing an exercise bike:
1. What is your budget? How much money are you comfortable spending on an exercise bike and balance this with how often you need (or want!) to exercise.
2. Do you have any special requirements? Some of the lower end models do not have the build quality of more expensive bikes and therefore have lower user weight limits. If this is a consideration for you then make sure you look at bike models which will accommodate your weight requirements.
3. Another special requirement might be your height and in particular the length of your legs! Make sure the bike can accommodate this.
4. What exercise programs do you want with an exercise bike? If you’re interested in just having an occasional workout then you might be content with having basic functions pre-set workouts. If on the other hand you work out more frequently and see the bike as a more long term investment then it might be worth opting for a model which has more functionality.
5. Extras! Do you want a water bottle holder, somewhere to read your book or watch your iPad, Heart Rate Monitoring or an extra large in-built cooling fan? Good questions to ask yourself before looking!
Don’t repeat old mistakes when choosing an exercise bike!
Have you been through all this before? Were you doing well with your last exercise routines but suddenly stopped and then ‘forgot’ to continue? Was it because of an injury, did you get bored or was it simply because you were too tired after a hard day at work to have a decent workout?
It does take a bit of hard work (and determination) to continue with an exercise routine but at least with an exercise bike you have a level of comfort which is not present with the likes of a Treadmill.
So to make the most of exercise bike, even before you choose one, have a think about what went wrong last time and how you can change things this time round!
Choosing an Exercise Bike – The Recumbent Exercise Bike
If the injury was (or is!) a problem then there is a very suitable bike called a Recumbent Exercise Bike.
With a recumbent you sit back, quite low to the ground and a large bucket seat and your legs exercise from a more elevated position than that of a normal exercise bike.
They are extremely comfortable, great for people with injuries or those trying to avoid injuries and offer very little impact to the body.
The benefits that these bikes provide for people with back problems are very noticeable as the recumbent exercise bike forces the ‘rider’ to maintain a good posture. It puts no pressure on your joints, and you can keep working out even if you have minor injuries.
An excellent option if you can relate to any of these issues.
Suffer from Boredom?
Exercise bikes, as with any fitness equipment, can get tedious if they are not used in the manner that they were designed for!
Quite often, boredom can creep into an exercise routine when the user is not challenging their workout. For instance, if you’ve been doing fitness program 2 at level 3 for the previous few weeks and you’re finding it to be to easy going (able to talk normally!) then you need to challenge your routine and either increase the difficulty level or choose another fitness program.
If you don’t do this then you’re in danger of making your exercise routine stale and getting bored. Modern exercise bikes make it very easy to ‘up’ your routine and keep yourself challenged and these include programs to make you pedal harder, faster, simulate conquering hills (or mountains!) and doing sprint relays.
Choosing an exercise bike – High Tech Bikes!
If normally onboard fitness programs are not enough for you, and you have a large budget, then how about looking exercise bikes which have an in-built large screen (or you can hook up to a TV) which will then display a simulation which shows you riding through different courses?
You can even get bikes which are great for Games Console addicts as well!
Some bikes will plug into a consoles like the Sony PlayStation and then whatever you do on your bike is shown the console game.
These type of bikes might sound a bit extravagant but it’s important to match your budget with an exercise bike which you’ll actually use for the long term otherwise you’re just wasting your money on a bike which might end up as an expensive clothes hanger!
How noisy is your Exercise Bike?
This is something which we don’t tend to consider, at first, with exercise equipment but if you intend to watch TV, listen to music, or isolate other rooms from your exercise noise then you need to consider any features which actually make your bike quieter.
This is especially important for shift workers or people who prefer to exercise during the ‘quieter’ hours and if you start getting complaints then you’ll be less inclined to keep using your exercise bike!
Using your Exercise Bike
Don’t be too ambitious at first, the ‘Tour de France’ can wait!
It’s great to be excited about your workout but it’s also important to remain realistic and fight to overdo your workouts, especially when first starting to exercise.
If you stopped your last exercise program because it was turning out to be too much work then learn from that mistake and and control your futureworkouts so they’re just right.
If you’re just starting out then start slow and choose an exercise program which has low resistance and lasts for a maximum of 10 minutes. If after a few workouts you find this is getting too easy then keep the resistance level but increase the duration by 5 minutes and reassess after a few more workouts. If you get over-excited about working out the a good exercise bike to choose is one that has pre-set programs which you can select at the lowest level and increase in intensity as your fitness progresses.
It’s so important, especially at the beginning to avoid injury, feeling overly-sore and getting defeated by your fitness equipment.
Can’t find the time to exercise?
Finding time to exercise is all about routine and sticking to it!
There will always be people who are even busier than what we are but they still manage to find some time to do exercise and when you consider that this might just be 3 x 30 mins a week then it really is achievable.
If you’ve tried to do an exercise routine in the past and haven’t managed to stick with it then is it because you have been trying to work out at the wrong time of day?
Some people are ‘morning people’ whilst others think of themselves as ‘night owls’ and there is scientific evidence that suggests that the two can be physically different!
So if you’re feeling at your best with the alarm clock in the morning then maybe that’s the best time for you to workout and if you feel more happy staying up late then try exercising after dark.
We’ve had great feedback from people who really enjoy working out late because it helps them ‘sleep like a baby’, obviously a well-behaved baby!
Choosing an exercise bike – Summary
Exercise bikes are not just suitable for fitness beginners (they are great for the more advanced as well!) but they are excellent in that they give a very low impact and controllable introduction to exercise which should keep users encouraged to follow their exercise program and reach their goals.
Losing weight shouldn’t be seen as a punishment and by using a properly chosen exercise bike combined with healthy and smaller portioned eating, it’s amazing how quickly you can lose weight whilst not exposing yourself to fitness-related injuries.
If you can find an exercise bike that meets your needs and that feels good to use then you’re more likely to look forward to your exercise. Figure out a good time of day to workout and then treat your exercise like any other normal activity (such as bathing or getting dressed!), it’s just a part of your daily routine.
And remember to take it easy at first, just 10 minutes a day for about 3 times a week can lead to noticeable results, fast!