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Exercise Bikes – Discover The Magic
By: Martin Smith

There are two types of exercise bikes available. The upright bike resembles a typical road bike but they are stationary. The pedals are below the rider and puts more stress on the joints. The recumbent bike has a seat that resembles chairs and the pedals are out in front of the rider so that pedaling is more natural and less stress is put on the hips and knees.

There are a few other types of exercise bikes available as well.Dual action bikes are upright exercise bikes that have moveable bars or arm handles. On this bike you use both your arms and legs. Aerobic activity and upper body toning is experienced while using the bike.

Resistance bikes have some variety as well. Direct tension bikes has manual adjustment of the resistance you use. If it has flywheels the cycling motion is similar to regular cycling motion. Air resistance bikes get resistance by pedaling against the airflow of a fan blade. Magnetic Frictionless Resistance bikes are the most sophisticated resistance bikes.They allow for a greater variety of workout levels.

Feedback Mechanisms on more advanced bikes offer the following readouts:

* speed, time, and distance

* total calories and fat burned

* program mode and resistance levels

* pulse, heart rate, and workout level

* RPM, watts, METS, mpm’s, and mph/kph

Choosing which bike to purchase depends on your needs and your preferences. What type of workout you are seeking will also affect the bike you choose? An upright bike will give you a great cardio workout that focuses us on the quadriceps.

A recumbent bike has you seated in a reclining position. The seat supports your back and your legs are out in front of you. They work the hamstrings and gluteus muscles. A recumbent bicycle is much easier on your lower back.

Upright exercise bikes might have handlebars that move back and forth simulating a rowing motion. This will work your arms, chest, abs, and back muscles. Both bikes offer excellent cardio vascular workouts and calorie burning experiences. Match the bike to your size. Most exercise bikes are easily adjusted for almost any body type.

People use exercise bikes for a variety of reasons. Cyclists often use them in the off season to maintain their levels of fitness. Many people use them at home because they feel embarrassed about exercising in front of other people.

Exercise bikes are also used in physical therapy programs to promote healing and the regaining of knee or hip joints. Some cardiac rehabilitation programs also use them to promote endurance and greater cardiac health.

You can purchase exercise bikes in sports stores, department stores like Sears or Wal*mart and online. When you buy from a store it is easier to match the bike to your living space, to your body size, and your budget.When buying online you run the risk of not getting exactly what you wanted. The bike may or may not have the exact specifications or may be bigger (or smaller) than what you ordered.

The other problem with ordering online is taking delivery. The delivery company likely will not bring it into your house, you will be left to get it in and set it up. This is true though of buying it in a store unless you contract with someone to do the entire process including the set up. If you buy from a store like Sears you can purchase service contracts in case of a problem.

Whatever the reason for your purchasing an exercise bike, it is only going to work if you use it. Of course, as with any exercise routine check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to exercise. Start out slow and build up your endurance. Be safe, be healthy and have fun.

(c) www.1st-4-fitness-equipment.com

Reprint Rights feel free to publish this article on your website but you must agree to leave all active links contained within 'About The Author' intact and "as is" and NOT hidden behind a java or redirect script.

About the Author
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for consumers on purchasing a variety of Home Fitness Equipment which includes Home Gyms, Exercise Bikes, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.


Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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