So, you’re planning on getting yourself a nice exercise bike so you don’t need to go to the gym, eh? Good for you.
Now, do you know what are the things you should and should not do with the bike? Not a clue? Oh well, it’s a good thing we’re here.
The followings are some of the common warnings and precautions that you can find in the owner’s manual. Yes, we read the manuals for you just in case you skipped the warning and safety instruction parts.
#1. Consult your doctor or physician before starting any exercise regime
It’s kind of obvious, but your doctor knows that not all exercises are created equal. You may have physical or medical conditions that could be aggravated by riding a stationary bike. Some conditions (like being severely obese) may even hinder you from using the machine properly.
If you’re on medication affecting blood pressure or heart rate, consulting a physician is even more important.
#2. Take it slow
For your first exercise, start with the lowest resistance level for ten minutes. Be aware of what your body is telling you. If it’s begging you to stop, then stop. Excessive exercise does more harm to your body than good. If you go straight to a high resistance level, it will put serious strain on your knees.
If you experience pain, irregular heartbeat, tightness in your chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, or lightheadedness, stop immediately! People have different fitness levels. Seniors, for example, should not use a stationary bike as rigorous as the youngins.
Go ask your physician or doctor before continuing with your workout program.
#3. Keep children and pets away from the bike
Exercise bikes are designed for adult use only. Children may get hurt when they attempt to use it without supervision. The moving parts also pose dangers to your children and pets.
#4. Use the bike on a flat surface
If you put the machine on a sloped floor, it may move around unexpectedly while you’re exercising. Many bikes have leveling mechanism on the bottom part, but if yours don’t have it, use pads like the ones used on furniture legs.
Make sure there’s enough space all around the bike. You’d want at least four of free space on all sides.
#5. Check the nuts and bolts regularly
Ideally, you should check the nuts and bolts to ensure they are all tight before you climb on the bike. If that’s too much, just be sure to check them once a week. While you’re at it, also check for damage, wear, and tear.
If you find any defect or hear something funny from the machine when you ride it, stop immediately. Do not continue using the machine until you have discovered and rectified the problem.
#6. Use the bike for its intended use
Got some cool ideas you want to try on the bike to get millions of views on Youtube? Scratch that. You’ll be going to the ER if you still go for it.
An exercise bike is for exercising. Not for doing stupid stunts or anything unrelated to working out.
#7. DO NOT put anything into the moving parts
As obvious as it sounds, this is still a warning worth mentioning. We’re pretty sure you’re smart enough not to do it intentionally, so we just want to warn you not to do it unintentionally.
Let’s say you enjoy wearing loose clothing while exercising. There’s a possibility of some dangling piece of fabric got stuck and entangled in the bike. That’s dangerous as you may get yanked by the pedal.
#8. Pay attention to the maximum weight capacity
If you weigh 375 lbs. and the bike says it’s only good for 300 lbs. then you can expect problems up ahead. While it’s true that most bikes can handle way above its maximum weight limit, it’s best to keep it safe.
#9. Be careful while moving the unit around
Exercise bikes can be heavy. Although many have small wheels to help you move them around, you still need to practice proper lifting method. You know, “Lift with your legs, not your back.”
Also avoid any abrupt movement. It’s not about the hardware as much as the computer. The electronics and the housing are not built with protection against bumps and thuds.
#10. Home exercise bikes are meant for home use.
Commercial stationary bikes like the ones you see in the gyms are built sturdier to accommodate abuse and prolonged use daily. Home exercise bikes are more economical, so they aren’t as rugged as the commercial ones.
#11. Indoor use only
Home use also means indoor use only. Don’t put the machine on the patio where it’s exposed to the elements. That will cost you dearly. These machines don’t like cold, hot, or damp areas as they may lead to corrosion and multitude of other problems.
#12. It’s not a hamper
Come on folks, put those dirty laundry where they belong. You don’t want dirt, water, or loose bits of whatever get into the bike and ruin it. If you cover the display with a towel drenched in your smelly sweat, the salty water may damage the electronics. Dirt from your trousers that make its way into the drive mechanism may wear it faster.
#13. Unplug THEN move
If your bike computer needs power from the wall outlet, make sure the bike is not plugged in before you move the bike around. Yanking on the cable rarely cause any significant damage, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. That said, it’s best to always unplug the bike after you’re done exercising. There’s always a chance that someone might trip over the cable.
#14. Be careful when using the leveler
An exercise bike should be used on a flat surface for it to work properly and for safety concerns. That is why the bikes often come with levelers to make sure the bike stays flat when the surface it’s on is not. Manufacturers usually put the levelers on the rear stabilizer and the frame rail.
To use the levelers, you turn a knob to adjust the leveler’s foot. Turn the knob too much and the leveler will detach. That’s dangerous. You can hurt yourself or damage the machine.
Turn the knob in moderation. If the floor surface is too uneven, you may consider rubber cutouts and place them under the levelers.
OK, that’s all for now. If we found more stuff, we’ll add them to the list. Until then, keep it safe and keep on sweating.