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You can lose weight in your living room with an exercise bike.
Stationary bikes can take you a long way, even while you remain in the same spot. Exercise bikes provide efficient cardiovascular workouts that get your heart pumping and burn excess calories to help you lose weight. You also have the option of working out on your own or joining fellow exercisers in a class, so there's no reason to become bored as you pedal your way to a slimmer physique.
An Average Calorie Burn
Several variables determine the number of calories you'll burn -- and, therefore, the amount of weight you'll lose -- while riding a stationary bike. All else being equal, the heavier you are, the more calories you'll burn. The intensity of your exercise is another key factor. If you weigh 155 pounds, for example, 30 minutes of moderate pedaling will burn about 260 calories, while a vigorous workout will burn approximately 391. You lose 1 pound for every 3,500 excess calories you burn, so one hour of moderate exercise on a stationary bike per day -- or about 40 minutes of vigorous work -- helps you lose about 1 pound per week.
Burn More with Interval Training
Use interval training to lose the maximum amount of weight on a stationary bike. Interval training alternates higher- and lower-intensity workout segments. The high-intensity intervals can approach your maximum effort, for example. You'll then reduce your effort to about 40 or 50 percent during the low-intensity intervals. Interval training burns more calories than steady-pace training and also improves your aerobic capacity, so you can train harder in the future.
Include Other Exercise, Too
Cycling is a great way to torch calories, but it shouldn't be all you do for weight loss. Cycling day after day can strengthen some muscles at the expense of others, and could eventually lead to muscle tightness or imbalances. Include weight training in your workout two to three times a week to build a balanced physique (and to power up your legs for better cycling workouts overall). And mix in other forms of cardio -- walking, jogging, stair climbing -- every now and then to challenge your muscles in new ways.
Losing Weight Safely
Losing weight slowly but steadily is typically healthier than trying to trim a large percentage of your body weight quickly. Nutritional consultant and author Mike Roussell says in вЂњShapeвЂќ magazine that losing 10 pounds in a month is more sustainable than losing 10 pounds in one week. If you're very obese, it will be easier to lose large amounts of weight quickly, particularly in the first week of your program, when you'll shed plenty of water weight. Additionally, an exercise bike is a good choice if you're overweight because the bike supports your weight, making it a no-impact exercise. For most exercisers, it's best to plan sensible biking workouts that help create a 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit per day, allowing you to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.