If you are one of the lucky ones who doesn't get bored while staring at a wall on a stationary exercise stationary bike, congratulations, we are all envious of you. If you're like most people, though, the thought of spending hours on an exercise bike every week with nothing to do is an almost dreadful thought. But what can you do to kill the boredom?
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- 1 Try These On Your Stationary Bike: Funny, But Effective Ways To Pass The Time
Try These On Your Stationary Bike: Funny, But Effective Ways To Pass The Time
You could always give up exercising on the bike, but you’ve probably already finished paying it off and bought it for a reason. Also, even stationary bikes are a great way to get cardio in that is low impact and highly variable. Instead of ditching cycling altogether, let’s take a look at 15 ways you can make your stationary bike funny, interesting, challenging and all of those other things that stop boredom dead in its tracks.
First, the old faithful way of amusing yourself while working out. Music keeps your mind off of the work and puts you in a better state of mind. It helps the minutes fly by and keeps you jazzed, so your workouts don't suffer.
Some people may claim that you need hard-hitting, high tempo and intense music to get a workout but no science backs this up. What studies have suggested is that music can improve your quality of music as long as you enjoy it. That's right, whether its Bach, Billy Idol or Biggie, as long as you love it, it will love you back and help you stay focused.
Audio Books and Podcasts
Not a music person? Want to work out your mind and your body at the same time. Audiobooks and podcasts are interesting and mind-expanding ways to pass the hours. Most podcasts are free, and there are many online subscription sites that offer access to thousands of audiobooks for cheap. There's no reason not to learn while you bike.
If you are more into reading yourself, don't be afraid to bring your favorite book or reading device. Sure, it will limit how intense your workout can be because of the loss of use of one or more of your hands, but it can be worth it. If your balance is a problem, consider a recumbent bike. This stationary bike puts you in more of a reclining position, so you don't even need your hands.
With the rise of smartphones and tablets, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t catch up on TV, the news or the latest movies while you exercise. Gone are the days of hauling the bike to the TV, now you can just hold your phone or mount it onto your bike. There are quite literally billions of hours of content on YouTube for free, so even if you don’t have Hulu or Netflix, you can’t miss out. Just be careful to keep all your electronics dry.
Bite Size Exercise
If long stretches of exercising bore you, consider trimming down your exercises. Do smaller workouts throughout the day, so you don't have time to get bored. Crank out 15 minutes, complete a chore or something, then head back later.
If you’ve got an exercise buddy, make use of them! Lug your exercise bikes to the same room and strike up a conversation. You can even get more friends in on it and have a little exercise party. It doesn’t even have to be a cycling party, shoot the breeze while they are treadmilling, weightlifting or yoga-ing.
If your workouts are too boring for you, maybe they are too easy. Crank up the difficulty to keep your edge sharp. To help you keep it challenging, set goals for yourself like minutes at higher resistance or time to distance. Compete against yourself and show your past you that you have their number; they are going down.
If you can't handle going all out every time and steadily increasing your difficulty ad infinitum, try interval training. This method sees you going hard for short bursts of time then leisurely recovering at a slower pace. Training at intervals gets you thinking about your plan and your mind off of the boredom. It also has the advantage of burning more calories on average. A win-win!
Cycling not doing it for you anymore? Try something different and use that stationary bike differently. Spinning is a type of exercise that employs a stationary bike but uses it in different ways. The user stands up out of their seat at times and cycles in less efficient but more challenging ways. Since the bike isn't going anywhere, you can perform these almost trick like exercises without fear of falling off.
Learning spinning can be challenging; at higher levels, they even take the bike seat off! So, you don't want to try figuring it out for yourself. There are plenty of exercise videos available to teach you, and most big gyms have spin classes available as the popularity of the method has kicked off in recent years.
Sure, you got a stationary bike because you can't or would rather not bike around your neighborhood. Fair enough, but that doesn't mean you can't get some fresh air. Haul your exercise bike out to the porch or balcony and drink in the sun if it's out. It may not be the same as outdoor cycling, but your surroundings will still be much more interesting.
As long as weather permits, exercising outside has health benefits as well. Direct sunlight increases vitamin D production, and the (hopefully) fresh air will help you breathe deeper. Also, if you live close to an urban area, you can people watch, and that's fun anytime.
Get a Boredom Killing Bike
So, you really want to bike outside because it is more challenging, interesting and fun. But you’re stuck inside due to weather, environment, safety or what have you. The solution? Use modern technology to simulate cycling outdoors. I know it sounds funny, “stationary bikes that simulate not being stationary?” But they do exist.
For example, the Proform Tour de France bike simulates biking outdoors by connecting to Google Maps. It displays a location in the world you can bike in which changes the faster you go. Furthermore, the bike reads the gradient of the surface of the displayed area and adjusts the elevation and resistance of the bike accordingly. It feels like you are actually there!
Hack the Planet
Can’t afford to drop the serious coin on a fancy VR sci-fi bike? Make your own. With nothing but a USB keypad that has arrow keys, a wired magnetic window or door alarm, soldering equipment, an exercise bike and a laptop, you can make your own outdoor simulating bike. Check out these instructions.
Learn a New Language
All the dead time during cycling on a stationary bike isn't funny. It can really drain on you. But if you take that time to learn a new language, it can be an opportunity for growth. There are many ways that you can learn a new language while riding a stationary bike from apps to CDs to laptop programs. It might take some finagling, but it is possible. Learning a new language takes hours, but you've got those if you are riding an exercise bike every week. Stationary bike funny, Why not put them to good use?
Get Some Writing Done
Sounds weird sure, but writing while biking is possible. You just need some dictation software like Dragon Dictation. This program listens to you speak and transforms your speech into text. Yeah, your phone can probably do that, but can it learn from your speech and understand you when you speak quickly and conversationally? Can it take direction like "back two words, delete that, new paragraph."? Probably not but specialized dictation software can.
Now you can finish that novel, report or blog post you put off to exercise on your stationary bike. You can even get some work done if your profession requires a lot of writing. Just be aware, the dictation software isn’t cheap, at least not the good ones.
Keep Those Hands Busy
Now that you can use your voice to write your hands are all freed up! If your hands are free while cycling on your stationary bike, funny thing is, you can use them to do all kinds of things. Shocking, I know. Pick up embroidering, solve a Rubik’s cube, game on with your phone or handheld video game system, play with some putty or even exercise your arms with some dumbbells.
You might need your hands to keep balance for more intense cycling, but when you aren't doing that, put those idle hands to use. Better to do a lighter workout that's funny than give up early on a boring but intense workout stationary bike. If it's really a problem, spring for one of those recumbent bikes that we spoke about earlier. Sure, you have to buy a new one, but the relaxed yet useful position it puts you in will free up your hands to help you kill that boredom.
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