A Realistic Tool for Effective Weight Loss: The Recumbent Exercise Bike

Updated on March 31, 2016

Trying to figure out a weight loss plan can be mystifying sometimes. If you find yourself pressed for time or motivation, even the thought of working out can be tough. I know this from experience. There is a manageable option though.

Many of us think we have to buy a thousand-dollar treadmill and religiously set aside time from our other activities each day to use it. Personally, this arduous idea is why I carried around those extra pounds for so long. It wasn’t until I started looking into other types of workout equipment that I realized how effective and versatile recumbent exercise bikes are.

I'm no dietary expert, just someone who's managed to lose over fifty pounds solely by using a recumbent bike for cardio. That was with very little change in diet. Since I’m not the most motivated person in the world, it’s doubtful that I would’ve have had the same results with a different piece of workout equipment.

Compared to treadmills and ellipticals, recumbent bikes are a great way to multitask while working out. Instead of setting time aside solely to exercise, you can combine many of your usual activities with your workout. Sure you can watch those DVR’d shows while using your treadmill or elliptical too, but the sitting position a recumbent bike places you in makes even using a computer an easy task. Catching up on internet activities while you workout (like writing e-mails) can feel pretty liberating.

The recumbent bike’s sitting position also makes recovery time between each workout faster as well. You can still keep your heart rate up and burn calories easily, but your joints and tendons don’t have to pay the price for it. The exertion your legs go through on other machines can make the very idea of future workouts seem unfavorable when you’re not in perfect shape.

Reasons to choose a recumbent bike over other cardio equipment:

  • Working on you computer, playing games, and other hands-on activities are much easier to perform while working out
  • Recovery time is quicker than other types of cardio workouts, which makes setting long term goals much, much easier
  • A quality recumbent bike usually costs under half the price of a treadmill or elliptical model that provides a similar workout.
  • There’s less need for maintenance and repairs. Since the pedals are connected directly to the motor, there are less moving mechanisms.

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You can find a feature-rich stationary recumbent bike for under $300 new. Sometimes your local sports or department store will have a display model for sale at a significantly reduced priced. If you don’t mind a few small cosmetic imperfections, this is an option that’s worth looking into also. The mid-range model I purchased (a Schwinn 240) has worked great for the past two years, despite being under constant use that whole time.

When choosing a bike, two of the most important features to look for are a magnetic resistant motor, which will give your bike a much longer lifespan due to less moving parts, and an independent flywheel. Like the latter sounds, it allows the flywheel to spin faster than the pedals. This saves your knees from the inertia when slowing down quickly and gives that "authentic" freewheel cycling feel to your workouts. Most models over $150 will have these features, but it’s worth mentioning since they are so essential.

Another plus of owning a recumbent bike is that they’re usually more space-saving than other types of cardio exercise equipment. Most rooms that are too snug to fit a treadmill or elliptical will be much more accommodating to a bike.

If you don’t already own a recumbent exercise bike, I encourage you to check out available models. Despite having a reputation of being mainly for rehabilitation, they’re a fantastic option for both those just starting their workout plan and workout enthusiasts alike.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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