Guest Author - Terri Johansen
One of the best ways to get a fat burning workout is on a recumbent bike. This cardio workout will start you off at a moderate intensity to promote weight loss, strengthen your heart, and prepare you for more advanced workouts such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
What you need to know about the bike:
•The bike sits lower to the ground creating a smoother and more stable ride.
•You are in an effortless position with your back, head and neck protected which is very important for people with these issues.
•The seats are not like a traditional bike. They are large, cushioned and comfortable.
•Your body is seated in a more normal position therefore causing less fatigue.
•The design of the recumbent back is like you are sitting in a chair with a high back. You stretch your legs forward and they are parallel to the ground.
•Many recumbent bikes are equipped with heart rate monitors, mph, calories burned, fans, iPod outlets, pre-programmed workouts and more.
What you need to know about the workouts:
•During your workout you will be strengthening and toning the major muscles in your lower body such as your butt, front and back of the legs and the calves.
•A recumbent bike can provide you with a low-impact, fat burning cardio workout.
•The most important muscle you work out during a recumbent bike workout is your heart.
•The flow of blood running throughout your body will become more efficient.
•Depending on your weight and how hard you ride you can burn apx. 275 calories per 30 minutes
•American Council on Exercise rates recumbent exercise bikes on the top of its list for good cardio workouts.
Recumbent Bike Fat Burning Workout for Beginners is the Steady State Ride
A very important and often overlooked part of your ride is the warm-up and cool-down. For both the warm-up and the cool-down ride for 2 minutes, easy, slow and steady
•First you will need to establish your baseline by riding at a steady, moderate pace, low resistance, for a pre-determined amount of time. I recommend starting at 10 minutes without stopping. This will help you determine your limits.
•If 10 minutes is too easy move up to 15 or 20 minutes following the same rules. Once you have established your baseline you can increase the amount of time you ride. Depending on your fitness ability you can add 5 minutes a week. Do not add too much too soon. A good starting point would be to work up to 20 minutes three times a week.
•When you are able to maintain this schedule then try working on your speed and resistance. Begin by increasing the speed of your ride. For example, most bikes have a dashboard that will tell you how many miles per hour (mph) you are riding. If you are riding at a steady pace of 10 mph then begin to increase by 1 mph until you determine your new baseline.
•You want to be able to maintain this increased speed consistently for the length of your ride. Try to ride 20 minutes, 3 days a week.
•When you grow comfortable at your new speed try increasing the resistance by 1 level. Once again establish your baseline. For the duration of your workout you will need to be able to ride without stopping at the increased speed and resistance. Build up to 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
•As you grow stronger you can continue to work with the speed and resistance finding a zone where you are challenging yourself.
•Your goal is to steadily increase your workouts until you can keep your heart rate* between 60-70 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for the duration of your ride. This will be riding in the Fitness Zone also called the Fat Burning Zone.
•In order to burn fat faster you may want to increase your MHR to 75% and maintain this rate for the entirety of your workout.
•Work up to 20-30 minutes 4-5 days per week.
*Measuring Heart Rate
•To find your maximum heart rate use this formula: 220-(your age) = MHR
So if you are 40 the formula would be 220-40 = 180 MHR
•Riding in the Fitness Zone (Fat Burning) is 60-70% of your MHR. This would make your range 108 beats per minute (bpm) – 126 bpm.
•In order to burn fat faster you may want to increase your MHR to 75% which will put your heart rate at 135.
Some recumbent bikes have the heart rate monitor built in on the dashboard. If not then you can estimate your heart rate like this: Find a place where you feel your pulse the strongest try your wrist or neck. You can count your heart beat counting to 60 seconds or you can count for 6 seconds and add a 0 at the end of the number. For example if you count for six seconds and get 13 then your heart rate is 130 bpm. These are estimates but they will be close enough.
As always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan. Follow instructions, start slow, and stay safe. Be healthy, be happy!
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