If back problems or discomfort on a regular bike are keeping your from getting rid of a big booty and muffin top, you can burn fat with a recumbent bike instead. A recumbent bike -- stationary or outdoor -- has a back rest to support your back in a reclined position and the pedals are out in front of your body, rather than below it. No excuses! If you enjoy biking, you can pedal away the flab on a recumbent bike.
Get your bod warmed up before you start biking to avoid injury. The last thing you need, in the midst of a busy life, is a strained or sore muscle. There are several ways to warm up your body, get the blood and oxygen flowing through at an increased rate, and loosen up those muscles. Take a five- to 10-minute walk, march or jog in place, or get on your recumbent bike and pedal slowly for that length of time. Preparing your body for a vigorous or lengthy workout sets up for more fat-burning potential by helping you avoid exercise-related injury.
Riding your bike for one hour can help you burn approximately 500 calories. Do this everyday, and you can lose 1 pound each week while toning your muscles. You can boost your motivation as well as your loss of fat by bike riding with a friend or partner. Exercise is often one of the activities a busy woman puts aside to tend to work or family matters; put yourself first for one hour per day to blast fat, destress and get some "me" time.
Interval Training to Blast Flab
Whether you can't find one hour in the day for exercise or simply want to blast more fat, interval training is an excellent way to go from flab to fab while riding your recumbent bike. Start out with 30- to 60-second high-speed intervals after every four to five minutes of pedaling at your normal speed. Each week, increase your high-speed interval by 15 to 30 seconds until you reach two minutes of fast pedaling for every four or so minutes at a moderate pace. You can burn just about the same number of calories in 45 minutes with intervals as you can in one hour at a steady, moderate pace.
If fat loss is your goal, combining your recumbent bike exercise with a calorie-reduced diet will help you get there faster. Cut 250 to 500 calories from your daily intake to lose an extra 1/2 to 1 pound. This can be done easily by passing on things such as creamy salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular soda and sweetened coffee-shop beverages. Drink lots of water throughout the day, especially before, during and after your bike ride. Eight to 10 glasses each day will help you stay hydrated.
- Spine-Health: Stationary Bike
- American Council on Exercise: How Important Are the Warmup and Cooldown Portions of Exercise?
- Health Guidance.org: Five Great Exercise Machines for Burning Fat
- BikeRadar.com: Eight Stretching Exercises for Cyclists
- Georgia State University: Physical Activity
- Mayo Clinic: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.