Exercise bikes have been around for a long time, and they remain a popular weight-loss tool for several reasons. They provide an inexpensive and convenient way to workout without leaving the house. It's easy to adjust the intensity of the workout for physical limitations. And a stationary bike comes equipped with easy-to-read monitors to measure your pulse and track the distance you've covered. If you've been sedentary for a while and now want to get back into action, an exercise bike will let you start at an intensity level you can handle and gradually build up your endurance. Will an exercise bike help you lose weight? If you put in the effort, it certainly can.
One hour on a stationary recumbent bike can burn 1,000 calories at top speeds, or 250 calories for a reasonable 30-minute workout. Sustained aerobic activity is the best fat-burner, and the exercise bike will let you reach aerobic levels within just a few minutes. By increasing muscle mass in the lower body, exercise biking can also raise metabolism for sustained fat loss.
Exercise biking is easy on the skeleton, providing a low impact workout for the lower body and virtually no impact on the upper body. That makes it an ideal workout for someone carrying extra weight. A recumbent bike is a good choice for people who have a lot of weight to lose and for those with high blood pressure.
By raising the heart rate and keeping it elevated for the duration of the workout, stationary bicycles strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system, and help improve circulation and oxygenation of the blood. More oxygen in the blood makes burning calories easier.
The safety and convenience of exercise biking encourages regular use, and regular aerobic exercise can help relieve the stress and depression that can lead to over-eating. Burning extra calories can improve the quality of sleep, which has been shown to aid in weight loss. Exercise biking also will increase stamina for participating in other enjoyable, calorie-burning activities, such as dancing.
Boredom is the enemy of any weight-loss program. Stationary bikes let you watch TV and listen to music (or audio books) while you ride. On a recumbent bike, you can even read. To keep you motivated, try the Game Rider, a stationary bike that plugs into a PlayStation and becomes the "controller." The Expresso Fitness Co. makes a stationary bike with built-in video games.