Cycling vs running? Oh, which one should you pick? This question occupies most people who are planning on a new exercise. In this article, I’ll show you some of the benefits of a pedal exerciser so that you can make a more informed decision.
Before we delve into the subject, you may want to hear about this research. It states that regular moderate exercise can help prevent such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity among others.
So if you’re a relatively healthy person, don’t wait to get ill before doing something. Ward off these diseases early and engage your body in a physical activity. You can start with those pedal pushers, for instance.
A pedal exerciser is an excellent fitness equipment that will help you stay fit and keep lifestyle diseases at bay. To brush up on what you may already know, here’s a quick roundup of the benefits of using a pedal exerciser.
Benefits of Pedal Exerciser
- Allows you to multitask
- Variable resistance settings provides continual challenge
- Easy to use
- Works out different muscle groups
- Great for cardiovascular exercise
- Helps in weight loss
- Improves mood, energy, and productivity
- Affordable compared to other fitness equipment such as tread mills
- Improves circulation
- Keeps joints healthy
Now lets have a detailed look at each of this benefits of pedal exercisers.
Resources: Here are the best exercise peddler for elderly
When looking for an indoor exercise equipment, whether an exercise bike or a treadmill, always go for an easy-to-move piece of equipment. Most of the pedal exercisers can be folded and carried in your car’s trunk.
This makes it possible to work out whenever and wherever you get a chance. There are even under-the-desk types that you can bring to the office where you can pedal as you work on your job.
In other words, it is made for people with busy schedules and who frequently travel.
2. Allows You to Multitask
People with sedentary jobs sit on their desks for long hours. The beauty of using a pedal exerciser is that you can work out as you write, read, or make calls at work. It is quiet and easy to pedal underneath your desk without distracting you or anyone else at the office.
Start with low-resistance setting to get your legs used to the circular motion. In time, you’ll get accustomed to working out as you work. This not only lets you burn more calories, it also keeps you stay alert and improves your concentration.
Since you apply conscious effort to keep your legs at the pedals and pushing, you’re less likely to fall asleep at your desk. It is something that you can consider for your lazy afternoons when you do not feel like working.
3. Variable Resistance Provides Continual Challenge
Just like elliptical trainers, most of the pedal exerciser models have variable resistance settings. You can work out at the level you’re comfortable with and increase from low to medium or high resistance as you progress.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend that you start with a low resistance setting and gradually change as you get fit. This helps prevent injuries and sore muscles.
On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned exerciser, you may start at medium resistance. Overall, the exercise equipment has real benefits for any exerciser, whether starting or those who do regular exercises.
4. Ease of Use
A pedal exerciser is easy to use, even for the elderly. There’s practically no learning curve involved, except perhaps for some people who have impairments or disabilities. It only requires a flat, stable, non-slippery surface to position the base. Then step on the pedals and start pedaling.
Some models come with pedal straps to keep the feet from slipping out during the cycling, especially for the elderly or people recovering from a leg injury.
Most people find the simplistic design convenient, as they do not need to make complex settings, especially when they only have a few minutes to do their exercise. The equipment also comes assembled and ready to use.
5. Allows you to work out different muscle groups
The pedal exerciser is not only meant for the leg muscles. It can help you work out different muscles groups in the upper and lower body. The lower body muscles worked are similar to those worked out when using a traditional bike.
You can use your exerciser to workout glutes, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and flexors. If you purchase one that has a variable resistance feature, you can strengthen these muscles even better. If not, the regular peddling can help strengthen your legs, especially after an injury.
Its portable nature means that it can be used for hand workout as well. You need to have a stable countertop or a table. You can use your regular table by first spreading a rubber mat before placing the exerciser on top. Hand workouts help improve the shoulder muscles, triceps, biceps, and the forearms. Likewise, you can increase its resistance as you get more fit.
The pedal exerciser can give you a quality moderate-intensity workout. Try hitting the 150-minute workout mark each week. If you do that, you’ll earn significant benefits to your upper and lower body.
More: If you prefer exercise bikes, here are the best foldable exercise bikes for you
6. Provides Awesome Cardiovascular Exercise
The mini exercise equipment provides a great aerobic exercise experience. While not as intense as a half-an-hour aerobics in a spin class, it still does a great job in keeping your heart rate up. High heart rate helps you breathe in fresh air that your fast blood flow picks up and circulates to all parts of your body. This is important in improving general wellbeing and muscle functionality. Health experts recommend at least 120 minutes of moderate aerobics each week. You can achieve that with ease by pedaling for 30 minutes daily over five days.
7. Burning More Calories Helps in the Weight Loss
A pedal exerciser comes with a calorie counter that keeps guesswork out of exercising. With it, you get to track how many calories you are burning each time you work out.
You can use other apps and wearable technologies to track the calories you burn while pedaling and sweating out. All these gadgets help you figure out whether you’re losing weight or you need to up your game some more.
However, cutting weight is a result of several initiatives including a healthy diet and regular exercise. Take a broad approach to losing weight by evaluating your energy requirements, diet, and workout regime.
8. Improves Mood, Energy, and Productivity
Another reason for exercising is that it helps release brain chemicals that make you feel good. Some people call it the “exercise high” because of the happy positive feeling you get after an exercise.
So if you need some boost, you can use the pedal to keep recharging your brain.
Not only that, the pedal exerciser helps release a burst of energy, especially when you’re working on a stressing project or just plain feeling lazy. With an under-the-desk pedal, you can rejuvenate yourself every time you feel sloppy to bring your energy level up.
9. Affordable Workout Equipment
Stationary workout equipment like the L Now indoor cycling bikes can be quite expensive and out of reach for many in the working class.
That’s the advantage of a pedal exerciser. It is affordable for most people. So if you plan to build an exercise studio, you may start with a pedal exerciser and slowly accumulate other pieces. So you see? There’s absolutely no reason to delay exercising because you can do it with the most basic exercise equipment.
10. Improves Blood Circulation
Proper blood circulation is important for your general well-being and healthy cells in the body. Using a pedal exerciser increases the heart rate, which in turn pushes blood to all parts of the body. This increases the amount of oxygen that reaches the cells, thereby improving cell functioning.
As you increase the amount of energy flowing to the cells, you also rid the cells of waste materials, resulting in better nourished cells and your good health overall.
11. Keeps Your Joints Healthy
People leading a sedentary lifestyle have a high risk of developing arthritis and other joint problems. This is made worse by unhealthy, high-salt, and high-uric acid diets. Aside from that, a pedal exerciser also strengthens your knee, ankle, and hip joints, as well as reduce the risk of developing arthritis.
Types of Pedal Exercisers
There are several models available on the market, and your job will be to pick the one that will work best for you. Designs and types vary, but they generally fall in the following categories:
The minimalist pedal exercisers consist of levers and a pair of pedals for cycling. This type lacks gadgets to measure such exercise variables as distance, speed, heart rate, and calories burnt. Some models also lack the variable resistance feature. This exercise equipment provides low to moderate exercise assistance, and most of them are foldable and lightweight.
This type comes with a digital display built into the equipment. You can use the display to measure different exercise variables, as enumerated above. Others come with an app to help you keep track of your exercise progress over a period.
Mini exercisers are exercise equipment with a low profile that includes the pedals, levers, and the body. Under-the-desk exercisers are the most common examples of this type. They’re either minimalist or digital.
Many stationary pedal exercisers look more or less like stationary bicycles only that they are more compact. There are designs with a seat or handles to use when riding. Most of the models have a digital display too.
Related: Here are some awesome beginners workouts with exercise bikes
Pedal Exerciser Buying Guide
What to Look for When Buying a Pedal Exerciser
There are tens of different pedal models in the market today. To buy the best equipment for you, make sure to check on the following aspects.
Foldability and Ease of Assembly
If you need a pedal exerciser that you can carry to work or in your travels, consider one that you can fold with ease. See if it folds flat to fit in your travel bag. Alternatively, you can go with a piece of equipment that can be disassembled and reassembled with ease at the destination.
Minimalist Design vs Digital Display
You may go for a minimalist design, which includes a pair of pedals and a variable resistance mechanism. It works well for the elderly, under-the-desk exercises, and rehabilitation after leg injuries.
On the other hand, if you would like to monitor your progress when exercising, consider one with a digital display. Many digital models allow you to measure your heart rate, amount of calories burned, pedaling speed, and time spent, among other metrics. This information helps you set goals and accomplish them with greater accuracy.
Height of the Pedals
Take time to compare the height of the pedals and measure the space where you will likely exercise. For example, if you’re looking for a pedal exerciser for under-the-desk exercises, the model you choose should be low enough for you to work out without touching the base of your desk.
In addition, check if the equipment has adjustable pedal straps to prevent slippage when pedaling.
The choice of pedal exercise equipment with or without variable resistance depends on your fitness goals. If you are buying the equipment for an elderly person or to help you recover from an injury, you can go for cheaper ones without variable resistance settings.
When you’re cycling, you put some stress onto your joints, in the same manner when doing regular cycling. To alleviate this, you can opt for bi-directional cycling to balance out the strain by riding both forward and backward.
The length and terms of the warranty are good indicators of the quality of an exercise equipment. Go for brands with warranty periods of at least five years. The longer the length of the warranty, the less likely that your equipment will break down soon after purchase.
If you would like to use a pedal exerciser in the office, look for one with a smooth, frictionless operation so that you don’t disturb your colleagues.
Pedal exercisers have many benefits. They are versatile, inexpensive pieces of equipment that you can use to achieve your fitness goals. The mini pedal exercisers, in particular, allow you to work out at the office. Most types are foldable and portable, making it easy to carry them wherever you go. With these compact exercise peddlers, there’s no reason to skip on your workouts.
Written by Alisha Wishart – TheHealthPot.com
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Writer and Contributor
Alisha, is a Mother, Wife and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). She understands how demanding everyday life can be and takes great pride in working with individuals and groups to help them achieve their desired fitness goals. Read more about Alisha here.