Tag Archives: schwinn airdyne bike

How Good is Treadmill Exercise?

Here we are in the end of summer and the onset of inclement weather. Even a somewhat hardcore bicyclist like myself doesn’t ride where there is snow and/or ice present on the bike path. So, what’s a person to do?

My first choice is to go to the health club and ride the Schwinn Airdyne bike, or row on the rowing machine. Those are good calorie burners and run my heart rate up into the zone. But, my health club has lots more treadmills than Airdyne bikes or rowing machines. Most folks opt for the treadmill.

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For that reason, I thought you would be interested in an article entitled – How the Treadmill is Killing Your Workout – in Men’s Health News.

They cite a study in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that says, “Walking or running indoors requires less effort than moving at the same speed outdoors.

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The Schwinn Airdyne Exercise Bike

As I have mentioned several times here, I much prefer to ride my bike on the lakefront to get my cardio workout – along with the exquisite pleasure of simply riding a bicycle – to anything I can do in the health club. Of course, as an adult, I realize that we don’t always get what we want when we want it. So when the weather doesn’t permit, I have to forgo cycling and visit the health club. This is not my idea of a good time and I try to get as much work done in the shortest amount of time.

Hence, this item on the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike.

Photo from the Schwinn website.

As you can see from the illustration, there are hand holds so that you can work your arms while you pedal. There is also a computer on board that counts your calories.

I like the machine for a number of reasons. First, it feels like riding a bike which I love. You pedal and sense the front wheel spinning. That wheel generates wind that comes rushing at you as you pedal. It is cooling and gives a nice physical feedback for your work. Second, because your arms are engaged, you are getting extra cardio work done. More bang for the buck. Without too much difficulty you can get a good rate going. Lastly, it is a no impact workout, so you aren’t damaging anything in your feet or legs. As a former runner, I really appreciate that.

I like the machine because I can burn 300 calories in 30 minutes while keeping my heart rate in the zone. I think that is very efficient payment for my effort. To do better on a treadmill you need to be running, which I don’t want to do.

Finally, a word about those calorie counters on exercise machines. My understanding is that unless they have a place to input your weight, they default to a 150 pound person. That is important to know because if you happen to be a 180 pound man, you are doing 20 percent more work than a 150 pound man so you can increase the calorie count by 20 percent. Your workout is 20 percent harder than the guy who weighs 150.

Enjoy your workout!

Tony

This note was written on October 19, 2011. I have recently learned that while the cardio exercise on the bike is worthwhile, it is not weight-bearing. As a result it does not protect your bones against osteoporosis. You can use the bike to burn calories, but be sure that you are also getting weight-bearing cardio, too. Go walk a couple of miles on the treadmill. Walking is weight-bearing exercise. You could also not be a dumb bell and lift a few, too. It couldn’t hurt.

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Filed under biking, calories, Exercise