Are you looking for a way to lose weight, get fit, and feel good? Do you need something you can do year-round, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
A stationary bike may be the weight loss solution you need in your life. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, hailing, or fifty-below because you can hop on a stationary bike anytime. Plus, you’ll never outgrow a stationary bike because you can easily increase the intensity of your workout.
We get it. It’s not easy to find a weight loss plan that keeps you engaged and works your entire body. Biking is an aerobic exercise that also tones your muscles, and hopping on a stationary bike makes exercising safe and weatherproof!
If you’ve considered riding a stationary bike for weight loss but don’t know where to start you’ve come to the right place. From understanding the different bike types to learning how long to ride for results, we can teach you how to build a stationary bike weight loss plan.
Why Should I Use a Stationary Bike?
Using a stationary bike for weight loss means burning more than 600 calories per hour, making it a productive use of your exercise time. Stationary bikes also build muscle which ultimately burns body fat, but those aren’t the only benefits.
- Cycling is something anybody can do, regardless of their fitness or skill level.
- As a cardio activity, cycling improves heart and lung health, improves your entire circulatory system, and can boost your immune system.
- Cycling is a low-impact workout that requires fluid movements, making it an excellent option for your joints.
- You can work multiple muscle groups, but especially your lower body.
- Interval training, a mixture of short, intense bursts, and longer, less intense rides improves your overall fitness, which you can easily perform with a stationary bike. There are a lot of cool benefits of hiit training indeed.
- You don’t have to worry about bad weather, road hazards, or drivers not seeing you.
What Type of Stationary Bike Should I Choose?
Choosing the right stationary bike for weight loss is easier than it sounds. Whether you start a gym membership to gain access to several bikes or decide to purchase one for your home, it helps to understand your options.
Common Bike Types
Though features may vary, stationary bikes can be one of three types – recumbent, spin, and upright.
- Recumbent bikes involve a slight recline with the pedals in front of you instead of beneath you. These cycles are excellent choices for people with back problems.
- Spin bikes operate like mountain bikes and mimic the feeling of riding outside thanks to a weighted front wheel providing resistance.
- Upright bikes look, operate, and feel like an ordinary cycle.
Display and Programming
Many stationary bikes have displays that allow you to monitor speed, calories burned, and much more, depending on how high-tech it is. Additionally, you can program workouts, create routines for different days of the week, and even try pre-programmed workouts based on your fitness level, weight, and age.
From water bottle holders to heart-rate monitors, stationary bikes can include some convenient upgrades. If you like to read books or magazines while riding, you could pick one that has a built-in book rest.
Tip: If you choose to purchase one for your home, it’s a good idea to buy a stationary bike with a two to three-year warranty included.
What is Resistance, and Why Does it Matter?
If you read this far, then you probably noticed the word “resistance” used more than once because it’s an important factor for using stationary bikes for weight loss.
Adjusting the resistance on your cycle impacts how much effort you need to use to move the pedals. The more resistance you experience, the more calories you burn.
Tip: Don’t set the resistance too high when you’re starting. If you experience too much pain after riding, you may want to lower the resistance.
What is the Proper Form for Riding a Stationary Bike?
At a gym, you can ask for assistance to set your stationary bike at the proper levels, but at home, it’s all on you. Here are some tips to help you set your stationary bike to the right levels so that you can keep good form through your workout.
- Set the saddle so it’s about even with your hips so that your legs extend and bend comfortably as you pedal.
- Adjust the handlebars to keep your back upright and avoid reaching too far forward to grasp them.
How Long Should I Ride a Stationary Bike to Lose Weight?
Even if your cycle includes preset programs to follow, it helps to know how long to ride a stationary bike to lose weight. As noted above, cycling burns some serious calories, but going hard for sixty minutes isn’t always the best option, especially for beginners.
Setting routines for your fitness and experience level is the best way to ensure you stick with it because you minimize chances of injury, keep it interesting, and challenge yourself without going too hard.
Build-up Routines for Beginners
For those just starting, it’s a good idea to try a 30-minute workout first. Build up your time by a minute or two every few days. Try to vary your speeds throughout the workout to maximize your gains.
- Warm-up at a low intensity for up to 10 minutes.
- Alternate between 5 minutes at a medium intensity and 1 minute at high intensity.
- Don’t forget to cool down for at least 5 minutes at a low intensity.
Routines for Experienced Cyclists
Once you have a feel for things and want to focus on using your stationary bike for weight loss, it’s time to get creative.
Play around with intensity levels and resistance to push yourself a little harder. Keep the warm-ups and cool-downs to 10 minutes or less, but ratchet up your medium and high-intensity cycles.
Losing Weight with a Stationary Bike
Cycling works multiple muscle groups and boosts your overall health, so stationary bikes represent a low-impact way to burn calories, get fit, and lose weight. Of course, you still have to manage a balanced diet so that you can burn more calories than you eat.
Now that you know how to lose weight on a stationary bike, it’s time to get moving! If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us for more.