For convenience, efficiency and effectiveness, exercise bikes top the list of cardio equipment. How long you have to use an exercise bike for weight loss depends on many factors, including the intensity and frequency of your workouts. You can tweak those variables to burn more calories in less time.
How fast you will lose weight riding an exercise bike depends on many variables, including your gender, age and weight and the intensity, frequency and duration of your workouts.
Exercise Bike for Weight Loss
Weight loss requires burning more calories than you take in. To be more specific, the Mayo Clinic says that for every 3,500 calories you burn, you will lose a pound of fat.
Using that as a guide, you can plan to ride an exercise cycle for weight loss for however many minutes it takes you to burn 3,500 calories and assume that you have burned a pound of fat — as long as your diet stays the same.
Using estimations from Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-person should burn 260 calories riding a stationary bike at a moderate pace for 30 minutes. Therefore, a person weighing 155 pounds could lose 1 pound of fat riding a bike for a little less than seven hours. If you weigh less, you'll burn calories at a slower pace. If you are heavier, you'll torch more calories.
However, other things besides body weight, such as your sex, your age and your base metabolism, affect your calorie burn and rate of weight loss, too, which makes the 3,500-calorie rule an inexact measurement. Circumference measurements, body fat testing and simply noticing how your clothes fit are better indicators of your progress.
Read more: 11 Amazing Benefits of Biking
Hard Work Equals Results
It's difficult to predict how much weight you'll lose and how fast you'll lose it riding an exercise bike. But you are in control when it comes to maximizing your results, which rely on more than just how long you ride. Do these four things and you will see better results faster:
Up your intensity: The harder you pedal, the more calories you'll burn. According to Harvard, a 155-pound person burns 391 calories cycling at a vigorous pace for 30 minutes.
Do interval training: Most people can't maintain that kind of vigorous pace for a long time. If you alternate periods of intense activity with periods of recovery, you can do more overall work (and burn more total calories) in less time than with a steady-state, moderate-intensity workout, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Add in strength training: The more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism. People who pack a lot of muscle have higher metabolisms than those who carry more fat, says the Mayo Clinic. You may use an exercise bike for weight loss, but weight training can speed up your progress.
Cycling will build some muscle in your lower body, but adding in a couple of total-body strength training sessions each week will help you gain even more. Try exercises that work all your major muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, rows and shoulder presses at a challenging intensity.
Clean up your diet: You can cycle for seven hours a week, but if you're eating too much and consuming the wrong foods, you will not get results. It's necessary to combine cycling with a healthy diet if you want your work to pay off. The best weight loss diet is composed of clean, whole foods, such as fresh vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, and is low in processed foods.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Mayo Clinic: "Is a Slow Metabolism the Reason I'm Overweight?"
- Mayo Clinic: "Counting Calories: Get Back to Weight-Loss Basics"
- American Council on Exercise: "Steady State vs. Interval Training: Which One Is Best for Your Clients?"