So, you’ve gone out and gotten a state-of-the-art exercise bike… Now what?
Just because your new bike has all of the bells and whistles doesn’t mean you know how to get the most out of it. If you want to burn calories and feel better, you need the right exercise bike workout.
If you’re a beginner, start with a basic aerobic workout. The goal is to spend 20-30 minutes riding at about 65% of your maximum heart rate. But, how do you know what your maximum heart rate is? Just subtract your age from 220.
So, if you’re 30 years-old, your maximum heart rate would be 190 beats per minute. In order to get the most out of a basic aerobic workout, you should aim for a speed that gets your heart pumping to about 124 beats per minute. If you can spend 30 minutes pedaling at that speed, you can burn about 300 calories!
But what if you can’t handle that high of a speed right out of the gate?
No problem. You can work your way up to the right exercise bike workout.
Pedal at a speed that doesn’t overwhelm you – and, to compensate for the slower speed, spend a few extra minutes on your bike. Before you know it, you’ll be able to meet and exceed all of your aerobic challenges!
Once you master the aerobic workout, you will be ready to take on something more difficult. The high intensity workout, otherwise known as interval training, burns more calories than a simple aerobic workout. But, you have to be in fairly good shape to do it.
With interval training, you workout in segments. After the first segment, you do a short cool down, take a quick break, then start again. You’ll need those short breaks to help your muscles recover. In about 2 minutes or so, you can give your body enough of a rest to keep going.
If you really want to ramp up your interval training, use that break time to mix in other exercises – like free weights. And if you’re working out at home, you have the added luxury of not having to worry about someone else jumping on your bike while you take a break!
Whether you’re a beginner or an exercise bike workout veteran, you need to remember the importance of a good warm-up and cool down. Warming up gets your heart ready for exercise, gradually. Combined with a good cool down, you can prevent injuries.
If you’re an exercise newbie, plant to spend about 10 minutes warming up. Then, as you move forward in your exercise regimen, you can shorten the time. But, no matter how advanced of rider you become, you will always need to spend at least a few minutes warming up and cooling down!