Exercise bike is a great way to get in shape, but Is an Exercise Bike Good for Morbidly Obese? As with any form of exercise, it depends on the person. Some people might be able to start out slow on an exercise bike and work their way up, while others might find that the strain is too much. If you’re morbidly obese, consult your doctor before starting any type of workout routine.
With all the challenges, is an exercise bike good for morbidly obese? Yes. A stationary bike is a superior alternative for morbidly obese people, especially those who weigh 300 pounds or more. They are much more accommodating and allow you to do much more when using them, including watching TV or reading.
Is an Exercise Bike Good for Morbidly Obese?
When it comes to exercising, morbidly obese individuals have different needs than those who are merely overweight. In general, they require more support and stability, which is why an exercise bike can be a good choice for them. An exercise bike can provide a low-impact workout that is still effective in helping to shed pounds and improve cardiovascular health.
Of course, any exercise routine should be approved by a doctor before starting, especially for those who are significantly overweight.
And once someone does start working out on an exercise bike (or any other type of workout equipment), it’s important to ease into things gradually. But for many people who are morbidly obese, an exercise bike can be a great way to get started on with their weight loss journe.
Read on to understand the benefits of an exercise bike to people with morbid obesity.
What is an Exercise Bike and How Does it Work?
An exercise bike, also known as a stationary bike is a cardio piece of equipment used for indoor training. An exercise bike features a saddle, pedals, and a model handlebar, just like an ordinary road bike. The only difference between the two is that an exercise bike is stationary.
Most related: Is an exercise bike good for weight loss?
An exercise bike typically looks like a bicycle without wheels. In fact, you can repurpose your ordinary bicycle for a stationary workout if you just place it on bicycle rollers or a trainer. Racing cyclists commonly use rollers and trainers for warm-up before racing or for indoor training.
In functionality, an exercise bike works out your lower body. But some models have handlebars joined with the pedal, allowing you to exercise the upper and lower body simultaneously.
A large number of exercise bikes offer a method of building pedal resistance, and in turn, increasing exercise intensity. Some models will allow backward pedaling to workout antagonist muscles which would otherwise not be worked out with pedaling in front.
This cycling mechanism makes an exercise bike a great piece of equipment for improving general fitness, weight loss, and preparation for cycling competitions. Actually, physical therapists encourage the stationary bike since it provides low-impact, safe, and effective cardiovascular exercise.
The Benefits of Using an Exercise Bike for Morbidly Obese People
There are different categories of exercise bikes out there, but the thing is, the benefits of riding exercise bikes remain universal. That said, here are five benefits that a morbidly obese person might derive from riding an exercise bike.
Exercise bikes are approachable for all fitness levels
One of the best things about exercise bikes is that anyone can use them regardless of their fitness journey. Whether old, young, novice, overweight, or obese, anyone can adjust the intensity and settings on an exercise bike to achieve the desired workload. So if you’re morbidly obese and want to lose weight, starting with a stationary bike can help you build endurance.
Exercise bike workouts can improve markers of health
Research shows that regular workouts on a stationary bike can improve markers of health. As an example, exercising on stationary bike reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and blood lipids, and improves blood sugar regulation. That means riding an exercise bike can reduce your risk of disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, which most morbidly obese people are susceptible to.
Exercise bike workouts are low impact
A benefit that sets stationary bikes ahead of other modes of exercise is the fact that exercise bikes are more suitable for individuals with joint pains or musculoskeletal injury. Because bike riding is a low-impact exercise, a stationary bike serves as a painless exercise alternative for persons with chronic or acute joint pain.
Exercise bike workouts burn calories and promote weight loss
There is nothing that a morbidly obese person wants more than to lose weight. Exercise bikes offer an effective way of burning fat and losing weight while also reducing waist circumference, which is the standard measure of abdominal fat. In fact, the benefits of exercise go beyond weight loss. The metabolic benefits of good exercise are just superb.
Exercise bikes improve cardiovascular health and fitness
Research has proven that overweight and obese people are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Good news- using an exercise bike will increase your aerobic fitness and improving your cardiovascular health. A stationary bike is an effortless way of increasing your endurance by gradually increasing your workout duration.
How to Use an Exercise Bike Safely and Effectively
There are standards on how to work out on an exercise bike without sustaining injuries. Here’s a guide on how to make the most of your workout on a stationary bike:
- Sit on the wider side of the saddle
When sitting, hinge forward at your hip region to grab the handlebars. Make sure to engage your abdominal muscles as you do this. Your knees should be aligned at all times with your hips and feet.
- Keep your feet flat
If you use your toes only to pedal you might experience foot and calf cramps. Rather, use the ball of your foot and heel to press and pump on the pedal downwards while pulling up with the top of your foot on the upstroke.
- Keep a straight spine
Make sure to align your upper body with the spine (no slumping) while keeping your shoulders relaxed. Bend your elbows slightly and keep them close to your body as you cycle.
- Don’t lean on the handlebars
If you do, you tend to offload your weight on the handlebars instead of the pedals. This exerts pressure on your wrists and forearms, so your lower body doesn’t get much of the intended workout. You end up missing out on some of the benefits of exercise.
- Hold your head up
Keeping your head in alignment with your neck and spine prevents neck strain and keeps blood and oxygen flowing to the head. Flopping your neck forward might result to lightheadedness or dizziness.
Tips for Staying Motivated to Use Your Exercise Bike
Have you ever kicked off a weight loss journey but then abandoned it indefinitely? If so, you aren’t alone. A large number of individuals begin workout programs but stop after getting bored or if they don’t seem to achieve the expected results. As you begin your indoor training, here are five tips to motivate you to use your exercise bike.
Start small, setting modest goals and advance towards bigger goals. Remember, every goal you set, whether fitness-related or not, should be realistic and achievable. Thing is, getting frustrated and giving up becomes so easy if you get overambitious with your goals. So, if you’ve never used an exercise bike before, your short-term goal could be using it for 15 minutes once or twice a day. With time, you can increase it 30-45 minutes.
Make it fun
Physical activity was never meant to be dull and boring. And you know what the best part of exercise bikes is? You can do it while watching or reading a book. Play that music, catch up with your favorite movie, or read a book while on those pedals. You are more likely to keep on exercising if you have fun while at it.
Write it down
You are morbidly obese and your goal is to cut weight, right? Put it down on paper! Having the advantages of exercising written down can help you to stay motivated. Recording also helps keep a workout diary. Write down your cycle sessions and how you felt afterwards. Putting your efforts down on paper will help you aim towards bigger goals and remind you of the progress that you are making.
Every day, after every stationary bike riding session, take a minute to process the good feeling that you are deriving from the exercise. An internal reward like this helps you make long-term commitments to consistent workout. Even external rewards are equally helpful. If you achieve a goal, such as losing 20 pounds, reward yourself with a pair of cycling shoes or something else.
Flexibility is key
It is okay to take a day or two off if you are too busy working out or just feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break, but get back on the wagon soonest possible.
Exercise bikes for morbidly obese people
Folding semi-recumbent bike Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR
Exerpeutic is among the top brands known for creating products that cater to obese people. And on this note, the Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR heavy-duty recumbent bike has over-delivered.
This semi-recumbent bike is suited for overweight and obese people since it can support up to 400 pounds. The exercise bike has a sturdy frame made of durable steel for the utmost stability.
The exercise bike also features a large seat and backrest with considerable padding to accommodate morbidly obese people even better and offer them extra comfort. The GOLD 926XLR has 8 levels of pedal tension and a built-in computer that allows you to track your speed, time, and calories burned.
Commercial Grade Fitnex R70
The Fitnex R70 has a 400-pound weight capacity. This exercise bike has the best heavy duty usage.
The exercise bike has an oversized matrix/LED console whose feedback includes time, distance, speed, calories burned, workout level, and metabolic equivalents (METS). It has 16 levels of magnetic resistance.
The Fitnex R70 recumbent bike features 16 levels of magnetic resistance to cater for your fitness levels. Its easy-to-use LCD monitor tracks your performance, including calories burned, speed, and total distance.
Its extra-large seat with adjustable foot pedals makes it comfortable, especially for morbidly obese people.
Sunny’s health and fitness Recumbent bike SF-RB4708
One of the best heavy-duty exercise bikes for the morbidly obese is the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RB4708. But it does not support users weighing more than 350 lbs.
The SF-RB4708 is a great exercise bike for training and losing weight in your arms and legs at the same time. This functionality is made possible by the dual-action pedaling supported by the bike, thanks to its unique design. It also comes with eight resistance levels, which you’ll feel in both the arms and foot pedals.
Comfort is a huge plus for this exercise bike thanks to its oversize seat and backrest for broad people. So, if you weigh less than 350 lbs and wish to work on your upper and lower body, the SF-RB4708 is the best option for you.
The Risks Associated with Using an Exercise Bike for Weight Loss
Using an exercise bike can have its risks, especially if you’re not doing it right. The most common mistake is overdoing it, and it leads to:
Weight loss plateaus
Many individuals with morbid obesity want to lose weight, so they start pedaling for long sessions to lose weight faster. While it is technically possible to burn 600 calories per hour, it is not entirely true that you will burn 600 calories per hour.
As a person starting off at a high weight point, you will see huge effects during the first few weeks. But if you do several lengthy cardio sessions on your exercise bike, your metabolic rate will slow down once your heart gets used to the effort.
So a few weeks into exercising, your weight will stagnate or you might even start adding weight again. Here’s how you can avoid that:
- Do not ride your exercise bike for more than 45 minutes each day.
- Have either high- or low-intensity interval workouts.
- Don’t use the exercise bike every day-strength training on your break days is advised.
Using an exercise bike daily will increase your risk of injury. One of the things that you might notice is a sore bum, but that isn’t even the worst bit.
The worst part is stressing your muscles and ligaments. Muscles need time to recover after an intense workout. If you don’t allow them time to heal, they will not grow well.
Besides, excessive exercise strains your joints, so you might twist them.
Ignoring other exercises
Yes, this is also a risk. Training on your exercise bike every other day could make you ignore other exercises that should be part of your workout routine.
For instance, if you do leg workout every day, when will your upper body day be?
Another thing is that a stationary bike is not a full-body weight-bearing exercise. For you to enhance bone density and strengthen your bones, you must alternate biking with weight-bearing activities like walking or strength training.
Conclusion: Is an Exercise Bike Good for Morbidly Obese?
As you can see, riding a stationary bike is not only efficient for weight loss but also one of the best forms of cardio a morbidly obese person can do. The exercise bike offers you a chance to burn calories, increase your cardiovascular fitness, and, on top of that, it is safe and low-impact.
So, as a person struggling with overweight or obesity issues, you’ll appreciate the benefits of exercise bikes. Remember that different exercise bikes have different weight capacity limits, so shop for one that accommodates your weight and suits your needs.