Do you ever feel like in-home exercise equipment isn’t always worth it? The equipment can be costly and it doesn’t always encourage the greatest workout.
For a long time, my workout area at home consisted of a weights corner and a treadmill. While the weights were nice, the treadmill was bulky and it got boring after a while. I also didn’t feel like it helped many of my muscles above the waist.
To get a full body workout, more and more people are starting to turn to exercise bikes for their cardio workout of choice — and the reasons why are extremely compelling.
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Biking for Cardio: The Benefits
Whether we like it or not, we’ve all heard that cardio is pretty critical to staying healthy. Aerobic exercise brings oxygen into your body — keeping your heart healthy, your mind clear, and your excess weight at bay. And, while it can be tough to stay active on a regular basis, the long-term benefits are clear.
The good news is that there are a lot of different ways to get your cardio in. Some people walk or run. Others like to swim. An often overlooked option is cycling.
Getting into biking is great for so many reasons. There is a huge biking community, and it is something that two or more people can easily do together and enjoy. This is great on the days when you need extra motivation to get out there.
Biking is also great for your body. As you age, your muscles can stiffen or become more vulnerable to injury. Biking is pretty low-impact on your joints, protecting you from additional injuries and keeping old ones from flaring up.
Exercise Bikes: What Are the Options?
Another advantage to biking is that it can be pretty much anywhere. If you have access to the outdoors, you can hop on your bike, hit the road, and make it a workout.
However, if you live in an area where the weather isn’t always great or you have long winters, biking can be difficult. Luckily, there are some awesome indoor exercise bikes that can give you the same workout without having to worry about the weather or traffic.
Upright bikes are designed to feel like you’re riding a normal bike, without actually going anywhere. For this reason, you’ll get almost all of the same cardio benefits as you would with an outdoor bike.
With most upright bikes, you sit on the seat, lean forward to the handlebars, and pedal. As a result, your legs, abs, and arms will get a workout.
Recumbent bikes are also a great option, especially for people who may just be starting to exercise, or who may be nursing an injury. When using a recumbent bike, the user will sit in a reclining position and pedal with their legs.
Using this kind of bike minimizes the stress on your neck and back that can come with hunching over a pair of handlebars. However, they also tend to take up more space and are considerably heavier to move.
Air bikes are different from other stationary bikes in several ways. First, they typically don’t come with preset electrical programs. This means you will be the one controlling and driving your workout.
The structure of the actual bike is different as well. Instead of pedaling a wheel in the front, you are actually pedaling a fan. The faster you pedal, the more air you produce, and the more resistance you get.
Finally, air bikes usually come with movable handlebars. This may look a little funny at first, but it actually means you have the opportunity to give your arms an awesome workout as well.
If you’re worried that indoor biking won’t give you the same kind of exercise that outdoor biking does, check out this workout video.
If you take the time up front to design a strong program, indoor biking can be an awesome and convenient source of cardio.
The Five Best Best Air Bikes
Air bikes are great for a lot of reasons. They are indoor, which means you can exercise regardless of rain, snow, traffic or heat. Plus, they work your entire body — arms, legs, abs, and back.
Made by the same company that produces road bikes, this exercise bike has a lot of small details that add a large amount of comfort to your workout.
The bike has four stabilizer points on two bars at the front and back. This will add security to your workout. You know that you can push hard if you want to, and the equipment can take it. The bike also has casters, making it much easier to transport all 116 pounds of it.
It has a water bottle holder to keep you from having to stop mid-workout to grab a drink, or from awkwardly bending down to the floor to grab your bottle. It also has a computer console in the center to monitor progress.
- Pedal straps for control.
- Stabilizer bars for enhanced stability.
- Computer console for heart rate, distance and speed statistics.
- Doesn’t have the ability to program workouts.
Most air bikes are designed to increase resistance as the user pedals faster, allowing them to control resistance without interruption. However, that kind of system can also make it difficult to create consistency in your resistance. This bike solves that problem by using a knob to control pre-set resistance levels.
It is more affordable than other air bikes and, with its dual action handlebars, you can exercise your whole body.
The seat is easily adjustable, so more than one person can use it at home. The material of the seat cushion is easy to clean — just wipe it down with a damp cloth.
- Designed for more stability.
- Open fan wheel will keep you cool during your workout.
- Digital display tracks your workout statistics.
- Manufacturer provides a one-year warranty.
- The bike’s seat cannot be changed to a different style.
This air bike is designed to stimulate human motion by synchronizing the movement of the pedals and handlebars. This feature makes it easier on the body and allows for a more efficient workout. If your legs need a break, you can use the leg rest pegs to stop pedaling and continue exercising only your arms.
The bike also comes with casters, making it easy to transport around the house in between workouts.
If you are worried about the noise of an air bike, the fan on this bike is designed to make it quieter than other products on the market. It also works to cool you down during your workout.
- Special design provides infinite levels of resistance.
- LCD computer display to monitor progress.
- Padded seat.
- At 250 pounds, it has a lower maximum weight capacity than other air bikes.
This air bike has everything you need in a good exercise bike. Because it’s an air bike, it is more compact than other exercise bikes, which is great for those of us who live with less square footage, or who don’t want to dedicate an entire room to a workout space.
This bike is sturdy and won’t make you nervous about toppling over when you begin to pedal really hard. That being said, at 110 pounds, it isn’t the easiest bike to move around.
Through the center console, the bike can monitor the calories you burn, your heart rate, and the distance you pedal. It also comes with seven programs to help you get into a routine.
- A smaller footprint means it can fit almost anywhere in the house.
- Made with sturdy and durable materials.
- Electronic console to monitor your progress.
- Doesn’t have a designated water bottle holder.
This air bike is made of premium steel, allowing it to be much lighter than other bikes. Additionally, it comes with casters, making it easier to move around if needed.
The seat is adjustable, so it can adapt to many different heights and leg lengths. The dual-action handlebars give you the option to work your arms as you like, depending on your goals for that day.
In the center console, an LCD computer screen will act as an odometer. It also shows calories burned, and the speed and distance you accomplished that session.
- Lightweight and easy to transport.
- LCD computer screen to monitor your work.
- Dual action handlebars.
- Doesn’t offer pre-established workout programs.
Biking is an awesome way to stay fit and have fun. If you’re an outdoor biking enthusiast, an indoor exercise bike can help you stay fit during the winter months, or provide a more convenient option for days you just want to stay home.
Air bikes offer a lot of advantages. If you live in an urban area like me, with limited space, an air bike can fit nicely into most corners of your home. Because they exercise your arms and legs, you can avoid purchasing a lot of other home exercise equipment.
My top pick of the five bikes reviewed has to be the Schwinn Airdyne bike. For a reasonable price, you get a lot of the little comforts that can make or break a workout. I love the stabilizer bars. They allow me to dive into the workout without worrying about any of the logistics.