When it comes to choosing an indoor exercise bike, your biggest challenge will be choosing between an upright stationary bike and a recumbent bike. Both have their benefits, but today we’ll focus on what you can expect to gain from a recumbent.
The first major benefit is, of course, cardiovascular exercise. Using the recumbent bike is a great aerobic exercise and it uses some of your largest muscles groups – quadriceps, hamstrings, legs, and glutes. Many people who do regular cardio exercise see an increase in heart and lung function, a decrease in blood pressure, and a decrease in lung disorders. Please be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program – even on a recumbent bike – if you have heart or lung problems.
Strengthening Your Muscles
The recumbent bike puts you in a much different physical position than the stationary bike. On the upright stationary bike, you are targeting your thighs, lower legs, and glute muscles. On the recum
bent bike, you are using the same muscles but from in a different position. This allows for a different strengthening effect. If you’re physically able, spending time on the recumbent bike indoors and an upright bike at other times can be incredibly beneficial.
Comfort and Stability
A lot of people don’t like feeling as though they’re off balance, so the lower position of the recumbent bike is less daunting. The seat is larger and the semi-reclined position is more comfortable than the upright or forward position on the upright bike. The entire position is more natural, so your back muscles won’t feel tired or strained and you’ll also feel less pressure on your hips and knees. This makes the recumbent bike a great option for those who have arthritis or other conditions that make strenuous exercise more difficult.
Another benefit, in addition to comfort, is that the position of your body does not allow you to stand up on the pedals. This is a major cause for injury among those using upright bikes.
Of course, the more comfortable you are, the easier it is to stick with a workout plan. This means you’ll not only stay on the bike longer during each session, but you are likely to return more frequently. The more you are able to workout, the better your overall physical (and mental) results.
While there are benefits to just about any type of workout equipment, but a recumbent bike can be incredibly beneficial for those battling joint or health issues. Check with your doctor before making a choice, but know you have options for comfort, security, and ultimately endurance when using a recumbent bike.