Pedal exercisers are convenient devices that allow you to burn calories while at your desk or on the couch watching television. You can sit, slip your feet under the straps on the pedals and start pedaling away. Several models also allow you to bring the pedal exerciser onto a desk and put your hands on the pedals for an upper-body workout. Prices and quality vary with these exercise devices, but here are some models that stand out from the rest.
Isokinetics Standard Pedal Exerciser
For the money, this is one of the best pedal exercisers available. And it can be used for upper body work, too. The Isokinetics Standard retails for about $20, about a fourth of what many models sell for, and it weighs around seven lbs. Its simple design makes it easy to operate and means that there is little that can go wrong with it, too. The Isokinetics models also feature anti-slip strips on the bottom, so that it will be secure whether you’re pedaling on carpet, tile or a wood floor. The Standard’s pedals only reach a height of 13 inches, which makes it especially convenient for use under a desk.
EZ Cycle Pedal Exerciser
For a much more high-tech option, the EZ Cycle Pedal Exerciser allows easy pedaling while seated, with the added feature of an LED display that shows information such as speed, distance pedaled, total time "ridden" and an estimate of the amount of calories burned. The EZ Cycle retails for about $100, and can also be used for an upper body workout. The “ride” is smooth, whether used by hands or feet, and the solid construction allows you to pedal as hard as you want without risk of moving or over-burdening the device.
Deluxe Resistive Pedal Exerciser
As the name suggests, the Deluxe features just about any feature you could want from a pedal exerciser. In addition to its solid construction and no-slip foot pads, the device displays speed, time ridden, calories burned, distance covered and it allows you to set the resistance level. So if you want to simulate a ride up into mountains, you can program the pedal exerciser to give your legs or arms a real workout. The device is only 16 lbs. and sells for about $100.
If you’re trying to closely track your daily calorie burning, then a pedal exerciser that tracks calories expended with each workout may be worth the investment. Just remember that machines that try to track calorie expenditure are offering estimates, so the number of calories used as you pedal at your desk may not be 100 percent accurate. However, the more physical activity you can build into your daily schedule, the more likely you are to burn more calories and lose more weight.