Getting physically fit means you get healthier. A healthy body is one that feels strong, and capable, is within a healthy weight range and has an endurance-based cardiovascular system. If a fit body is your goal, use an exercise bike as part of your workout routine. A benefit of using an exercise bike is that you can workout regardless of the weather. The exercise also has no joint impact. You are in complete control of the difficulty level, the workout duration and the type of bike you ride.
Adjust the seat of the recumbent bike so that your back rests against the back pad and you have a slight bend in your knee when your leg is fully extended. Adjust the seat height of the upright exercise bike so when your leg is fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke you have a slight bend in your knee.
Reduce the resistance on the bike to the lightest level. Warm up for five minutes at a slow pace. Begin on the light resistance and gradually increase the resistance so you feel a light to medium tension as you push against the pedal.
Pedal for 20 to 60 minutes at a steady pace at a resistance level that causes you to break a sweat. You should be able to maintain a conversation as you pedal. Increase the resistance or speed if you are able to sing easily. Decrease the resistance or speed if you are unable to talk because of your level of exertion.
Incorporate speed intervals into your exercise session. For example, after your warm-up, do a fast-paced sprint for 30 seconds. It should be no faster than 110 revolutions per minute. Return to a moderate pace for one to three minutes before you repeat the sprint. Continue to alternate the speed and recovery intervals for the duration of your workout.
Add hill intervals to increase your leg muscle tone. After your warm-up, increase the resistance to a tension that feels medium to heavy. Cycle at that tension for one to two minutes and then reduce the tension as you return to a simulated flat-road resistance level. Repeat the hill intervals for 20 to 60 minutes. Increase the duration of your hills as your muscular strength and endurance improve and you are not breathless at the end of the hill.
Cool down at the end of your workout by slow pedaling for three to five minutes at light resistance. Stretch each of the major muscle groups in your legs, arms, chest and back for 15 to 30 seconds. For example, lace your fingers together behind your head to open up your chest. Or, bend your knee while standing and hold onto your ankle behind you to stretch the front of your thigh.
Perform your exercise bike workout three to six days a week to get fit, strengthen your cardiovascular system and support weight loss or maintenance. The more you exercise, the faster you get fit.
If you weigh 160 pounds, you burn 146 to 438 calories by cycling at 10 mph for 20 to 60 minutes.
Listen to music, watch television or read a book if you struggle to pass the time. Keep up your pace, though, and do not let the entertainment distract you from a challenging workout.
Speak with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.