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Exercise bike workouts provide many of the same benefits as other forms of aerobic exercise, including improving mood, increasing brain health and building a fitter heart.
Exercise bike workouts have a few benefits in particular that make many people fall in love with the workout and keep getting on the bike day after day.
Many forms of cardiovascular exercise, such as running, jumping rope, or doing anything else high-impact, can put a lot of stress on your joints. This can be a problem if you have injuries or other health conditions that require you to avoid high-impact exercise. That's where cycling workouts can save the day.
Exercise bike workouts can provide a temporary break for the body [from impact] without sacrificing intensity. Plus, they're ideal for all levels of exercisers, whether new or advanced.
Like other forms of aerobic exercise, exercise bike workouts also offer tremendous cardiovascular benefits, and because you can work at such a wide range of intensities - from low to high intensity - you can significantly improve your fitness. You can adjust the intensity by reducing or increasing the resistance, or going faster or slower. Cycling is a great workout for beginners because you can easily adjust the intensity and work at your own pace.
You can do endurance workouts, strength workouts using mainly hills, interval workouts or a combination of all of them. In fact, to maintain my overall fitness, I prefer to do most of my interval workouts on my exercise bike because it's easier on the joints.
Cycling workouts can help you gain strength and muscle, especially in the glutes, quads and calves. Your strength will depend on how much you "climb hills" by increasing resistance and how often you do hills and sprints during your workouts. During class an instructor will likely guide you through the intervals and give you suggestions on how much resistance to use. That added resistance makes your muscles work harder and ultimately makes you stronger.
It's not just about strengthening the lower body. Indoor cycling has become much more creative in recent years. Instructors now incorporate light weights and even push-ups to ensure that the upper body is not left out of the workout. In addition, when cycling with proper form, the core, or midsection, of the body should be constantly engaged. Good form ensures a more complete body workout than just pedaling the legs.
There are brain benefits, relationship benefits, community benefits, and others you might not even expect (like the benefits of pooping, for example). The link between physical activity and better physical, mental or emotional health has been proven in study after study. But every person is different. Once you get going, you won't believe all the ways activity can benefit you and those around you.