You may get tired of hearing this from us, but we want to make sure all of our readers understand the importance of cardio and that it is crucial to any type of fitness regimen, no matter what your goal may be. Cardio workouts include any workout that gets your heart rate pumped, this can be any treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike workout.
Now we do talk often about our love of elliptical trainers and treadmills, while I know we don’t talk too much about exercise bikes, but this is not because we are not big fans. We apologize for our lack of including exercise bikes, also called stationary bikes, in our posts because they should not be ignored; and in fact stationary bikes do in-deed provide you with an excellent cardio benefits.
Unfortunately stationary bikes often get a bad rap due to the fact they are not providing as much movement as elliptical trainers and treadmills offer. While it is true you do not move your whole body as much on a stationary bike and you may burn more calories per hour when using an elliptical or treadmill, stationary bikes can still provide a very beneficial cardio workout.
FitSugar.com shares their Pros and Cons of the Stationary Bike, which you can read more about here. We’d thought we would share a few of our favorite pros from their list and a few of our own to show you just what we mean when we say stationary bikes provide a great cardio workout:
Pros of the Stationary Bike-
- Stationary bike are usually much cheaper than other cardio exercise equipment machines, such as treadmills and elliptical trainers.
- Stationary bikes are a lot easier on the bike than a treadmill if you have any knee or back pain; also for this reason if you are overweight and needing to lose a lot of weight stationary bikes are great to start out on. As stated in this article, “especially if you are on the heavy side…the stationary bike can help you exercise without having to strain your joints and legs.”
- Many people have found they can easily ride a stationary bike often longer than they can walk on a treadmill. WellnessWatchersMD.com puts it best in an article comparing treadmills and stationary bikes found here stating, “If you find it difficult to walk 10 minutes on a treadmill but can easily ride for 20 minutes on an exercise bike, you will burn more calories per session on an exercise bike.”
- Most stationary bikes will come with a variety of built-in programs so you are able to replicate outdoor terrain. You can do interval workouts and change your resistance to increase the calorie burn.
Not only do stationary bikes work your cardiovascular system, but they also primarily work your quadriceps and gluteus maximus. Also when using an upright stationary bike you are using your core to maintain your posture, while your lower stomach will also feel the burn from assisting in the movement of your lower extremities.
- Just like most at home exercise equipment, you can place your stationary bike in front of a television to help prevent boredom when working out, helping keep you distracting so you can ride longer. Stationary bikes are also much easier to read a book or a magazine than most other exercise equipment machines, once again helping keep you distracted.
- If you have an upper body injury, stationary bikes allow you the ability to still get in a good cardio workout.
- As we’ve stated before in How to Prevent Cardio Workout Injuries, switching up your cardio workouts is a great way to prevent injuries by switching up the muscles being used. “Pounding the [treadmill] belt 4 times a week will cause you to use the same muscles for every workout and can cause strain on these overworked muscles.” So switching the stationary bike for one of your treadmill runs will help relieve some pressure off your ankles and knees, yet still provide you with a heart pumping cardio workout.
Now that we’ve told you about all the many benefits exercise bikes can offer I’m sure you are now dying to get your own right?! Well if you are in love and want to add an exercise bike to your equipment collection be sure to check out all the NordicTrack exercise bike reviews and coupons we have to offer, and score a great deal on your NordicTrack Exercise Bike while you’re there!