Exercise Bike for Your Apartment – Things to Consider

exercise bike

We found the absolute best exercise bike for apartments. This model excels at value, saving space, and keeping noise to a minimum. 

Those living in apartments don’t have the luxury that home owners do when it comes to exercising indoors with equipment, what with their bigger rooms and spacious basements. The options start to run thin when you consider the fact that not everybody living in an apartment wants to spend the money on a gym let alone make the trip there every workout day. You have to wait to use equipment, they’re often crowded, and cost a pretty penny. But there are options – affordable, space saving options. One such option is the exercise bike. Let’s find out if it’s the right option for your apartment.

cycling clip art

 

The Upside of an Exercise Bike

Getting out a piece of exercise equipment, getting a great cardio workout, and then putting it away out of sight when done would be great, right? Lose weight, stay in shape, fight off boredom…it doesn’t matter what you’re reason is. An indoor bike can absolutely be used for this purpose in your apartment without being too intrusive. There is one catch. If you’re looking to spend top dollar on one of these then expect for it to take up more room (more on this later).

 

stretching clip art

The good thing about a stationary bike is, size permitted, the fact that you can do things while working out. After taking it out to use you can browse your tablet, read a book, watch TV, listen to an audio book, or even play video games. It is an active activity and it is a step towards a healthier body but it also involves a piece of equipment that can be small enough to knock out two birds with one stone so to speak – in this case exercise and leisure.

Sticking to an exercise regimen can be tough, really tough. A survey conducted by Bodybuilding.com found that 73% of people who set fitness goals as a New Year’s resolution give up.

This brings me to the two most important characteristics of an exercise bike (standard or recumbent) when considering use in your apartment – size and the ability to fold up.

Size is Everything


This one is painfully obvious and I’m not going to spend too much time illustrating why it’s the case…logic and all that. When you’re considering an indoor bike to use in your apartment you’ll want to consider the measurements and then side with small. Don’t worry, I’ll go over some of the best smaller exercise bike options for 2015 later on.

Can it Fold?


A small bike is great but one that can become even smaller is even better when dealing with a workout area such as an apartment. How can this be accomplished? You need to be looking for indoor bikes that can fold up after use. When you’re able to fold up then you’re able to tuck your piece of equipment in a small space (a closet for example). This is a great option for people who want a clean look for their apartment and appreciate the ability to declutter whenever possible. A folding piece of equipment is a sure fire way to remove it from sight after use instead of just hanging about in the open.

More Expensive Not Always Better


I mentioned earlier that there was one catch and this is something I’d like to touch on now. Yes, the old adage “You get what you pay for” is as true as ever when it comes to indoor exercise bikes but that doesn’t mean you want to spend as much as possible. The reason for this is because while bikes over $500 will offer you more durability, better build quality, and better features they will also take up more space.

exerpeutic folding exercise bike

Example of a popular foldable model – the Exerpeutic Magnetic Bike

It is the cheaper (note: not super cheap) models that are more suitable for an apartment setting simply because these are the models that can be folded up in most cases. You will find more expensive space saving options but if you’re trying to squeeze every last square foot out of your apartment then work your way up from the cheaper models.

Best Small Foldable Exercise Bikes


I’ve done the research on the best indoor bikes for apartments (keeping a small form factor in mind) and I ended up with the following three choices. I’ve included a table with the most important characteristics in mind below for your viewing.

ModelSupported WeightDimensionsFoldableAverage RatingPriceMore Reviews
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike300 lbs31” x 19” x 46” inchesYes4.4/5$$$Amazon Reviews
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike300 lbs19" x 46" x 33" inchesYes4.5/5$$$Amazon Reviews
Marcy Foldable Excercise Bike250 lbs31.9" x 18.2" x 42.2" inchesYes4.4/5$$Amazon Reviews

What’s the Point of Push Up Bars?

gym smaller

With a fitness product like the pull up bar the purpose of the product is clear because there really isn’t any other way to perform this exercise. On the other hand things aren’t so clear with a product like push up bars because you can perform push ups without any type of equipment as long as you have some ground underneath you. In this article we’ll discuss the main driving points of buying a push up product and what they’re purpose actually is (hint: there actually is a purpose).


What’s the Purpose?

woman doing push up

Push up bars do serve a very clear purpose, a few in fact. While you can perform standard and alternative forms of push ups with just a surface beneath your feet you can’t get the same type of workout that products like handles and bars offer you. You also cannot get the comfort and joint stress reduction that this type of fitness product offers. It even allows for different workouts other than push ups.

A Better Workout

The first reason why push up products have a purpose is because they offer you a much greater range of motion than traditional push ups. When you are normally doing push ups the movement required to dip down to the ground and then come back doesn’t add up to very much. Bars and handles on the other hand have you raised off of the ground so in order for you to fully dip your chest downwards you have to move an overall greater distance than you would with a traditional push up workout.

As with any other type of fitness product your mileage may very depending on the quality. Check out our review of one of the most popular choices.

The reason why this is significant is because it makes for a much more challenging workout. Naturally, you won’t be able to as many push ups with bars as you would otherwise and as a result you are going to be targeting your pectorals and upper body in general a whole lot more. In other words, you get a much better upper body workout with bars/handles.

Less Wrist Stress and Pain

A common complaint from those that do push ups is that they put a ton of stress on the wrist joints. This type of joint stress can even lead to pain for some. People often pursue the “rush” or the “burn” associated with lifting weights and strength training but outright joint pain is going to stop most, even fitness enthusiasts, dead in their tracks. Joint pain just isn’t something to mess around with even when you’re not dealing with moving around hundreds of pounds of iron.

cap barbell push up bars

The way in which push up products prevent wrist stress and pain is through the way they position your hands during use. Instead of bending your wrists at a 90 degree angle as you would during normal push ups your hands and wrists are held upright by the grips with your palms facing one another. And any decent product is going to have solid grip handles to prevent any sort of slippage.

Perform Other Types of Exercises

The last purpose of this type of workout product is the fact that you can do more than just push ups. Two other great ways to make use of this product is to perform dips and L-sits. It should be mentioned that whether or not you will be able to perform other workouts will depend on the individual product. The main contributing factor is how far off of the ground the bars or handles are raised. With that said most of the most popular options on the market do offer this kind of versatility.

The million dollar question has been answered. You now now that this product has it’s place in fitness. Whew! Another great thing about this fitness product is that it is very affordable and inexpensive. Be sure to browse our other fitness related content below.

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Photo credit: flickr user mewall82

 

Coffee Contributes to Healthy Liver New Study Suggests

coffee beans

coffee

There seems to never be a definitive conclusion when it comes to coffee, America’s favorite caffeinated beverage, and our health. Pop science articles are always wavering on this matter and yet consumers continue to consume each and every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Why? Coffee provides mental and physical stimulation through caffeine and other constituents such as mao-b inhibitors, dependence and tolerance set in rather quickly as caffeine is a drug just like any other, it is ritualistic and provides a common ground for social interaction, and it simply tastes great to many. We will continue the wavering debate in this article with the discussion of a very recent study, a study which has evaluated possible health benefits of coffee in relation to the liver.

Coffee and the Liver – The Facts

This isn’t the first time the relationship between coffee and the liver have been put under a microscope and it most likely won’t be the last. A visit to PubMed.gov, a database of scientific studies, would yield exactly 482 entries that are either direct analyses of coffee’s effect on the liver or entries which at the very least acknowledge the relationship. In short, the potential health benefits of coffee and its positive effects on the liver is no stranger to science.

A look at the most recent study tells us that coffee, whether it is a caffeinated cup of Folgers or a decaffeinated cup of Maxwell House, lowers levels of liver enzymes. Researchers found that there was an inverse relationship between enzyme levels and coffee intake. In other words, the more coffee that participants drank the lower the level of enzymes. Again, there was no discrepancy between users of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee as both had a positive effect on liver health.

The findings of this study hold their weight in that there was a total of 27, 793 participants. All participants were 20 years or older and the study took place over the course of 11 years (1999-2010).

High Levels of Liver Enzymes – What Does it Mean?

The study suggests that coffee is good for our livers because it lowers the levels of enzymes in the liver. Enzymes tested in the study include aminotransferase (ALT), aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma glutamyl transaminase (GGT). The question is, why are higher levels of liver enzymes bad? High levels of liver enzymes or elevated liver enzymes are associated with inflammation and damage to liver cells.

You can find out if your levels are elevated by undergoing a simple blood test at the doctor’s office. Whether or not actions need to be taken is matter between you and your doctor but it’s important to note that most of us have had elevated enzymes at one point or another in our lives. Drinking alcohol can elevate enzymes temporarily as can medication which is metabolized by the liver. It is when your levels are constantly elevated that you have a problem.

Common Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes

There are many causes of high levels of enzymes of which you can see here.  Some well known causes include alcohol addiction, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and certain prescription medications.

Coffee is Healthy Today

With this recent study coffee is on the healthy side for now. Liver health benefits isn’t the only punch coffee packs as other studies suggest that it helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among other benefits. It’s also an excellent source of antioxidants. But while coffee can keep your liver healthy it’s important to note that you shouldn’t use the beverage as a primary weapon for preventing liver issues. Drink it as the tasty pick me up that it is with the nice bonus of liver health benefits.

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Photo Credit: Flickr

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