Bike riding for exercise is one effective way of staying fit and toned and building physical endurance. In biking, almost all parts of the body are exercised, from the legs to the thighs to the abdomen and even the arms. Cycling, though, is more recommended to people who wish to strengthen the lower part of their body since the upper half does not get as much activity as the lower part when it comes to riding a bike.
Exercise for busy people
Although riding road bikes along various terrain might be a lot more fun than cycling indoors, some people just don't have the time to venture outdoors and work on their fitness. For these busy individuals, there is the option of indoor biking. Exercise bikes for use inside the home or in gyms are readily available and serve the same function as road bikes. They can use either the recumbent or the upright type and choose from various brands like ProForm, Nautilus, Schwinn and Life Fitness.
How biking works the muscles
Cycling, even indoors, allows a person to strengthen his or her legs, thighs and glutes. It is an effective cardiovascular activity and can help tone the muscles and keep a person fit. Pedaling strengthens the legs and helps make the inner thighs firm. It also helps accelerate metabolism, increase heart rate and helps burn calories. A person can lose weight, become stronger and keep fit with a proper cycling program.
Equipment for the activity
For people who prefer a more strenuous exercise program, an upright exercise bike machine would be ideal. It is much the same as a road bike where the rider would be required to use the pedals in a vertical, albeit stationary, position. For individuals new to exercising, or those who suffer from back pains and injuries, the recumbent is the more preferred type of exercise equipment. A recumbent bike puts the rider in a more horizontal position, with a backrest to protect his back and the feet out in front for pedaling.
To compensate for the lack of outdoor views and varying terrain, some manufacturers of indoor exercise bikes have incorporated virtual programs into their products wherein the rider can enter a virtual setting simulating an outdoor experience. Adjustable resistance features and pre-programmed add-ons also allow the rider to simulate uphill or downhill terrains, allowing him or her to vary the exercise program and move various muscles.
People interested in bike riding for exercise need to be careful before starting a cycling regimen. A consultation with a physical fitness expert on what type of program is the most appropriate and what equipment to use is the first step that should be taken by those who like cycling exercises. Just like outdoor biking, indoor cycling can also cause injuries and pains if the program is not done right and the activity is not guided or sanctioned by a physical fitness expert.
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