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Cardiovascular health is a crucial aspect of your overall fitness that determines the reactions of the body when in motion. To jump higher, run faster, and work out longer, it helps to conduct frequent cardio-focused activities that support healthy blood flow.
Stationary bikes are excellent options to consider since they offer plenty of advantages such as strengthening your heart, muscles, and lungs. Here, you’ll delve further into the fitness realm and learn how to improve your cardio with a stationary bike, the benefits of using the equipment, and some workouts to try.
Cardiovascular fitness is a health-related aspect of physical fitness that one can sustain by performing physical activity. As something everyone can benefit from, it allows you the ability to deliver oxygen to all working muscle groups within the body.
By engaging in the appropriate aerobic or anaerobic activity, you’re simultaneously improving your metabolic rate, hemoglobin, and buffers within the bloodstream. Your heart is a pump with the purpose of moving blood around your body.
The more active you are, the more chances you give your heart to function efficiently by pumping more blood with less effort. This later results in reduced blood pressure and helps avoid hypertension or alleviate symptoms.
If you can manage a healthy habit of cardiovascular health, you can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Having good cardiovascular fitness can also aid in faster recovery and better sleep and ward off other chronic diseases.
Stationary bikes are prominent figures in the cardiovascular fitness world. Like treadmills, rowers, and ellipticals, these machines offer opportunities to perform different types of workouts in varying intensities.
However, there are other benefits that may pique your interest when you’re looking for a way to refresh your typical workout routine.
Stationary bike workouts are a form of low-impact activity that relies on smoother movements that minimize the strain on bones and joints.
While the exercise still promotes bone density and strength, the workouts distribute pressure to other areas of the body, allowing you to remain active for longer at a desired intensity.
Speaking of strengthening bones, workouts on stationary bikes can also promote lower body strength! The constant pedaling action during activity can support and strengthen hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps.
Additionally, you may notice that you’ll activate muscles in your back, core, and glutes during movement. On the other hand, using a bicycle with handles will activate your upper body muscles, like your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
When you work out at a higher intensity on a stationary bike, the movement can aid in caloric burn while building strength. These advantages may result in visceral fat loss, thus lowering cholesterol levels.
While outdoor cycling is a fantastic form of cardio activity, it comes with some hazards that can threaten your safety and well-being. For instance, you may encounter inattentive drivers, experience poor visibility, and move on slick or uneven surfaces that can cause injury.
Conversely, you won’t have to worry about safety hazards when exercising on a stationary bike; you’ll have the space to yourself, so you can work out comfortably.
There are plenty of stationary bike workouts to aid in cardiovascular health improvement. However, you’ll discover a few of our favorite ones below.
If this is your first workout on a stationary bike, it’s in your best interest to start slowly and gradually build to cycling for more time and at a higher intensity.
When building endurance, you can focus on activity that caters to longer cycling. Start by warming up for 3 minutes and pedaling at a low intensity.
Afterward, increase your resistance to a moderate setting and try to maintain a steady pace for the remaining 28 minutes. Then, cool down upon returning to a lower pedaling intensity.
To add variety to the activity, consider switching between medium intensity for 5 minutes and a higher setting for 1 to 2 minutes before finishing the workout at a low setting.
After mastering the basics, it’s only natural to want to raise the stakes by performing workouts at an intermediate level.
For this 20-minute workout, you’ll introduce short HIIT intervals of demanding work followed by active recovery of the same length. Initiate the activity by riding at a moderate pace to warm up the muscles and introduce blood flow throughout the body.
After 5 minutes, you’ll perform a 30-second push of pedaling at a higher intensity. The goal is to aim for nearly breathless efforts in your pushes. This means that you shouldn’t be able to hold conversation or belt out the notes to your favorite song with ease.
Proceed to pedal at a lower intensity and recover for 60 seconds before alternating between low and high settings for the next 10 minutes. Then, commence a 5-minute cooldown.
For those ready to take on the most challenging workouts that test their physical and mental toughness, consider experimenting with an advanced-style cycling session.
This rhythm-focused workout relies on you keeping time with the music. The beats of your favorite songs will dictate your pace and resistance throughout the ride. Start by warming up the muscles with a low-intensity pedal with light resistance.
Next, proceed with an 8-minute climb by pedaling a heavier resistance. Move in another 3-minute block by lightening the resistance and riding at a moderate intensity.
You’ll toggle with the resistance and intensity for most of the workout; however, you’ll recover for 2 minutes in between each intense interval.
While stationary bikes are generally safer than cycling outdoors, it helps to remain aware of best safety practices to avoid injury. You can develop muscle fatigue from repetitive motion and using poor form. Remember to always position your body correctly and prioritize using proper form.
Take breaks to allow your body time to recover from potential pains and muscle aches. Most importantly, avoid overexerting yourself past your limits.
If you’re noticing a plateau in your fitness goals, expand your methods and experiment with new equipment. You can branch out of your comfort zone and improve your cardio with a stationary bike to avoid succumbing to boredom from the repetitive workouts.
Remember to use caution when necessary and keep safety suggestions in mind when using the equipment. It would also be in your best interest to consult a physician before starting any physical activity.
Stationary bikes are valuable pieces of equipment in and outside of the gym. When putting together your personal fitness center at home, consider placing one to complete your space! California Home Fitness is a trusted fitness equipment company with the perfect additions to home gyms nationwide.
We specialize in providing premium machines like recumbent fitness bikes in Southern California that would be a perfect fit for your goals. Please visit our webpage for more information.