Finding time to carve out daily exercise remained the biggest hurdle
Back in June, my 11-year-old son, Ronan, and I decided we wanted to work together to improve our cardiovascular fitness, shed some pounds, increase the strength in our legs and have fun as a family. We were lucky enough to have Lucki’s Exercise Equipment provide us with two fantastic upright stationary bikes to achieve our final goal—to be able to cycle 25 kilometres in one sitting.
Over those three months, I have to admit, I was slow out of the gate. A busy work schedule, several out of town weddings, and the everyday hustle and bustle of life just seemed to get in the way. Thankfully, I had my son to motivate me. He was downstairs hitting that bike for at least an hour a day for a minimum of five days a week, and eventually he shamed me into dedicating at least an hour a few times a week. Our agreement was that unless I was at a work meeting or at one of my soccer games, that I had to spend from 7 pm to 8 pm with him on the bike. To make it fun, we created a mix of some of our favourite motivational music (insert Eye of the Tiger) to keep us focused while sweating on the bikes.
After three months, we did manage our goal of biking 25 kilometres in one sitting, but carving out that time on a daily basis remained the biggest challenge. However, my son did manage to shed 10 pounds in preperation for his hockey season, and we both agree that our legs became much stronger and our general fitness improved greatly. With the winter months ahead of us, somehow we have a feeling that we will have a lot more time to continue our fitness regime. Good health to you!
Why Stationary Bikes? Aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bike, has several benefits beyond the obvious calorie-burning perks. When compared to some other stationary fitness machines, such as treadmills, the exercise bike’s low-impact workout ranks high because it will put less stress on your knees and other joints. Additionally, riding a stationary bike indoors can help you get the benefits of cycling without having to tackle inclement weather. The next time you hop onto an exercise bike, several workout tips can help you ride your way to a better level of health and maximize the health returns you reap.
Adjust the Seat Before climbing onto an exercise bike at the gym or at home, adjust the seat so it fits you and not the previous rider. When you’re sitting, your leg should be perfectly straight when the pedal is at its lowest point. If your seat is too high, you won’t be exercising as efficiently as you could. Seats that are too low can tire you and put unnecessary stress on your knee joints.
Do Intervals Riding slow and steady may give you time to watch a TV show or flip through your favorite magazine, but it won’t push you to your limits and maximize the workout you get in the time you have. Doing intervals — alternating between pedaling quickly and more slowly — strengthens your leg muscles more. Try riding as fast as you can for three minutes, then slowing to a comfortable pace for three minutes, and repeating over the course of your biking workout.
Don’t Go Too Long, Too Soon Working your body too hard before it’s ready can increase your risks of injury. If riding an exercise bike is new to you, don’t try to do too much the first few times. Try riding for just 10 to 20 minutes the first time you work out, then slowly add a couple of minutes on each subsequent workout until you’ve hit your cardio goals. In general, most adults should strive for 30 minutes of cardio five days a week to start reaping the health benefits of constant aerobic activity.
Special thanks to Lucki’s Exercise Equipment for providing the upright stationary bikes. www.luckis.com