A stationary bike provides a heart-pumping cardiovascular workout. Your aerobic workout on a stationary bike can help improve your heart function, strengthen your lung capacity and improve your leg strength. When you increase your heart rate by doing aerobic exercise, such as a vigorous workout on a stationary bike, you will burn fat, which can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. There is more to using a stationary bike than merely sitting down and pedaling. You can devise routines that improve your overall health and strength.
You can perform circuit training on your exercise bike at home by combining aerobic, or cardio, exercises with some strength training. The exercise bike is ideal for intense cardio and circuit training. Circuit training consists of performing a vigorous cardio exercise followed immediately by a strength training exercise. After warming up to prepare your muscles for vigorous exercise, do two to three minutes of squats followed by two to three minutes of vigorous riding on the exercise bike.
Your stationary bike routine should include challenging interval routines, which will strengthen your leg muscles while increasing your heart rate for a fat-burning aerobic workout. An interval routine is a period of vigorous exercise followed by a period of less intense exercise. You can begin a stationary bike interval routine by pedaling in a slow to moderate pace for five minutes followed by five minutes of pedaling the bike as fast as you can. Slow down and pedal for five minutes and then do vigorous, rapid pedaling for another five minutes. Do this routine for 30 minutes to burn fat and strengthen your body.
You can use a stationary bike to increase your endurance by pedaling at a slow, deliberate pace for an hour or more. The longer you pedal, the more calories your body burns and the greater your endurance. Start slowly and gradually increase the length of time by adding five to 10 minutes each time you exercise until you can pedal for at least one hour. To avoid boredom, listen to your favorite music CD or watch a movie while you exercise.
Benefits of Stationary Bicycling
You can get a good cardiovascular workout no matter what the weather by pedaling a stationary bike indoors. Pregnant women can ride a stationary bike and enjoy the benefits of aerobic exercise if their doctor approves. However, pregnant women should be aware that their center of gravity will shift late in pregnancy, which may result in a fall. Riding a stationary bike can help improve joint flexibility if you have arthritis. Pedaling a stationary bike places no weight on the joints, which is easier on the joints than many weight-bearing exercises.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.