Busy work schedules, getting kids to and from their activities, and sudden or unexpected weather changes can really get in the way of your plans for outside exercise. Indoor activities are often more challenging, but they don’t have to be. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise and 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly. This equates to 45 minutes of activity, 5 days per week. An easy way to track your progress and achieve that goal is to simply move your outdoor activities inside.
The Best Indoor Exercise Equipment for Replacing Outdoor Activity
Treadmills are great, but other gym equipment – particularly exercise bikes and elliptical machines – can be far better for daily fitness needs. A treadmill does mirror outdoor walking to some degree, but after a while, it becomes easy: muscle memory sets in, and fitness goals become more difficult to achieve. Add the fact that treadmills are serious space hogs, and suddenly indoor bikes and elliptical machines are looking pretty darned good.
Exercise bikes have been around for decades, and their popularity reflects the beneficial properties. They work wonders for those who can’t get out on a real bike for one reason or another. Ellipticals, around since the 1990s, are small machines that emulate stair climbing. Both exercise machines are low-impact wonders for reaching your individual fitness goals.
The Benefits of Stationary Bikes and Elliptical Machines
Both of these machines can range in price from just over $100 to several hundred dollars, so personal budget plays a part. They’re also staples of most modern gyms and fitness centers, which may suit your needs better if you intend to do a complete body workout. Both offer cardiovascular fitness, but there are differences in their benefits based on personal fitness levels, overall health needs, and body types.
Stationary bikes and elliptical machines have options to change resistance based on your workout desires. You should always choose a resistance above zero to see health and fitness benefits. Elliptical machines, specifically, also have pull bars to work your upper body simultaneously.
Both machines target the lower body region. An elliptical machine works inner thighs on low incline, quads on medium incline, and the glutes on the highest incline. It’s low-impact enough to not overly stress the joints, but people who are 50 pounds or more overweight, or have knee pain, should opt for a stationary bike workout to build up some strength and lose a bit of weight before climbing aboard an elliptical machine.
Cycling is a non-weight-bearing fitness option which primarily uses the legs. As such, the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and thighs are worked in unison. If you engage your abdominal muscles and maintain proper posture, your core can benefit as well. The stationary bike burns more calories than the elliptical, but not by much. It’s all about what makes you feel good and keeps you moving forward towards your fitness goals.
Contact Wolverine Sports to start your at-home fitness challenge.
745 State Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108