An estimated 68 million adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure as of 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes. If you suffer from hypertension, you have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Getting regular exercise from a stationary bike helps lower blood pressure. According to WeightLossForAll.com, stationary bikes are also easier on your knees and ankles.
Stationary Bike and Blood Pressure
According to the American Council on Exercise, regular cardiovascular exercise decreases your risk of hypertension and also lowers resting blood pressure. Doing moderately intense exercise for 30 minutes on a stationary bike lowers your blood pressure provided you do it on most, if not all, days of the week. You need to get your heart rate up to between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum. Consider getting a heart monitor to use when you’re on the stationary bike to help you keep track of your heart rate.
Advantages Over Cycling
Although regular cycling exercises the heart, using a stationary bike has advantages that make it more ideal for lowering your blood pressure. Stationary bikes are low-impact and generally more convenient because exercising on them requires less space, according to Spine-Health.com. Aside from being easier to use, you don’t have to worry about bad weather ruining your exercise plans. Stationary bike functions allow you to track how many calories you’ve burned, as well as manage exercise intensity and pacing. Some can even connect to the Internet. You also have the option of watching TV while exercising on stationary bikes so that your workout is less boring.
Tips to Maximize Exercise
To get the most of your exercise routine, record how much time you spend on the bike and the resistance level. The American Heart Association suggests varying your stationary bike exercises as well as making your workout sessions more social to keep up your interest and motivate improvement. If you’re just a beginner, avoid starting at an intensity that is too hard for your to sustain. Gradual improvement is preferable to taking on too much too soon. If you do it correctly, stationary biking will lower your resting blood sugar and improve your overall cardiovascular health.
As convenient as stationary bikes are, they do have some drawbacks. Stationary bikes primarily exercise your legs and may neglect your upper body. If you’re looking for a more well-rounded aerobic workout, this could be a deal-breaker. This is particularly true if you’re looking to elevate your metabolic rate and lose weight. Stationary bikes are also more costly than regular bikes. This makes them difficult to buy if you’re on a budget.
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