Exercise bikes are workout equipment that enables you to reap the benefits of bike riding without having to risk riding in the street.
Exercise bikes provide an outstanding all-around workout, engaging all the major muscles of the body to some extent and boosting cardiovascular health.
Below our health experts have brought together 11 of the most important benefits provided by exercise bikes.
11 Benefits Of Exercise Bikes
Exercise bikes are some of the most effective workout equipment on the market. Below is our list of the top benefits of using exercise bikes.
1: Exercise bikes are good for your heart.
The heart is the most important muscle in the body. Yet many of us pay it scant attention. Or we bombard it with fatty foods and cigarette smoke and don’t bother to even give it a workout. Big mistake. The CDC estimates that more than 3/4 of all heart attacks and cases of heart disease are preventable (1). The best way to maintain heart health is to eat right and exercise. And stationary cycling is a great way for older folks to get the cardiovascular workout they need to stay healthy and physically vital.
2: Exercise bikes are convenient.
Even the most health-conscious among us have those days when we just don’t want to be bothered going for a run or going to the health club. If you have an exercise bike, though, that’s not a problem. Just hop on the bike, fire up your favorite music, and get in an excellent all-around workout in a short time without ever stepping outside. If you have the luxury of having a private office, you can keep one there too. It’s a great way to sharpen your mind during the day while relieving stress and enjoying physical dividends both short and long term.
3: Exercise bikes help you lose weight.
Any type of vigorous cardiovascular exercise is going to burn off fat. That includes riding a stationary bike. The exact amount a person will lose will depend on how hard they cycle, their BMI, and other factors. But most people can expect to burn anywhere from 200 to about 300 calories during the course of a vigorous, 30-minute outing on the exercise bike.
4: Exercise bikes make you stronger.
About this there is no debate. Competitive bike riders are some of the most physically fit individuals you’ll ever find. Bike riding strengthens the legs, sure. But also strengthens both the back and the muscles of the core (2). There are numerous advantages to getting stronger as you age. And anyone who tells you that building muscle in your 50s, 60s and beyond is not possible needs to hop on the net and do some research (3)(4). The fact is cycling, along with weight training, can help prevent the loss of muscle mass as we age and build new, bigger muscles as well.
5: Exercise bikes can reduce the risk of diabetes.
As we mentioned above, working out on the exercise bike is a great way to lose weight. But losing weight does more than just make you feel lighter on your feet. It also dramatically reduces your risk of developing type II diabetes. The number of people with type II diabetes has exploded in recent years (5), and that explosion can be directly linked to poor eating habits combined with sedentary lifestyles. Regular workouts on an exercise bike can help you lose weight and keep it off. And that reduces your chance of developing diabetes.
6: Exercise bikes help you think clearer.
And there’s no great mystery as to why that is. Any type of cardiovascular activity is, by nature, going to get the blood pumping. And since blood carries oxygen to the brain, the more blood that’s pumping, the more oxygen your brain is getting. Your brain loves oxygen so working out on the stationary bikes leads to all-around better cognitive function (6). That includes enhanced memory, better focus, and better problem-solving abilities. A good workout on the bike can lift the fog from your brain. And that’s true whether you’re 17 or 77.
7: Exercise bikes help increase physical endurance.
One of the first aspects of overall health to suffer as we age is physical endurance (7). There are a lot of reasons for this. Most have to do with the tendency to become sedentary as we age. While it may be understandable that people spend more time sitting as they get older it’s really bad for overall health (8). Having an exercise bike in the house can go a long way toward establishing or re-establishing precious physical endurance. As endurance increases, you will naturally gravitate toward a more physically active life and find you have more stamina when it comes to just about everything, including sex.
8: Exercise bikes boost energy levels too.
Having increased stamina won’t do you much good if you don’t have the energy necessary to take advantage of it. Bike riding, even stationary bike riding, is a great way to reduce body fat, increase respiratory efficiency, and get more blood pumping to the muscles. The result is higher energy levels from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed at night. Some people tie the increased energy levels to dopamine (9). But in most cases, it’s just a matter of being leaner and more physically capable.
9: Exercise bikes are low impact.
Exercise bikes are a great way to get your cardio work in without having to pound the pavement. Running is tough on the ankles, knees, and hip joints, after all. Each time the foot slams into the ground, it sends shockwaves up the leg. Each one of these takes its toll on the joints, and over time that damage can be considerable. For older folks the dangers posed by running are even more acute. Recently there have also been questions about whether running can actually cause cellular damage (10). By contrast, exercise bikes are a shock-free, low-impact way for a person to get their cardio.
10: Exercise bikes help you reduce stress.
That’s because vigorous exercise like cycling (even stationary cycling) releases endorphins (11) in the brain. In a nutshell, endorphins are a type of peptide that activates the pleasure center of the brain. People who run regularly experience this all the time. They call it ‘runner’s high’ (12). But the same effect can be achieved by riding a stationary bike as long as the cycling is appropriately vigorous. Endorphins don’t just give you a natural buzz, they also help reduce stress levels. That, in turn, helps you sleep better and think clearer and can have a positive knock-on effect throughout your life.
11: Exercise bikes let you work out in peace.
Older folks in particular tend to be put off, or at least not attracted to, the health club atmosphere. That is one reason many of them fall into a state of physical disrepair. Exercise bikes provide the perfect way for a person with no interest in the gym to get an all-around, low-impact workout. There’s no need to deal with sweat puddles left by others on the machinery. No need to endure unwelcome attention. No need to put up with blaring music of often extremely questionable taste. You get on the bike when you want, work at your own pace, and get the exercise that will keep you healthy and happy.
Bike riding is one of the best exercises anyone can engage in. But not everyone wants to risk life and limb cycling on the street. For them, there’s the exercise bike. Exercise bikes are good for your heart, can help you lose weight and keep it off, can make you stronger overall, are easy on important joints and are a great way to alleviate stress.