How to Lose Weight Using a Recumbent Bike

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A recumbent bike is a sit-down bike that looks like a lawn chair with wheels. The wider seat and the more natural position of the body make this bike more comfortable than the traditional upright bike. According to the website Bicycle Life, because of the low seating position, the recumbent bike is a good alternative for bikers who have developed repetitive stress injuries to the wrist, neck or back. You can lose weight just as easily using a recumbent as an upright bike, but keep in mind that the recumbent bike puts more stress on your knees, particularly when climbing hills.

Things You'll Need

  • Recumbent bike
  • Pedal at a moderate pace for five to 10 minutes to warm up your joints and raise your body temperature. This will prepare your body for the upcoming, more intense workout session. Once you are warmed up, increase your pace until you work at a medium intensity. You know you are working at the right pace if it feels hard, but you can still maintain a conversation with someone. Continue at this pace for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Do this workout three times per week for two weeks. Add a fourth workout day the third week, then a fifth day the fourth week. If time is a concern, instead of adding workout days, add minutes to your current workouts. For example, if you spend 30 minutes on the bike each workout, add five minutes the third week, and another five the fourth week so your total workout time is 40 minutes.

  • Include intervals in your bike workouts for added fat burn. During an interval, you increase your workout intensity to high for a period of time. Because intervals tax your cardiovascular system more than steady-state workouts, limit them to every other workout. You will burn the most amount of fat if you do the intervals at the beginning of your workout sessions, right after the warm-up. According to Jason L. Talanian, an exercise scientist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, "After interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous moderate cycling increased by 36 percent." Your intervals do not have to be long or many. Start with three to five intervals of 30 seconds, followed by a 30- to 60-second period of moderate intensity in which you catch your breath.

  • Eat a healthy, well balanced diet to maximize your weight loss. According to the American Council of Exercise, a combination of diet and exercise produces quicker and longer lasting weight loss than dieting or exercising alone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that the harder you workout, the more fat you will burn. Keep adding minutes to your workouts until you reach one hour per workout. For best results, also increase the length of your intervals and shorten the rest in between them.
  • Interval training is not suited for people with high blood pressure, heart disease or joint disease such as arthritis. Consult with your doctor before starting interval training.

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References

  • Photo Credit bike image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com
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