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Cycling for Exercise

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Stationary cycling for exercise on an upright bike is an excellent mode of aerobic training for just about anyone. The potential for injury is low because it is a no impact activity. Cycling doesn't require any special skills or coordination. Most stationary bikes offer several pre-programmed courses allowing you to remain on an even keel, ride uphill, or do interval training.

Cycling for Exercise

You can increase the intensity of cycling for exercise by pedaling faster or by increasing the pedal resistance. Most bikes offer a dozen levels of difficulty and even have built-in heart rate monitors.

The fat burning potential for bikes is moderate to high. Because the exercise is non weight bearing, you have to pedal quite vigorously to make cycling a good fat burner. Generally speaking, you'll have to get the rpms up to 70 to 90 and increase the resistance to maximize the fat burning effects.

One of the drawbacks of stationary cycling is that it can be somewhat monotonous. If you get bored easily, then bike somewhere where you can watch TV or read. Using interval programs can also make cycling more of a challenge and help you maintain your interest.

Stationary Recumbent Bicycle

Recumbent bicycling provides all the advantages of upright cycling with a few minor differences. Recumbent cycling is a more comfortable alternative to riding an upright bicycle because your lower back is supported. The ergonomically designed seat of a recumbent bike is sized and shaped perfectly to provide more comfort and support and reduce fatigue without interfering with your range of motion.

This makes recumbent cycling the perfect choice if you have lower back problems, high blood pressure, if you are pregnant or overweight. The recumbent bike also targets the gluteal and hamstring muscles more than the upright bicycle because your feet are in front of you and you push the pedals forward instead of up and down.

Outdoor Cycling

In terms of fat burning potential, stationary bikes have one distinct advantage over outdoor cycling - you can't coast. On most battery powered electronic bikes, if you stop, the machine shuts off. With the immense popularity of mountain biking and cross country cycling, many people prefer to be outdoors doing their cardio whenever possible.

That's great, but if you ride outside, remember that you must maintain a steady pace for this to count as a fat burner, otherwise it is more "recreation" than training. Push yourself continuously and outdoor cycling can be an incredible fat burner and an immensely enjoyable experience (no coasting)!

Caution: Do Vary Your Exercise Routines

Exercising for general health is best accomplished by doing a variety of activities. Doctors do not advise taking up only one kind of exercise because doing that will put excessive strain on the muscles needed for that particular exercise while offering little reward to the muscles uninvolved in that exercise. Give yourself some variety to help keep your whole body in shape and to keep yourself interested in what you are doing.

Doctors at University Hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, studied men who exercised exclusively by bicycling. Because of the pressure placed on the small seating area of the bicycles, nearly 90 percent of the riders studied had low sperm counts.

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