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  • Exercise Cycles

 

Exercise cycles are incredibly beneficial to your health as they are an excellent method for improving ones’ cardiovascular health and a nice addition to any home gym.  Exercise cycles are available with many different features and knowing what type of exercise cycle you are looking for is very important as this can help save money in your wallet.

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There are many health benefits associated to the use of an exercise cycle.  We will touch on some of the main points:

 

·        Movement of the joints

o       Some of the involved joints include the hips, knees, and ankles.  During joint movement, synovial fluid (secreted from the synovial membrane) helps lubricate the joint which provides a cushioning effect for the articular cartilage.  Over time, this helps reduce joint pain and can prolong the effects of age related decaying of the synovial membrane which naturally happens but may be accelerated by being sedentary.

·        Cardiovascular Conditioning

o       The heart is the most important muscle in the body.  Cardiovascular exercise is very important as this keeps our hearts’ young, healthy, and strong.  Using an exercise cycle is an easy and convenient way to safely strengthen our hearts.  During your bout of exercise, periodically elevate your heart rate (HR) to 75-85% of maximum heart rate (MHR) for 15-30 seconds and then allow it to fall back down to 50-60% of its MHR.

·        Fat Loss

Training within the range of 50-60% of your MHR is an effective way to oxidize body fat for energy supply while maintaining muscle mass.  Remember to balance your cardiovascular training with the appropriate amount of strength training, nutrition, and rest.  A healthy body is all about balance on many different training levels.
 
Depending on your overall fitness objectives and preferences, there are 2 main types of exercise cycles available in various styles and with different options.

 

·        Recumbent Exercise Cycles

o       Do you have Knee or Hip problems?  Are you excessively overweight?

§         If so, then a recumbent exercise cycle may be a better suit for your body - especially if you have known knee issues, i.e. worn meniscus/ articular cartilage.

o       Using a recumbent exercise cycle is a gentle way to introduce ones’ self to cardiovascular conditioning.  The use of a recumbent exercise cycle reduces knee flexion which may provide relief to those with painful knees. 

o       For people with larger bodies, the use of a recumbent exercise cycle may be more comfortable as you do not have to sit as upright as you would on a stationary upright exercise cycle. 

·        Upright Exercise Cycles

o       These are for the elite level warriors looking at taking there fitness to a whole new level.  Using an upright exercise cycle, it is much easier to work at greater intensity levels to improve your fitness.

o       Still as beneficial for the joints as the recumbent exercise cycles, use a bit more caution with an upright exercise cycle if you have known hip, knee or joint issues.

o       It is very important to make sure you have set the proper adjustments prior to exercising to ensure ideal posture and joint alignment for safety.

o       Start with the lowest resistance setting and incrementally increase the resistance until you are comfortably working within your means of fitness.  

 

As already discussed, there are many different reasons as to why you should consider purchasing an upright exercise cycle for your home gym.  As already discussed, knowing what type and style of exercise cycle you should purchase can help save money and here is a small list of reasons why you should buy an exercise cycle:

 

·        Cheap

·        Convenient

·        Easy to use

·        Fun

·        Good for your Health

·        Spacious

 

Here is a sample program that you can use with your new exercise cycle.  We will include “Cycle Sprints” mid way through or at the end of resistance based exercise routine (weight training).  This is a great way to elevate your heart rate for cardiac conditioning and strengthening and also an excellent method to improve ones’ lung capacity. 

·        6 Minute Cycle Sprints

o       Overall Program Design:

§         90 seconds

·        Work between 50-65% of MHR with the appropriate resistance and try to maintain a constant RPM for cycling.

§         30 seconds

·        Increase your speed by pedaling as fast as you can for 30 seconds elevating your HR to a range between 75-85% MHR.

§         Repeat

o       Therefore, here is the program:

§         90 seconds @ 50-65% MHR

§         30 seconds @ 75-85% MHR

§         90 seconds @ 50-65% MHR

§         30 seconds @ 75-85% MHR

§         90 seconds @ 50-65% MHR

§         30 seconds @ 75-85% MHR

 

Good luck and have fun with your new exercise cycle.  Remember, a healthy and beautiful body is all about balance and exercise equipment are only tools that we use to help keep our bodies young and strong.