- Exercise & Fitness
Work Out Indoors on a Bicycle Trainer: Exercise Tips
Bicycle Year Round for Fitness and Health Goals
Do you know how much weight you gained over the past year? If you are like many adults, you might have put on as much as 10 pounds in a single 12-month period. We all know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are key to maintaining a healthy weight. But what happens when you can't afford a gym membership, get injured, and/or have to work out at home (due to young children or other demands)?
In 2008, I ran my first marathon! The Portland Marathon in Oregon was an amazing experience, and my nearly 40-year old body thought that I could do it again in January. So, I kept on running about 30-40 miles a week throughout October. Then, I got hurt. Next, my hours were cut back at the office. Now what?
A bicycle trainer! That's the answer for me. Generally less expensive than an exercise bike, you can convert a road bike to an indoor experience by mounting it on a trainer. Ride for as long as you would outdoors, but have the flexibility of staying indoors to watch kids or avoid inclement weather.
Working out on a Bicycle Trainer
Should You Try a Bicycle Trainer?
I will be 100% honest and say that I am not a bicyclist. My workout of choice has always been running. For that matter, I am really not a swimmer, either! My doctor suggested that I use my time off from my foot to do some laps at the local pool. Since it takes 24 laps to go even a quarter mile, I couldn't see myself getting into shape swimming 1/16 of a mile a day...
My injury requires me to stay off my foot for the most part. Originally, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture. But after 3 X-rays and an MRI, we've discovered fluid and swelling in several toe joints. It hurts to walk on the treadmill, but I can ride without pain.
In hopes that I will be running again in a month or so, I opted for a less expensive bicycle trainer. I shopped around for a bit and found a Blackburn TrakStand Trainer at Hutch's Bicycles here in Bend, Oregon. I will say that you may have to find a specialty bike store to purchase a trainer. They did not have them in stock at Target, Wal-Mart or Fred Meyer.
The cost was approximately $160, plus an extra $15 for a "TrakBlock" on which the bicycle's front tire is mounted. The TrakBlock has three different heights, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workout. Because our gym membership cost us $174/month (before we dropped it), this seems like an excellent deal. When you consider the cost of a quality treadmill or other indoor exercise equipment, it only makes sense to use an existing bicycle for your home gym.
Bicycle Trainers are Available in stores and online
My Bicycle Trainer Workouts
Like I said, I am not a bicyclist. I enjoy running, and can do so for anywhere from 1-3 hours. On my trainer, I try to make it at least 30 minutes. Don't let that fool you, however. I am not wimping out!
You can change gears on your bicycle to increase intensity, and you can also change the resistance on your bicycle trainer. I have the resistance at the maximum, but I do not ride at the highest gear! I am using new muscles that don't get attention during my running training, which is difficult, to be sure.
You can watch television, listen to music, and even mount a reader onto your bike so that you can enjoy newspapers or magazines.
I do have to admit that the only thing that is missing is the electronic readout of my treadmill or my Nike wristband.
I'd love to know how far I was riding or how many calories burned. In some ways, I consider this to be a blessing. All I have to focus on now is the time. So, for now, I am riding 35 minutes a day and hope to soon increase it to 45 minutes. Later - maybe even an hour.
So far, the biggest drawback of switching from running to biking is a sore rear! But that would have been the case outdoors, regardless. Plus, I can't help but think that a little bit of pain is good. It reminds me that I am working out my body and (hopefully) getting healthier. And all this riding has me thinking about a new sport this summer..... triathlons!
When I was telling a friend about my new bicycle trainer, she asked if it was difficult to balance on it. My answer is no! But in watching the following video, she must have been thinking about working out on a bicycle roller. It definitely looks more challenging.
Installing a Bicycle Trainer
Get a Bicycle Trainer
Putting together the bicycle trainer was not at all difficult. At least that's what my husband said! I am pretty confident that even I could do it.
So, what are you waiting for? No more excuses about cold weather, expensive clubs, or the cost of indoor gym equipment. For less than $200, you can convert your bicycle for use inside your home or garage, and workout in the comfort of your home.
What do you think? Would you try one?
© 2009 Stephanie Hicks