Q: I am looking for a new machine to mix up my cardio workouts. Can you explain the difference between an upright and recumbent bike?
A: Both type of bikes are effective at providing a quality cardiovascular workout. The difference between them will be your comfort level while on the machine. The recumbent bike might be a better choice if you suffer from back tension or pain. This bike usually has a full seat with a backrest to support you while you are exercising and handlebars at hip height and shoulder height for added support if needed. The recumbent bike also sits lower to the ground and will be easier to enter and exit the machine.
Upright bikes will feel more like a bike you ride outdoors and will require you to sit upright and maintain good posture without the aid of a backrest. This machine is higher off the ground, which may make it more difficult to enter and exit the machine. Both bikes will provide the ability to increase or decrease the amount of resistance as you pedal and will provide a variety of pre-programmed workouts in which the machine will change tension, mimicking pedaling on a flat road or pedaling on a hill.
Take a few days to try out both machines. Explore the console of pre-programmed workouts and decide for yourself which machine is the most comfortable for you. Either way, the upright and recumbent bikes will be a great addition to your weekly cardio workout routine.
Q: I’ve been seeing coconut water on the shelves at my local grocery store. Is this a suitable substitute for my daily water intake?
A: The average daily fluid intake for adults is roughly 13 cups for men and nine cups for women. Coconut water can absolutely count towards your daily intake and, of course, is a much better option than drinking sugar beverages, soda and sports drinks. Coconut water is not water with coconut flavor added; coconut water is the liquid that forms naturally inside the shell of a coconut. Compared to other juices, coconut water is higher in potassium, has fewer carbohydrates and is good way to rehydrate after a workout. As with all food intake, moderation is the key, as one eight-ounce plain coconut water can contain up to 45 – 50 calories and more if you opt for water enhanced with flavors such as mango or pineapple.
Information provided by Shannon Jungman, licensed nutritionist at Anytime Fitness, 515-360-2686, www.2911coaching.com.