With everyone who owns at least half a brain looking to become fitter, healthier and faster, lots of people are turning to cycling as a great fitness improving choice.
Compared to other fitness routines cycling stands out in many ways, it is guaranteed to increase your endurance, tone up and strengthen your leg muscles and can also improve your sense of balance and stability.
Another training routine which gives you these same results is of course running, which has been a favourite choice of fitness enthusiasts for years (myself included) and for good reason.
However prolonged running, especially if you are slightly overweight will begin to wear down and damage your knees and hips. And while the amounts of damage done varies from one person to the next, switching to a cycling routine will greatly reduce and usually totally eliminate this wear and tear on your joints, while providing you with exactly the same fitness gains.
One of the downsides of choosing cycling as a fitness option is traffic, especially if you live in a built up area. But with many excellently designed exercise bikes on the market the traffic congestion problems in your area don’t need to put a stop to you cycling for fitness goals.
Some of the best designs come from the V Fit exercise bike company and from the York company, which originally started producing weight lifting equipment, Finnlo and Proform are also good producers of exercise bikes.
If you do live in a heavy traffic area and decide to go for an exercise bike there are a few things to consider before you buy. The most important being what design type you should choose?
The 3 main design types are 1 – the upright design. 2 – the recumbent design. 3 – the spinning design.
The upright design puts you in a traditional cycling position, sitting up straight while pedalling in a downwards pushing motion, with the handle bars out in front of you. An important point to note about the upright design is that it is usually better suited for shorter cyclists, anyone over 5,11 or 6 feet tall might be better choosing a different type.
The recumbent design puts you in a sitting back/reclining position and has the pedals out in front of you. This is a great choice for anyone who is starting out a bit overweight or is recovering from a back strain, it’s also great for watching TV while you pedal.
The spinning design of exercise bike is more suited to serious cyclists, and while this design is not the most comfortable choice, it more than makes up for this in the fitness results it delivers. It is best used in conjunction with a spinning DVD workout program.
For those of you lucky enough to live in a low traffic or countryside area, you will be able to choose a mountain or racing bike and actually get out in the fresh air. This is a personal favourite of mine and definitely tops running and training indoors on a machine, click play below to see why . . .