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How to Use and Choose an Exercise Bike

Jul 10, 2008
Exercise bikes can be used for cardio exercise, building endurance, burning fat and calories, and strengthening muscles. No matter what you use your exercise bike for it's good to know basic use and safety. There are two styles of exercise bikes - upright and recumbent - and their operation is the same. To get started, position yourself onto the seat. Put your feet on the pedals and adjust the seat so that you come close to full knee extension but not all the way, then adjust your seatback angle for comfort. When you're ready, start pedaling! This will start the machine and you can then select your workout program from one of the preset exercises or personalize your workout to your own liking. If you want to use your exercise bike to increase your aerobic fitness, try doing intervals. After a warm-up, go as fast as you can for 30 seconds, than slow way down for a minute and repeat. To end your workout, slowly decrease your speed until you come to a complete stop.

Here's a safety tip: If there are straps on the pedals be sure to use them - it could prevent injury due to slippage or overextension. And remember - always consult a physician or healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program.

While the basic use of an exercise bike is pretty easy, shopping for a home exercise bike can be very intimidating! There are so many different brands, models and styles it can be next to impossible to choose the right one for your home. For most people, buying a home exercise bike is a major investment. It's also a good investment for those who have decided to make a conscious effort to be fit and healthy. That is why it is important to put together a checklist that identifies attributes that are most important for you and your workout. Here are some tips that should help you out:

1. The first thing you should consider when choosing an exercise bike is the construction. A well-constructed exercise bike is something that everyone in your family can enjoy. You will want an exercise bike that is built with high alloy steel or aluminum frame that is strong enough to support the heaviest person. Some machines come with a weight limit - make sure that limit won't inhibit your workout.

2. Watch out for noise! A major consideration for a home exercise bike is the amount of noise it can produce. A loud machine can drown out a lot of noise - kids, television, oven timers, etc. And some small, repetitive sounds can drive a person crazy and provide you with one more reason not to exercise. We recommend testing an exercise bike before you buy it. Sit on it and go through the motions so you can assess the noise level and see if it's something you can live with.

3. Choosing between an upright bike or a recumbent bike is up to your own personal preference. Upright exercise bikes are great for those who prefer a classic seated position - and they are perfect for those that want to try spinning workouts at home like they may have experienced in the gym. Recumbent bikes put you in a seated position more like you would find while sitting in a chair - these are great for people that have avoided exercise bikes in the past due to back issues. Test them out and see what you like the best.

4. And finally, don't forget the bells and whistles! The newest models come with many extra features, including LCD or TV displays, cooling fans, and audio systems or a heart rate monitor. Using a heart rate monitor during your workout will help you adjust the speed or incline to keep your heart rate in the optimum zone. It's a good investment in your health!
About the Author
Bob Lachinet is the owner of Fitness 4 Home Superstore, a specialty fitness equipment dealer recently named the #1 choice for home fitness equipment in Arizona by BestFitnessDealers.com! Check out the "How to Use an Exercise Bike Video" by visiting How to use an exercise bike video.
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