Many people believe that recumbent bikes are a breath of fresh air if you are bored of following the same old routine of bikes, stationary bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, and rowing machines. It could well be a step up for health enthusiasts who believe in aerobics and cardio – after all, change is always good.
On the other hand, if you are new to the amazing world of workouts, a recumbent bike could be a good (and comfortable) introduction to burning calories. In short, whether you are a newbie or a workout pro, a recumbent bike offers great advantages for all types of people, and all age groups too!
What are the Benefits of Using a Recumbent Bike?
Recumbent bikes give you complete back support as you sit down on a large seat in a reclined position, as compared to a classic or stationary bike. This way, your upper body muscles are fully relaxed while your lower body (which is the problem area in most of the cases) gets a complete cardio workout. You end up burning overall calories while toning your lower body muscles.
Whether it is your first time in cardio, or you are too tired of the same old gym machines, a recumbent bike provides you with the comfort and challenges that all kinds of people can try and enjoy.
Here are some of the benefits of using a recumbent bike.
For Weight Loss and Management
Most of the people who opt for a cardiovascular exercise program either want to lose weight or manage their existing ones. The only way you can lose weight or don’t put any on it is by administering the intake and burning of your calories.
A recumbent bike is a great way to get the body moving. If you are new to aerobics or cardio, it is a great idea to start with an exercise that burns calories without being too strenuous for you. After all, you want to do it for the long term, right? Experts believe that the best way to stick to a weight-loss plan is to enjoy the journey. The recumbent bike provides you with a comfortable seat while you start your weight loss program. And before you know it, you have spent half an hour doing your lower body cardio while your upper body relaxes.
Even if you plan to manage your current weight, it is a good idea to start with a light activity level. You can place your recumbent bike in front of your TV or play a game on your cellphone, and before you know it, you have already burnt the desired calories.
There is more to cardio than burning body fats and losing stubborn weight. Cardio workouts, like the one you can do on a recumbent bike, increase your lungs’ capacity, strengthen your lower body muscles, and makes your heart strong. It protects you against different frightening diseases including diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and heart attack. Not only that, but cardio exercises can also result in removing toxins from your body and result in reducing your risk of some types of cancers.
Cardio does not only help you in your physical wellbeing but mental and emotional too. Making a habit of doing cardio at least 3 times a week boosts your energy level and brightens up your mood. It is also said to fight against the early onset of dementia.
If you are not new to cardio, your recumbent bike can help you set the resistance to make your cardio more challenging. You can vary your pedaling speed, increase resistance, or even cycle backward using your recumbent bike. So, whether you are new to exercising or are already into it, getting yourself a recumbent bike is always a great option for cardiovascular workouts.
No matter what your age is, exercise is important as it makes your body function properly and helps you age in a healthy manner. But for seniors, it is crucial to have a healthy activity level without putting unnecessary pressure on the muscles. The recumbent bike is a great way to start light workouts for seniors. Even if you are around 65 years or older and have not ever tried any treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, then trying out a recumbent bike may be a great idea to introduce physical activity into your lifestyle. It can go a long way to boost your physical as well as emotional health.
The recumbent bike lets you sit in a comfortable posture while you set your activity levels. These bikes are especially great if you have a back issue. For seniors, start with a light activity level so your body can handle basic workouts. If you are a senior and plan to go for a recumbent bike, rest assured that you have nothing to lose and a lot of healthy muscles and strength to gain!
For Strengthening Leg Muscles
It is no news that our legs are the two pillars on which the entire body weight lies. A recumbent bike is excellent exercise equipment for strengthening those super important leg muscles. When you pedal or ramp up, your lower body muscles, including your gluteal muscles (glutes), hamstrings, lower legs, and quads, get worked up.
Having strong leg muscles not only helps us in our day to day activities but as we age, these muscles help us maintain a good activity level without tiring down your knees and feet.
Whether you are one of those who cannot stand up for a long duration of time due to lower body ache, or you want to boost your cardio routine with an extra workout for leg muscles – a recumbent bike may have the solution to all your requirements.
For Training Variety
Your recumbent bike is ideal for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that lets you shed off extra pounds, gain energy, maintain a healthy hormonal balance in your body, and of course, feel more confident and in control.
Unlike most of the other gym machines including elliptical, stepper, and treadmill that move your body while tiring you down, the recumbent bike is great for training variety as it provides you with lower body workouts involving your leg and hip muscles. Also, if you are tired of the same old exercises, the recumbent bike offers you a different take on aerobics and cardio. You can recline and watch TV while still burning calories and toning your muscles.
The recumbent bike uses your following muscles:
- Heart: Recumbent bike is great for our crucial pumping organ – the heart. With a daily recumbent bike workout, you can reduce stress, strengthen your heart, and decrease your resting heart rate.
- Gluteus maximus: The largest and one of the strongest muscles in our body, the gluteus maximus controls our thigh and hip movements.
- Biceps Femoris: It is part of your hamstring and lies at the back of your thighs. Whenever you flex your knees or rotate your hips, you use the biceps femoris muscles. Using a recumbent bike helps you strengthen these muscles.
- Rectus Femoris: It is the only muscle that flexes your hips. It also helps in your knee and thigh movement.
- Semitendinosus: It is an important hamstring muscle given the task to extend your hips and flex your knees. Semitendinosus lies at the back of your thighs.
- Vastus Medialis: When you extend your leg at the knee area, you use this quadriceps muscle that is present in the front of your thigh. It also provides support to your kneecap.
- Vastus Lateralis: This key muscle is located on your upper thigh and it lets you stand up straight from a sitting or squatting position.
- Tibialis Anterior: It is an important muscle that helps in dorsiflexion – when you raise your foot upwards towards your shin.
- Medial Gastrocnemius: It is a valuable muscle of the calf region that assists you when you stand on tiptoes. It is also responsible for flexing the leg from the knee joint.
For Sustained Movements
If you want to invest in workout equipment, go for something that has sustained movements – something that releases your energy and burns calories in a smooth pattern, and that your body will enjoy doing in order to make it a long-term exercise routine. A stepper or a stationary bike may look good when you use them for 5 minutes in your gym, but can you burn a large number of calories from those machines? To burn more calories from cardio equipment, it needs to be used for a specified interval on a regular basis.
The admirable part about having a recumbent bike is that the reclined position offers you the ease to read or watch TV or spend time on a gadget while you exercise. This encourages you to stay on your recumbent bike for a longer duration of time without getting bored with it (something that is common with most of the exercise machines).
For the X-factor
When a recumbent bike is used on a road, it is generally faster than a traditional bike. If you cannot ride one outside, you can certainly enjoy the same sense of sensation with a stationary recumbent bike at home. In addition to this, studies reveal that a recumbent bike is more visible, from a safety point of view, on the road than other bikes. And if these facts are not convincing enough, you cannot deny the fact how chic and trendy a recumbent bike looks and feels.
Whether you plan to ride a recumbent bike on the roads or want to have a stationary one in your living room, the benefits it offers you and your body are incomparable. The recumbent bike has been in the market for a while, but now that more and more people are witnessing its benefits and ease of use, the recumbent bike is becoming the next big thing in the fitness industry.