We know that cardiovascular exercise is good for our heart, lungs and brain, but it can sometimes take a toll on our joints. That doesn't mean we need to avoid those exercises, just modify.
Walkers and runners feel the force when they set out to get in a little cardio. "It's what we call ground reaction force. When my foot hits the ground when I'm running, all that force of my body when I'm coming down to the ground, just Newton's law says, pushes that force back up through my body. And my body and my joints and my muscles just have to absorb that force," said Kory Zimney. But there is another way to get your heart to maximum burn level, without taking it out on your joints. Biking. "Biking is such a great option because it takes that pounding away from just those weight bearing forces of our body down through our joints," said Zimney.
Bike riding is not considered a weight-bearing exercise, like walking and running. While weight-bearing exercises are good for building bone strength, then can wear out your joints. So the moral of the story, all things in moderation, and find the exercise that's best for your body each day. "We know 30 minutes is what we need from a healthy standpoint on a regular basis, on a daily basis, for general health. Obviously on a bike in a half hour you're going to cover a lot longer distance than you do in a half hour walk," said Zimney. So break yourself in slowly, and don't try to take on a long ride like RAGBRAI your first trip out.
Now, stationary bikes work just the same as riding outside. And the type of bike, be it upright or recumbent, doesn't matter to your heart, lungs and brain. It's all the same cardio exercise, but Kory Zimney says if you're training to ride outside, use a similar style bike when you ride indoors.
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