Everybody knows that exercise benefits overall health. It aids in weight loss, fights bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol, and opens up blood vessels. People in the know recommend half an hour of moderate exercise five days a week. Riding an exercise bicycle provides such moderate activity, though it can also be used for more vigorous exercise routines. There are exercise bikes available for both sets of routines. A recumbent exercise bike provides movement suitable for low impact aerobics. An upright bike is fitting for more intense workouts, but the positioning required to ride one does not suit everybody. For people with lower back problems or weight issues, or for those who just want to relax, the recumbent bike is an ideal substitute.

A recumbent exercise bike is seen as a more comfortable stationary bike. It has a bucket seat for lower back support and two pairs of handlebars. One pair is at the front of the bike while the other pair is parallel to the seat. Holding on to the latter handlebars can make for a more relaxing exercise. Other features include a heart rate sensor, an LCD screen that shows the heart rate and other pertinent information, a water bottle holder, and a rack for reading material. These kinds of bikes include workout programs that set different goals and different levels of resistance. Some models even come with built-in video games or music ports that are compatible with iPods.

Schwinn makes some of the best-reviewed recumbent bikes on the market. The Schwinn 230 has most of the above-mentioned features and is known for its quiet mechanics. It costs about $600, but can be bought online at much lower rates. The Schwinn 240 has the same features and a magazine rack under the seat. It is also about $600 but can be purchased at a reduced price. The Schwinn 20 series has a smaller, sleeker design and is worth about three hundred dollars. Nautilus also makes good recumbent bikes with lots of features. The Nautilus NR3000 is loaded with workout programs, heart rate programs, and a fitness test. It is worth about $2000. A less expensive option is the Nautilus R514. It is smaller, has just as many features, and can be bought online for $549.

People looking for more comfortable yet effective exercise options cannot do much better than a Recumbent Exercise Bike. It is less likely than an upright bike, or an elliptical, to strain a rider's back, wrists, or other body parts. Because of the increased comfort that comes from recumbent positioning, a workout on such a bike can last more than half an hour, burning many more calories. A rider can even play games, read books, or watch television while exercising. It is gaining in popularity and is becoming available in houses and gyms everywhere.