Getting rid of belly fat is no easy task. The fat cells in the stomach area have more alpha receptors, and as a result, they are harder to remove compared to other body fat cells. This is the reason why weight loss is more visible in the face and arms than in the belly area.
Losing stubborn belly fat is achievable with mindful eating and regular exercise. It is wise to include indoor cycling, an effective aerobic exercise, in your weight loss program. An exercise bike can help you lose overall weight and thus reduce the bulge in your belly with continuous training.
How Does Riding an Exercise Bike Help Break Down Fat?
Belly fat deposits largely result from decreased metabolic activities and overindulgence. An effective way to break the sedentary lifestyle is to engage in aerobic exercises, such as indoor cycling, that effectively burns calories. Therefore, consider it wise to invest in an exercise bike to lose belly fat.
To reduce belly fat, the goal should be to burn calories more than you consume, and riding an exercise bike facilitates the fast burning of stomach fat cells. At a moderate pace, a 70 kilogram (155-pound) person, according to a Harvard research, can lose 252 calories riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes. At high-intensity training, the number of calories burned escalates to 378 for half an hour. The more intense and the more hours intense spent riding an exercise bike, the more calories burned.
Weight is a considerable factor. The same research shows that a heavier person who rides an exercise bike for half an hour burns much more calories. That said, you can choose to wear a weighted vest to maximise weight loss when cycling using a stationary bike.
While effective, losing visceral fat with an exercise bike takes time, discipline, and proper technique. One strategic way to maximise the benefit is to perform high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on your exercise bike.
HIIT cycling involves the short bursts of rigorous cycling alternated with intervals of low-intensity cycling. Take this routine as an example. Begin cycling with a warm-up for 3 to 5 minutes of slow to moderate intensity. Then start alternating a short burst (30 seconds) of high-intensity cycling and a longer period (1 minute) of low-intensity cycling. Repeat this 5 times before escalating your bouts of rigorous cycling to 40 seconds or so. Remember to allow recovery time towards the end of your session.
You can also consider fasted cycling. Observe an interval of 8 hours from your last meal to the start of your workout. Riding an exercise bike on an empty stomach burn fat effectively since you have low glycogen levels, to begin with.
Without food, your energy level may be low so you will need to muster up courage and motivation to perform fasted cycling. While it yields impressive results, it is also not recommended for a daily workout.
There is so much you can do with having an exercise bike at home. These powerful techniques should inspire you to start indoor cycling now to lose stomach fat.
Is It Possible to Target Fat Loss to Specific Body Parts?
Indoor cycling is regarded as an aerobic workout. It is not a core workout that specifically targets the stomach and abdominal area, nor does it spot-reduce fats in other body parts.
Nonetheless, when combined with a healthy diet and other off-bike exercises, stationary or indoor cycling contributes to overall weight loss. It also enhances cardiovascular health and improves overall fitness.
When riding an exercise bike, you are putting to work your glute and leg muscles. But there are models of exercise bikes that allow users to assume an inclined position. To an extent, this helps develop the core area as you enjoy indoor cycling.
Rush University Medical Center considers moderate-intensity workouts, such as indoor cycling, as key to effective belly fat reduction since they help lose the visceral fat, the inner fat that wraps around abdominal organs. Being dependent on abdominal exercises, such as sit-ups and crunches, is not ideal, as these exercises tone the muscles but do not lose the excess fat under the inner abdominal fat.
5 Basics to Prepare Before Using A Stationary Exercise Bike
Getting started with your belly-free weight loss program is exciting. But before you venture out, it’s important to remind yourself that weight loss, in general, is 80 per cent a function of diet and 20 per cent exercise. Even with vigorous stationary bike exercises, it’s still possible to have belly fat when you willfully continue to overindulge. Your goal should be to burn calories more than you consume.
If you’re new to indoor cycling, here are the basics to observe before using a stationary exercise bike.
1. Suit up properly.
What you wear affects your performance on a stationary bike. So ensure that your clothes are not too tight that your movements become restrictive nor too loose that you risk getting fabric caught in between wheels. Clothes fit is also critical to proper cycling position. Imagine wearing baggy trousers that weigh you down. It’s almost impossible to maintain your position and balance. Where possible, choose clothes made of non-absorbent material to avoid excessive sweating.
2. Perform warm-up and cool-down exercises.
Avoid straining your muscles unnecessarily and dedicate ample time to perform warm-up exercises before the start of your indoor cycling, such as leg swings, heel-toe walks, shoulder rotations, and chest stretches. It’s a wise idea to download warm-up videos in advance so you can vary your warm-up exercises.
Observing recovery time and performing cool-down exercises, such as upper-body stretches and light walking, are equally important.
3. Check the room settings.
For optimum cycling performance, find time to check and adjust as necessary the room conditions, such as the layout, temperature, and airflow. Ensure that your stationary bike is placed in an area with enough elbow room, away from any obstructions. You don’t want your elbows and knees to bump into walls or objects.
More importantly, pick a place that is well-ventilated and with moderate temperature so you can breathe well and prevent dehydration due to excessive perspiration. Airflow also affects the spin of the flywheel and the resistance it creates.
Chain-driven exercise bikes can be noisy. You can consider this a factor, too, in selecting a location.
4. Proper bike setup.
Long hours of cycling can leave you with a sore butt and strained feet when your exercise bike is not properly set up. Make the necessary adjustments to your exercise bike to suit your dimensions for maximum comfort and proper positioning.
Adjust the seat height so that the saddle aligns with your hips and the handlebar height so it is in line with the saddle. Ensure that your feet touch the pedal and your leg can bend 10 to 15 degrees. You can choose to place the handlebar higher, so your riding position becomes upright and your comfort is enhanced.
5. Get your rhythm right.
Cycle smoothly by propelling the pedals forward and down, then pulling them back and up. Avoid merely stomping on the pedals in order to get your rhythm right. One helpful tip to keep your pace in check is to be mindful of your bounce. If you’re bouncing on your seat, either the cycling speed is too fast or the resistance falls short. Adjust accordingly.
All throughout the time you cycle, remember to hydrate and keep your vitals, such as your blood pressure and heart rate, in check. Feel free to adjust or stop when you feel pain or discomfort.
Stationary bike exercises keep you active, healthy, and fit. It’s wise to incorporate indoor cycling into your long-term fitness plan to maintain your ideal weight and build. Bike workouts can provide a full body workout, so it is good to adopt a healthy lifestyle by regularly doing cycling workouts.
Bear in mind that losing belly fat is not a one-off activity – it requires time, discipline, and commitment. Not to mention that as you age, your metabolism becomes slower. In this case, you will have a greater need for moderate-intensity aerobic exercises like stationary bike exercises.
1. What are the types of indoor exercise bikes?
There are three main types of indoor exercise bikes. Upright exercise bikes allow you to sit in an upright position and are commonly built with smaller seats. Recumbent exercise bikes have wider and more reclined seats. They are also built with back support for maximum user comfort. Dual-action exercise bikes are similar to upright bikes but equipped with additional movable handlebars that permit upper body workouts.
2. How many calories can you burn on a 30-minute exercise bike ride?
The number of calories you burn depends on body weight and training intensity. With moderate intensity, a person at 57 kilograms (125 pounds) burns 210 calories per 30-minute indoor cycling whereas an 84 kilograms (185-pound) person loses 294 calories. At high intensity, the 57 kg person loses 315 calories while the 84 kg person loses 441 calories.