Choosing An Exercise Bike for Weight Loss

Exercise Bikes are one of the the best ways to get in shape! But there are so many choices…where do you begin?

Let’s first start off with general tips on how to evaluate home exercise equipment and then review the exercise bikes for weight loss…and yes, we mean the bikes for weight loss NOT cross training etc…

General Home Exercise Equipment

Today’s home exercise equipment is better constructed and more effective, offering you more options than ever before. With choice, however, can come confusion . . . especially since equipment now comes in so many shapes, sizes and types.

Not to mention the glossy direct mail packages and sophisticated infomercials that make everything seem perfect.

How can you possibly sort out all this information? I interviewed top international fitness experts to find answers on how to evaluate and choose quality exercise equipment.

STEP ONE—Determine Your Goals

Are you trying to lose weight? Do you want to get stronger or both? Knowing your goals in advance will help you make sure the exercise bikes for weight loss you buy will set you up for success, not disappointment. Determining your goal will narrow your search to far fewer options.

STEP TWO—Don’t Forget About You

What activities do you enjoy most? Which don’t you like? If you avoid taking stairs at all costs, you probably will not like working out on a stairclimber/stepper—decreasing the chances you will use it regularly.

If you love to take brisk walks, a treadmill will give you a similar experience any time of day or night, in any type of weather. The more you enjoy the activity your equipment provides, the more often you will use it.

STEP THREE—Set Your Budget

How much do you have to spend? If you love that fancy, programmable $2,500 stairclimber at the gym, the $199 blue light special will probably prove a huge disappointment—but a basic, quality $600-800 model might work great.

A good strategy is to spend most of your budget on one solid aerobic training piece, say a high-quality treadmill, then build around it with inexpensive strength training equipment such as tubing and dumbbells.

STEP FOUR—Try It Before You Buy It

All of the experts concurred on this point. An infomercial or brochure may make a product sound great, but nothing takes the place of a personal, hands-on “test drive.” Wear appropriate clothing and shoes and use the equipment precisely as you will at home.

Evaluate how well the equipment is constructed; how well it functions; and if the motions or exercises you perform feel natural and comfortable. Keep in mind that a store specializing in fitness equipment will probably offer better advice and service than a department store. Even if you do not buy the exercise bikes for weight loss from a specialty retailer, it is an excellent place to start.

STEP FIVE—Decide on Features and Functions

From televised displays to digital readouts, much of today’s equipment incorporates an amazing amount of high technology. However, these “bells and whistles” often come at a price. Ask yourself if timers, heart rate monitors, calories-burned displays and the like will motivate you. If so, and you can afford them, great. If not, rest assured that a basic, good-quality piece will provide just as effective a workout.

And you can often duplicate many features by using kitchen timers, keeping an exercise log with handwritten entries, even learning how to take your own pulse.

Other considerations include a reading rack, ease of adjusting variables such as tension, resistance and seat height, water bottle holders on your exercise bikes for weight loss, and whether it folds up.

STEP SIX—Ask Questions!

Ask about warranties, return policies, satisfaction guarantees, frequency and cost of repairs. In most cases, a reputable dealer will let you to try out your new equipment at home for a specified time period, say, 30 days, and allow you to return it for a full refund or merchandise credit.

STEP SEVEN—Storing Exercise Bikes For Weight Loss

Many people anxiously await delivery of their new exercise bikes for weight loss or home gym—only to find it does not fit in the space they had planned to put it! Measure the actual footprint of your new equipment, and consider ventilation, electrical outlets, and noise problems for neighbors, even storage.

Plus, consider placing a rubber mat under the equipment to reduce noise and absorb sweat and grease.

STEP EIGHT—Talk To A Pro Who Knows

The experts also strongly recommended consulting a qualified fitness professional in your area, such as an IDEA Member group exercise instructor or personal fitness trainer, for guidance.

Plus, many specialized equipment dealers now offer a complimentary personal training session with your purchase—call various stores in your area to see if any offer such a program, or can recommend a certified personal fitness trainer nearby.

Equipment Categories

There are two broad categories:

  1. Aerobic Fitness Equipment
    Stationary exercise bikes for weight loss work the legs through the pedalling motion of a bicycle. Some models are used sitting upright, others are recumbent (seated).Treadmills let you walk or run at varying speeds. Some models simulate inclines of various degrees, and many incorporate timers.Nordic ski machines simulate the motion of cross-country (also called Nordic) skiing and exercises the legs and arms simultaneously.Stairsteppers/climbers duplicate the motion of climbing up a flight of stairs. Some add upper- body exercise by simulating a pull-up climbing motion with the arms.Elliptical trainers are sort of a cross between a ski machine and a stairstepper, and put your legs and feet through a circular, up-and-down motion.Rowing machines work the back, arms and legs.Aerobic riders exercise the arms and legs simultaneously through a push/pull motion.
  2. Strength Training Equipment
    Free weights, sometimes called “barbells” or “dumbbells,” are among the most common forms of home exercise equipment.Multi-station machines, also known as “home gyms,” typically use resistance created by either rubber resistance or cables attached to plated weights or flexible poles.Bands and tubing are lightweight ways to strength train at your home, office or while on the road.

Finding Fitness Equipment

Based on overall value and performance, we rate Schwinn Fitness Equipment as the best. Founded in 1895, the Schwinn company is known for its quality craftsmanship and modern innovation. You can follow this link to learn more about Schwinn exercise bikes. Amazon has the best prices on the web for Schwinn bikes, and we found their “customer reviews” very helpful.

Fitness Experts Advice – Exercise Bikes for Weight Loss

“Consider the manufacturer’s claims carefully. Does the exercise improve strength or cardiovascular endurance? If it is promoted as doing both, there is a dilemma, since it is hard to achieve two ends of a continuum at the same time.

Effective strength training takes high-intensity and short duration, while cardiovascular endurance requires low to moderate intensity and longer duration. Most machines do one or the other well, but not both.”

— Author: Wayne Westcott, Ph.D, strength training consultant to the national YMCA, IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and author of several books on strength training.