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What is a Pedal Exerciser?
A pedal exerciser is a small but mighty piece of exercise equipment that allows you to have the benefits of cycling under your desk.
Pedal exercisers are made up of a base and two bike pedals. These small pieces of equipment can fit right under your desk and allow you to pedal all day.
They provide the various benefits that you get from cycling without actually having to cycle!
They’re a great way to keep active and burn calories throughout the day without leaving your desk.
Do Pedal Exercisers Work?
The short answer is yes! Any movement is going to be better than no movement at all. Pedal exercisers are a convenient and affordable solution to moving more while at your desk.
We would like you to move in other ways, but that’s not always possible. With a pedal exerciser, you’re at least getting your legs moving and your heart rate up.
Are Pedal Exercisers Good for the Elderly?
Yes! Pedal exercisers are an excellent way for older individuals to get in some low-impact exercise.
A study done by Torres-Sánchez et al. (2016) showed that elderly patients who used pedal exercisers while staying in a hospital were able to increase strength, balance, and exercise capacity!
This is an excellent tool if you’re looking to stay active and build some muscle, and you can’t necessarily make it to the gym.
Pedal Exerciser Benefits
Pedal exercisers have quite a few benefits. For today’s article, I will go over my top 5 benefits that you will gain while using a pedal exerciser. This is not a complete list, but the five that I think are most important.
Pedal exercisers come in a variety of sizes. Some are large recumbent bikes you may find at a gym, while others are two pedals on a thin center console. For the sake of this article, we will be discussing the latter.
The portability of pedal exercisers is one of the top highlights. If you’re someone who works a desk job, there’s no need to lug around a 50+lbs item, while you can quickly bring around a pedal exerciser that’s no more than 20lbs. This makes it easy to bring to and from work as needed.
Or you may be someone who works from home and likes to change rooms every now and then. You’ll be able to bring your pedal exerciser with you since it’s easy to move around.
The portability is a great function, and since they don’t all need to be plugged in, you can bring these everywhere!
2. Low Impact
Cycling is inherently a low-impact cardio option. That means it’s not going to put as much pressure on your muscles, bones, and joints. Take the example of running; running causes a lot of force to transfer throughout your body. Your muscles and joints need to be healthy to absorb this shock.
With cycling, there’s no need to worry about that. Since gravity isn’t involved here, no forces need to be distributed throughout the body. This makes pedal exercisers an excellent choice for someone who experiences ankle, knee, or hip pain while doing cardio.
3. Stay Active While Working
Usually, while we’re working, only one thing is getting done, and that’s our work! However, when you have a pedal exerciser, you can get great work done while moving. You can’t take your computer on a walk with you, so having this option is an easy way to get some exercise in while knocking out your next project.
4. Easy to use
Pedal exercisers are extremely easy to use. All you need to do is put your feet on them and go! There are more advanced pedal exercisers, but the base models will get the job done without needing an instruction manual.
No need to fiddle around with knobs and buttons; just pedal and go!
5. Burn calories throughout the day
The outcome we’re all looking for is to burn a few extra pounds every week. Using a pedal exerciser will allow you to do just that. As I said before, some movement is better than no movement. If you use a pedal exerciser for 4-5 hours throughout your 8-hour workday, you’re guaranteed to burn a few extra calories.
A study conducted by Carr et al. (2015) had overweight office workers use a pedal exerciser at their desks. They found that after just 50 minutes of pedaling, these workers burned an average of 107 calories. In only 50 minutes a day, you can burn an extra 500 calories per week!
Main Pedal Exerciser Disadvantages
I’ll say that there are only a few disadvantages to using pedal exercisers.
1. You won’t build lean mass
Yes, older individuals will build some lean muscle mass, but a pedal exerciser is not the way to put on muscle for your average adult. There just isn’t enough resistance to build up muscle.
2. Not every model will have all the specs
If you’re looking for a model that will track metrics, you may have to invest a bit more into a higher-end model. Most of the pedal exercisers are just a base with pedals on them. That’s good enough to get the workout you want. But if you’re someone who likes to have a little more in their equipment, expect to pay a bit more for those features.
Pedal exercisers are an incredibly easy-to-use, functional, and fun tool that everyone should consider having. They’ll help you burn more calories, are great for older individuals, and can keep you more active at a sedentary job.
These tools don’t cost an arm and a leg like most exercise equipment. They don’t make you read a 100-page instruction manual, and they won’t require you to clear space in your office either.
These are inexpensive, portable, and small pieces of exercise equipment that can help you make significant changes in your health and fitness.
Consider picking one up today and reap the benefits!
Nick, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA and a Pn L1 Nutrition Coach. He has over 10 years in the fitness world including training, coaching athletes, and working 1 on 1 with clients in the gym.