I just got off Yahoo and they tell me that exercise bikes are one of the top searches today. I am going to tell you both not to buy one and to go ahead and buy one. But before you buy one, visit your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store and look at the many old exercise bikes and other machines there. The fact is, they are used for a few months and then become laundry hangers.
Now I will tell you this: If all you want to do is pedal a bike while watching TV, then maybe you should get an exercise bike. Before I tell you what to get and what not to get, I will suggest a better exercise device for doing in front of the TV. But I must tell you that sometimes you just have to turn the TV off.
Okay, for those of you who insist on exercising in your living room in front of a TV, here goes. Still do not get a bike or treadmill or elliptical. They do only ONE movement and that gets old in a few months. Get something you can do lots of things on. Here is my advice. Get a 40" mini-trampoline called a rebounder. And if i have to drop a name, spend the extra money and get a good one. I have a Needak that I bought around 2000 and it is still going great. I recommend the non-folding type.
Here is why I recommend a rebounder over a bike. You can do lots of things on it. You can walk, run, bounce medicine balls off of it (hence its name, rebounder), and generally move and groove on it. I use mine for running and boxing at the same time with a pair of 3 pound dumbbells. And I recommend you get those lightweight dumbbells and do the same.
As for the dummbells, you can get a pair of those and just do jumping jacks with the dumbbells. It is great exercise. You can either swing the dumbbells around like regular jumping jacks or push them straight over your shoulders in presses as you jump. It is great exercise.
The next piece of exercise equipment I recommend is a jump rope. That's right. Boxers swear by it, and it is so inexpensive, yet so effective at burning calories. If you don't have one, get a cheap basketball. Go to somewhere that you can run, dribble, and shoot. The combination of movements is both good for all-around conditioning but also keeps you entertained and fights off boredom. And fighting off exercise boredom is what this post is all about. I really think that exercise boredom sets in very quickly with an exercise bike, treadmill, or even elliptical trainer.
Let's get back to that basketball. By spending a few bucks more, get a second basketball and use it to put your hands on to do pushups. If you cannot do pushups horizontally on the floor, work up to it by doing them leaning against a chair or wall and just increase your angle down until you are horizontal. Then use the basketballs.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of keeping interested in your exercise. If it becomes boring, you will not keep it up. So here's you you keeping your New Year's exercise resolutions. Happy New Year! Here are our Workout Sandbags.