Are Exercise Bikes Effective for Weight Loss?

Weight loss can be obtained through diet, exercise, or a combination of the two. One of the most popular forms of exercise involves the use of stationary bikes since there are so many benefits. Exercise bikes are convenient, easy to use, do not put too much strain on joints such as knees and ankles, can be used at home or in the gym, and can be used during inclement weather. Yet, in determining if exercise bikes are effective for weight loss, the answer is not a clear yes or no. Use of an exercise bike can be effective for weight loss under the right conditions.

exercise bike

How Weight Loss Occurs

Weight loss can be obtained by burning more calories than what are being consumed. This can be done by eating less, exercising more, or engaging in a combination of both. Riding an exercise bike is an easy way to burn more calories throughout the day, making it an effective exercise for weight loss. However, the use any exercise can become ineffective if calorie intake increases over how much is being used by the body throughout the day. According to information provided by the Mayo Clinic, 1 pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, so this is the number of calories to be burned in order to lose 1 pound a week.

Calories Burned using an Exercise Bike

Calorie burn varies depending on the weight of the person, intensity level of the exercise, and length of time spent in an activity. Generally speaking, the heavier a person weighs, the higher intensity of exercise, and the longer spent on an activity all increase the number of calories burned. To lose a pound a week, it is necessary to burn about 500 calories a day on the stationary bike. According to the calorie calculator on Sparkpeople.com, a 170 pound person can burn 500 calories on an exercise bike in almost an hour when using moderate effort.

Trouble with Losing Weight on the Exercise Bike

Performing a workout on an exercise bike can lead to very little weight loss for a number of reasons. People often get bored with using an exercise bike on a daily basis. This can be alleviated by performing other activities, such as watching television, listening to music, or catching up on phone calls. However, if you are able to do other activities while exercising, you may no be exercising hard enough to burn very many calories. Also, if little to no resistance is used, less calories are being burned as well. The length of time spent on the exercise bike needs to be increased when performing a workout at lower intensity levels. Exercise bikes only work the lower body. Although fat loss occurs evenly throughout the body, this may not be as noticeable in the upper body when legs and butt become tighter and more toned from using an exercise bike.

Tips to Increase Weight Loss by Using a Stationary Bike

Tips to Increase Weight Loss by Using a Stationary Bike
It is important to stick with exercising on your bike and perform the workout 5 or 6 days a week.

It is important to stick with the activity and perform the workout 5 or 6 days a week. When using lower levels of intensity, increase the time spent performing the workout to burn enough calories to make a difference. Thus, increasing the intensity of the workout can reduce the amount of time that needs to be spent exercising on the stationary bike. Make your workout more effective by adding upper body exercises, such as pumping hand weights, during your workout. This will increase the number of calories burned while providing a whole body workout.

How to Increase Intensity of Workout with an Exercise Bike

It is not necessary to spend an hour a day on the bike if you don’t have time. Simply increase the intensity level of the workout for a more effective workout in a shorter period of time. Use more resistance in the pedals, more incline in the bike, or a little of each. Resistance and incline are both effective ways to increase the amount of effort necessary to perform the workout and will help to burn more calories in a shorter time frame.

Trying Interval Training for Effective Weight Loss

Another method is to try interval training on the exercise bike. There are many formulas for training with intervals, but all alternate levels of higher intensity with lower intensity levels or recovery periods. When exercising at a consistent level during a workout, the body adjusts to this level, slowing metabolism to use calories more efficiently. Interval training keeps the body guessing and the metabolism higher to burn more calories and fat.

About the Author

Nevil Hunter is Sales Manager at Perth exercise equipment company Orbit Fitness. Catch Nevil on Google+.