We all know that it is important to stay fit and healthy as much as we can. But while we might want to get out and about to do that, the British weather isn’t always that agreeable!
That goes a long way towards explaining why we buy so much exercise equipment to use in our own homes. It is convenient, it is a lot cheaper than using a gym (since you only have to pay for it once), and you can buy whatever you would enjoy using the most.
One of the most popular items that people buy is an exercise bike. While it is great to get out and about on a normal bicycle, you have to contest with hills, windy weather and a lot more besides – not to mention punctures!
With a home exercise bike you are going to get the same conditions every time you hop on it. And you have far more control over what you can do – for example if you want to ride five miles exactly you can do just that. You don’t have to plan an exact round trip to do the same distance.
But if you are considering buying an exercise bike yourself, you might get a bit overwhelmed by the number of choices you have available to you. That’s why we are going to take an introductory look at them now, to see whether it might be something you could really benefit from in both the short and the long term.
Upright exercise bikes
This type is the most common among all the bikes you will see. An upright bike enables you to sit in the same position that you would sit on a normal bike – upright, with your arms out in front of you and holding the handlebars. Although of course, the handlebars are rather different on an exercise bike than they are on a normal road bike.
If you like the feeling of sitting on a traditional bike then an upright bike is probably going to be the best one for you. If you can, try and get to a sports store or similar shop and sit on the bike you are considering buying. You can always go home and order online for home delivery to make things easier if you wish, but at least then you will know how the bike will feel to use when you get it.
There are a lot of different varieties in the upright range as well. Some will be more adjustable than others, so it is worth shopping around to see what different stores sell.
Recumbent exercise bikes
Recumbent sounds quite laid back, doesn’t it? And in fact you would be right, because this type of exercise bike has a very different seat and a very different way of cycling!
You will notice that the seat has a back to it, rather than being shaped like a saddle. This means you will be able to lean back as you are pedalling – although you shouldn’t be lulled into thinking you’ll get a nice easy workout out of it!
Your legs are stretched out in front of you and you don’t really have any handlebars as such. You may occasionally find small handles either side of the seat though, to enable you to steady yourself as you are pedalling.
This style of exercise bike isn’t for everyone, and it does have the disadvantage of taking up more floor space, since you are stretched out rather than sitting upright. But if you do have the room it can be a great advantage if you have a back problem or an issue with your hands that makes an upright bike more uncomfortable.
Foldaway exercise bikes
One important consideration to bear in mind if you are going to buy an exercise bike is of course where you are going to put it. Many people can find floor space in a spare room, or perhaps the corner of their bedroom, for it. But they do need some room around them as well which can pose a problem.
If you are really pushed for space then a foldaway model is the perfect solution. It is basically in an X shape that scissors open and closed, depending on whether you are going to use it or not. There is always a locking mechanism of some kind to ensure that the machine is safe to use before you get on it, although you should of course always check that this is properly in place.
A foldaway bike is much easier to store since you only have to get it out when you are ready to use it. The downside of this of course is that it is all too easy to forget you have one in the first place! If you are thinking of getting this type of exercise bike always make sure that you are going to be disciplined enough to get it out regularly.
You should also measure your bike when folded to see whether it will in fact fit where you want it to. For example, you might want to see whether you could slide it underneath your bed.
An exercise bike is a great way to get fit and indeed lose weight as well. With regular use you will build up the strength in your muscles and you’ll certainly notice the difference in your figure as well.
Some people are more serious about using their bikes than other people. That doesn’t mean you aren’t using your bike regularly – it just has an impact on what type of bike you buy, and how advanced its features are.
That’s why it is crucial that you make sure you shop around and consider all the alternatives before you make your final choice and order the exercise bike you want. Think about what will work best with your surroundings as well as with you, and you will be much more likely to get an exercise bike that you will use over and over again.