Stationary Exercise Bikes

Written by Sierra Rein
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The first stationary exercise bikes were created in the early 1950s by placing cinder blocks under defunct or broken-down bicycles. In the mid-1960s, bicycle makers like Schwinn and Tunturi finally caught on to the concept of immobile exercise cycling machines and began introducing their own workout bikes for home and gym use. The first computerized stationary bikes were invented by the Life Fitness exercise company in the late 1960s and featured the "Electronic Coach" console system to help regulate and display personal performance data. Today, stationary fitness bikes can be found in virtually every major gym and many homes across the globe.

Many people appreciate stationary exercise bikes because they can exercise at home at any time without worrying about traffic, bad weather, or succumbing to boredom. Indeed, an individual with a stationary bike can sit in the middle of her living room and exercise while reading a magazine, talking to her friends on the telephone, watching her favorite television show, or listening to her stereo without headphones. Individuals who purchase an exercise bike for their homes do so usually because they want to choose when and how to work out, while fitness gyms provide them for their members for regular workouts and spinning classes.

There are two basic forms of stationary exercise bikes: upright and recumbent. Upright bikes, no matter what their design, are built to mimic the seating position of any regular bicyclist, with the rider's legs placed underneath the torso so he can either lean forward or sit upright in the seat with his hands on the handlebars. Recumbent bikes are designed with the pedals in front of the seating area and the handles directly to either side of the cushion or attached to a front console area. Unlike upright exercise bikes, recumbent bikes offer a back support to their seats, allowing the user to lean rearward and relax his upper and lower back areas, shoulders and arms.

Stationary Exercise Bikes for the Blind, Disabled, or Rehabilitated

Another great advantage to stationary bikes is that individuals who have difficulty running or cycling without a guide dog or personal trainer accompanying them can use them without too much hassle or instruction. Rather than endangering themselves in traffic or outdoors on a regular bicycle, these individuals can sit comfortably on a stationary bike and get the same workout challenge that any bicyclist would. Stationary bikes are also great for individuals recovering from debilitating diseases or injury who need a way to increase their cardio fitness levels and strengthen their muscles at the same time.

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