2020 seemed to drag on forever, and included in that crazy year was minimal access to gyms. A new year is finally here, thank goodness! However, even when the gyms eventually open up again, it may still be challenging to find time to go. After all, we all have crazy lives, filled with families, work, school, and commitments that take our time. That’s why having a stationary bike in your home is crucial. With an indoor exercise bike, you can work out on your own timetable, from the comfort of your living room or basement.
You can exercise in the wee hours of the morning, late at night, or when you’re on your lunch break or your little ones are taking a nap, and you never have to leave your home. By having an indoor bike, you don’t have to be a slave to the whims of the weather. Rain or shine, your stationary bike is waiting for you in your home gym, where the temperature is nice and cool and air-conditioned. An exercise bike is definitely the route to go if you’re looking for convenience in your lifestyle as you stay healthy. Here at BikeMunk, we will show you the health benefits of a stationary bike, what a stationary bike is, and help you find the best stationary bike for you to achieve your fitness goals.
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Why Should I Get A Stationary Bike?
A stationary bike is the perfect exercise equipment to use in your home since you can exercise your entire body while losing weight and strengthening your muscles. Additionally, there are a whole host of other benefits that exercising regularly on a bike can provide.
- Burns Body Fat And Helps With Weight Loss: There’s the obvious benefit of weight loss. Since an indoor cycling bike works nearly every part of your body, it is ideal for losing weight. Depending on the difficulty of your workout, you can burn more than 600 calories an hour! The more calories you burn, the more weight you can lose. To lose 1 kg or about 2 pounds, you’ll need to exercise for at least an hour on your stationary bike three times a week.
- Improves Your Heart Health: Regularly working out can improve your cardio-respiratory capacity, which means you can exercise longer without being out of breath. It’s also well known that exercise can improve your heart health and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. By exercising your body, you’re also exercising your heart muscle, which can lower your blood pressure and decrease the risk of a stroke. Cycling can lower your cholesterol, which also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. To take advantage of these benefits, you should exercise at least two to three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Reduces The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes: An endurance sport like cycling can offer plenty of benefits for people with diabetes. When we workout, our muscles use glucose, and our blood sugar levels decrease as a result. If you have diabetes, lowering your blood glucose levels is vital for your health. Exercising can also benefit your insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone in our bodies that regulates our blood glucose levels and lowers your blood sugar levels right after eating. If you have diabetes, your insulin levels aren't functioning correctly, and you have an increase in blood sugar instead. Regularly exercising makes your body more sensitive to insulin, which means that the amount of insulin your body needs to lower your blood glucose level decreases so your blood sugar can be better regulated.
- Gives You A Low-Impact Workout: The smooth movements of a home exercise bike help strengthen your joints and bones without putting too much pressure on them. For anyone with joint issues or injuries, cycling is perfect for you since it is gentler on your knees and joints than running or other exercise forms. You can still have a challenging and fulfilling workout where you reach your fitness goals without potentially damaging your joints or being in pain.
- Strengthens Your Muscles And Tones Your Body: Using a fitness bike for your aerobic exercise is crucial for strengthening your legs and lower body. The constant pedaling will strengthen your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings, as well as your core, glutes, and back, providing an excellent overall body workout. And, if you have a stationary exercise bike with handles, you can even strengthen your biceps, triceps, and shoulders as you work your upper body.
- Boosts Cardio Fitness: Cycling is an excellent way to strengthen your heart, muscles, and lungs by getting the blood and oxygen flowing in your body. This can improve your memory and brain function, support your immune system, help you sleep better, and lower stress levels. Who wouldn't want those health improvements in their life? All of that is possible for you and more by merely exercising four to five times a week.
- Helps Your Mood And Gives You Energy: Have you ever heard the phrase, “runner’s high”? That good mood you experience isn’t just limited to running. Doing any form of exercise can produce endorphins and serotonin, which gives you a feeling of euphoria several hours after your workout. Those happy hormones are crucial to help regulate your mood and relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Using a stationary bicycle can also give you energy and help you not be as tired throughout your busy day. A study in Athens, Georgia, shows that people can increase their energy levels by 20% and decrease their fatigue by 65% by regularly engaging in low-intensity exercise.
- Fights Against Degenerative Diseases Like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, And Parkinson’s Disease: It is essential to exercise throughout your entire life and not give up when you get older. Studies have shown that regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s by up to 50%. If you already suffer from memory or cognitive problems, exercising can slow further deterioration since it stimulates the brain’s ability to retain old connections and make new ones.
- Indoor Cycling Is Safer Than Riding Outdoors: While this may not seem like a health benefit at first, getting injuries caused by unsafe road conditions or unaware drivers won't help your health. Additionally, if it's too hot, you could suffer dehydration or heat exhaustion. And if it's raining or snowing, road conditions could be dangerous. With an indoor stationary bike, you can bike at any time and in any weather and not have to worry about it being dark outside, low visibility, or bad weather conditions.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Stationary Bike?
An exercise bike is perfect for any fitness level since you can bike at your own pace. If you’re a beginner, you can do simple workouts to ease into a regular exercise and bike schedule at a slow and steady pace, on an even incline. If you’re an expert cyclist and really want a challenge, you can quickly increase your speed and resistance, as well as make the incline steeper to give yourself a more strenuous workout.
There are several things you’ll want to be aware of when looking for the right exercise bike:
- The Style Of Exercise Bike: There are three main styles of bikes to consider. There's a regular indoor cycling bike, an upright bike, and a recumbent bike. An indoor cycling bike or spin bike looks pretty similar to the bikes you see in the gym. An upright stationary bike is compact and ideal for fitting in small spaces. It is designed like your typical road bike, where you sit upright and lean over the handlebar as you cycle. A recumbent exercise bike allows you to sit back as you pedal, which provides a little more stability. This means that it's even gentler on your joints than an upright exercise bike and takes some pressure off your back with its back support.
- The Type Of Resistance The Bike Provides: The more resistance there is, the more intense your workout is, and the more significant results you'll achieve. You can turn up the bike's resistance to get the same level of difficulty as cycling up a hill or turned down when you want a more leisurely ride like cycling on a flat road. An indoor stationary bike has two kinds of resistance, friction resistance and magnetic resistance. Physical friction resistance is caused by your pedal squeezing the pads against the flywheel, much like a regular outdoor bike. The tighter you manually adjust the knob attached to the pad, the more resistance on the flywheel, which makes it more challenging to pedal.
Magnetic resistance is incredible since there aren’t any parts rubbing together that can wear down. The flywheel passes through a magnetic field, creating magnetic resistance. If you want a higher resistance and a greater challenge pedaling, you’ll move the two magnets closer to the flywheel. If you wish to reduce the resistance, move the magnets further from the flywheel. It has an adjustable resistance, controlled either by buttons on a console or a tension knob. Another difference between physical resistance and magnetic resistance is the noise level. A bike with friction resistance will have a low hum, like a loud whisper, whereas an indoor bicycle with magnetic resistance is 100% silent since no pieces are rubbing together. A bike with magnetic resistance is ideal for an intense, high-speed cardio workout. They may be pricier, to begin with, but they’re well worth the quality in the long run.
What Is The Best Exercise Bike?
Some questions you’ll want to ask yourself when getting an exercise bike for your home are:
- How often are you planning on using it?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- Why are you getting a bike, and what are your fitness goals?
- How difficult do you want your workouts to be, and do you want a regular indoor cycling bike, an upright bike, or a recumbent bike?
- How much space do you have? Do you need something that fits into the living room corner, or do you have a dedicated space for it in your home gym.
After testing and reviewing indoor stationary bikes, here are our top three choices for the best stationary bike for your home gym.
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
This fantastic indoor cycling bike is perfect for anyone who wants to exercise from home. It has adjustable handlebars and an adjustable seat, so no matter if you’re much taller or shorter than your roommates or significant other, multiple people can easily use and enjoy the bike. It has magnetic resistance, so you can quickly adjust your resistance and difficulty level as you silently pedal in your living room or basement. This stationary bike also features a tablet holder and water bottle holder so you can stay entertained as well as hydrated while you’re cycling. There are transportation wheels so you can easily maneuver the bike into place, as well as an emergency stop brake for your safety if your pedaling causes the bike wheel to spin too fast. This stationary bike is well worth the cost and will make an excellent addition to your workout routine.
EXERPEUTIC 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse
This recumbent spinning bike is a budget-friendly deal for just $200. Heart rate sensors are included in the handlebar grips, and there's an easy-to-read LCD screen that tracks your distance, calories burned, speed, time, and heart rate information. It also has eight different resistance levels, providing you with a wide range of difficulty in your workout. This durable bike is perfect for riders of nearly any height or size with a user height from 5'3" to 6'6" and a 300 lb weight capacity. It has oversized pedals and a large, oversized seat cushion and backrest, making this recumbent bike ideal for older people or anyone who doesn't want as much strain on their joints and back.
This versatile exercise bike is the perfect fit for anyone looking to get fit quick. This one-size-fits-all 2-in-1 bike can be used as both an upright or a recumbent bike, fulfilling anyone's exercise needs. Its upright position is perfect when you want to boost your heart rate and get an intense cardio workout. The recruitment bike setting is reclined and more comfortable on your back, reducing body fatigue and muscle soreness while still getting a great workout session in. Thanks to the compact design on this folding bike, once you've completed your workout session for the day, you can quickly fold it up to half of its assembled size and tuck it out of the way in a corner until your next use. With a height range of 4'5" to 6'5" and a weight capacity of 330 lbs, this bike is the ideal fit for anyone that wants to get healthy. With ten levels of magnetic resistance, sturdy construction, and a precision-balanced flywheel, you can have a smooth and silent ride while listening to music, watching TV, or talking on the phone and not have to worry about noisy bicycle interference. This upright or recumbent bike features a phone and tablet holder, along with a cushioned and adjustable seat so you can ride comfortably. It also has anti-slip pedals to prevent potential injuries. With heart rate sensors conveniently built into the handlebars and a large LCD monitor that displays your distance in miles, time, calories burned, speed, and heart rate pulse, this bike is an excellent deal for everyone!
Make sure you get an indoor stationary bike today. It is well worth the initial expense, so you can have the freedom of not having to go to the gym and being able to work out whenever you’d like from the comfort of your home. Coupled with the numerous health benefits that cycling provides, it’s a no-brainer that you’d want to begin your fitness journey right away with a new stationary bike that will give you countless hours of exercise and fun. We look forward to helping you find the best stationary bike for all of your cycling needs as you continue on your journey to be healthier and happier!