August 31, 2020 6 min read

One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to exercise is through cycling, not only is will it help you lose weight and become stronger it can also help prevent a range of lifestyle diseases. Now obviously you will need a bike to cycle. Well what if I told you that is not true? You can easily reap all the benefits plus more, all from the comfort of your own home with your newly supplied exercise bike from SportsPower Geelong.

Extensive research has gone into the benefits of cycling and what it can o for you. Whether you are looking to lose weight, or even become stronger, cycling can do both. Research suggests steady cycling can burn up to 300 calories per hour. In the time it takes you to watch any of your favorite Netflix shows, you could be on a bike becoming a better you. A Danish study that went over a 14-year period found that with 30,000 people aged 23 and above, those who cycled regularly had a highly reduced chance of contracting a cardiovascular disease. Similarly, a Finland study showed that those who cycled at least 30 minutes per day had 40% lower risk of developing diabetes, a serious public health concern that can easily be prevented with exercise.

Further cycling improves basic coordination, balance, and overall strength, it is great for those who may suffer from osteoarthritis as it is a low-impact sport with little stress placed on the joints. However not to be confused with preventing osteoporosis which requires weight-bearing exercises. Just scraping the surface of the physical benefits of cycling, it is also used as a form of mediation or a way to cope with mental illnesses such as depression, stress, and anxiety. It often helps take your mind of our stressful everyday lives and spend a bit of time focusing in the moment rather than worrying about what is going on around us. In our current situation exercise bikes are more of an investment than anything, cheap, convenient and can be put anywhere in your home, before you know it you will be watching TV and cycling a marathon all at the same time.

As a basic guide you want to have a set goal in mind, whether that is to lose weight, to become stronger, or just to keep fit, you don’t want to be over or under working yourself for no good reason.

Those who are just looking to keep fit want to aim at starting slow and steady, and gradually build on that as you please. 20 – 30-minute workouts are ideal to start of with and as you progress, this can increase. You want to begin at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes, next switch up to a medium intensity for another 5, then you want to do intervals of high paced for 1-2 minutes and back to medium for 5, then back to high again, do this two or three times, then finish with a low intensity for 5 minutes as a cool down.

Weight loss
If you are looking to lose weight cycling is one of the easiest and best choices. You want to begin your exercise at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes to warm up. Next you want to increase to a medium pace for another 5 minutes to really get the blood flowing. Now is the challenging part, for the next 20-30 minutes you want to alternate high intensity for 1-3 minutes and medium for 3-5, this will be quite difficult for some, especially if you are just beginning your weight loss journey, however, stay persistent and maintain a low resistance to begin with, and you will see results in no time.

For those who feel they are fit and want to take it up a notch, interval training is a great way to improve both your strength and stamina. It starts with a simple 10 minute low intensity pedal to get the legs working, next is a constant change of high intensity for 2 minutes and low intensity for 2 minutes, going from fast to slow will push you to your limit with a small rest between, do this until you begin to struggle. Finish with a 10-minute low intensity to cool down.

Some regard to safety, like most forms of exercise, if done incorrectly or if you push yourself past your limit, serious injury can occur. Ensure you have a plan before going in so you don’t aim for goals past your capabilities, and ensure you have the right form, as consistent errors in form can leave to overall soreness and injury. Make sure to take a break whenever you feel fatigued to prevent pain or aches in the muscles which could lead to serious damage later. Just remember the point of exercising is to improve as you go, start small and increase as you go, with time and patience will come results.

Many people question why would I cycle when I can just run for free? To be fair it is a good point, to an extent. Cycling and running both have completely different effects on the body, and for the most part cycling is more friendly for those who are beginning or may have a chronic condition that prevents them from doing certain activities. Running has a greater impact on muscles and joints so arguably it could be said that it is safer to ride if you are concerned about getting injured.

With an exercise bike you can enjoy all the benefits from your own home. Rather than splashing cash on and expensive and loud treadmill, you could buy an affordable and quite exercise bike that has all the benefits if not more than that of a treadmill.

Believe or not, there are many different types of exercise bikes you can get, all of which have their own purpose, and their own effect on different muscles in the body.

Upright bike
First off is your typical upright bike, what is one of the most popular stationary bikes it is a bike without wheels. It is a great all rounder that can be used for cardio and strength training by increasing the resistance. These can be used for both sitting and standing depending on what you prefer. The downside to these bikes are the small seats which can become extremely uncomfortable after long periods of time, and the small handles can put uncomfortable pressure on your wrists and hands especially if you do not hold them properly.

Recumbent bike
A stationary bike that has a comfortable reclined position with a larger seat that is positioned behind the pedals. This type of bike is designed to put less stress on your upper body, and ensure that your body is fully supported, that way workouts are less intense and only focuses on key area, that way their will be less stiffness and soreness after a workout. It is a great option for those who may have mobility issues or joint problems that prevent them from certain exercises, also ideal for older adults or those who are very new to exercise as it is usually easy to use and puts the least amount of stress on the body. That being said it will not provide as intense workouts as other bikes so results may come slower but easier.

Dual-action bike
Not much to be said, it is very similar to an upright bike, however it has a front adjustable as well to move the handles. This allows you to target upper body strength while also working the legs while your pedaling.

Indoor bike
Similar to an upright again, however has an elevated seat that allows for different rotations when pedaling. The indoor bike usually also comes with a resistance adjuster that allows you to change the pressure on the pedals to simulate hills or riding in rough conditions.

The best part of exercise bikes is the fact that you can do whatever you want while doing it. Rather than making it a choir, put the bike in front of a TV, or play some music in the background. What is better than being able to get your daily exercise and watch your favorite shows at the same time.

However, take this guide with a grain of salt, exercise not done properly will only get you so far. Depending on what you are aiming for, it takes a combination of planning, deciding, and executing in both exercising, and your everyday diet to get the best results so be sure to do your research and talk to people who may be in a similar situation to you, and work together to smash those goals.

We here at SportsPower Geelong not only want to see you attempt your fitness goals, we want to help you strive and become the best you can be, so be sure to check out all our latest exercise machines, and sports equipment to get set up for all your fitness and everyday needs.

Brad Edwards
Brad Edwards

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