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An exercise bike consists of a stationary bicycle used for cardiovascular, endurance, and strength training. Exercise bikes have been available longer than treadmills, skiers, rowing machines, elliptical trainers, and most other types of exercise equipment. They are perhaps the most popular form of home fitness equipment. Experts generally consider them to be safe and effective, and they are easy to use by most sectors of the population.
There are various types of exercise bikes, including "spinning machines" built specifically for spinning classes, and recumbent models, which may be helpful for those with lower back pain. A regular bicycle can also be adapted for stationary exercise with a special stand. Besides putting less stress on the joints and knees than other equipment, standard stationary bikes often allow the rider to pedal backward, exercising muscles not normally used. New versions often offer electronic programs and may be connected to a computer with included software that allows the rider to ride virtual roads and terrain. These electronic variants are becoming popular training devices for bicycle racing teams, as they simulate the varied pace and difficulty level of an actual course.
Just as with cycling outdoors, indoor cycling also uses the concepts of spinning and cadence. Many exercise bikes will display your cadence in terms of RPMs which, combined with a heart rate monitor, can tell you when you have reached an aerobic exercise level.
When getting on an exercise bike, the goal is to challenge your body but not push it to the point of pain or injury. Having a bit of knowledge about RPMs will enable you to set some realistic goals. As a general rule, an athlete cycles at 90-110 RPMs, while an extremely fit person may do 80-90 RPMs. But you don't need to be in super shape to get a good workout. In fact, you can get a good workout at 70-80 RPMs. If you are doing anything below that, it's probably a good idea to check the tension to ensure it isn't too high.
For a good workout, try alternating between hills and speed, interval cycling, spinning, or cross-training stationary cycling. There are enough workout choices to keep you in great shape without getting bored!
Here on ExerciseBikes.us, you can browse through specifications and shop online for a good selection of stationary bikes and accessories from selected exercise equipment manufacturers.
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