If you're hoping to lose weight, exercise bike workouts may provide the answer. Hop on an indoor bike and burn off unwanted pounds at home or at the gym.
You don’t have to worry about the weather when you choose to work out on an indoor bike. In fact, you can shed extra pounds even if you don't know how to ride an outdoor bike. Just hop on, start pedaling and burn hundreds of calories during every work out.
Computerized or Non-Computerized Bike
To burn excess calories and tone your lower body, you can use either a computerized exercise bike or a non-computerized model. Computerized stationary bikes typically have digital displays that let you know how many calories you’ve burned and how much distance you’ve covered. Some even have mechanisms for evaluating your heart rate and speed. If you prefer to have these calorie counts handy, a computerized model may be for you. However, a non-computerized model will help you to burn calories just as well.
Keep in mind that computerized calorie counters aren’t always accurate. If you select a computerized model, you may want to calculate your calorie burning on your own. This way, you can be sure you are meeting your calorie-burning goals.
Upright or Recumbent Bikes
Upright bikes are similar to regular bikes. They are positioned with the pedals below you. A recumbent bike, on the other hand, is designed so that your seat is semi-reclined when you’re on it, and the pedals are not below you. Instead, they are positioned in front of your body. Often, people with lower back pain choose recumbent bikes because they provide support for the back and are easier on the knees. Upright bikes can provide a more strenuous workout, but you can lose weight on both.
Duration to Work Out
In order to lose weight on an exercise bike, set aside some time to work out at least five times per week. If you’re new to regular exercise, begin working out slowly. If you strain yourself, you will be in too much pain to want to work out the next day. Start with 15 minutes on the bike, but understand that it’s okay to stop earlier if it becomes too uncomfortable. Eventually, your legs will get used to the workout, and it will be more comfortable for you. Gradually work up to 30 minutes on the bike. Once you are comfortable at this level, work towards a goal of spending one hour on the exercise bike, at least five days a week.
As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start out with slower pedaling, eventually increasing your speed as your body is conditioned to your workouts. The same goes for resistance. Start with low resistance and plan to work up to a greater resistance level when you can do so without pain.
You may be more likely to stick with your exercise bike workouts if you have some entertainment to keep you occupied. Some people watch television or listen to music to pass the time. You may even find that you enjoy reading on the bike, as long as you keep your balance and don’t fall off.
Working out for Weight Loss
To plan your workouts for maximum weight loss, start by figuring out how many calories you need to burn per day. If your goal is to lose 2 lbs. per month, for example, you may need to burn about 350 calories per day, five days per week to meet this goal. The average 150 lb. woman can burn between 130 and 330 calories in 30 minutes on an exercise bike. As such, you may be able to meet your goal with a little more than 30 minutes of daily exercise each day. Of course, the number of calories you burn will depend on how much you weigh and the intensity of your workouts. The faster you pedal and the greater the resistance, the more calories you will burn. Likewise, the more you weigh as you begin these exercises, the more you’ll burn in each session.