8 Advantages of Using an Indoor Bike Trainer to Lose Weight
Updated: July 8, 2015
Have you ever taken a close look at the people in the stands of an American football game? I mean really looking. As in looking to see who’s filling their seat with a healthy body mass index, and who would be making better use of their time doing some exercise…rather than watching someone else exercise.
What I see when the cameras scan the crowd are round-faced citizens of a country leading the world in obesity.
While ‘going on a diet’ is all the rage these days (just take a look at all of the diet websites), interest in regular exercise lags somewhat behind. But without the exercise part of the weight loss equation, you’ll merely transform yourself from a big, spongy person to a smaller, spongy person.
I make good use of a bike trainer to get in healthy exercise year-round, regardless of the seasons.
What’s A Bike Trainer?
One of my friends read a headline I’d written for my blog…’Get Cheap Thrills By Maintaining Your Bike Trainer’, and wondered what kind of crazy stuff I was into now. After-all, the gal who is her Personal Trainer didn’t need ‘maintenance’.
But my indoor bike trainer does need a bit of maintenance (a couple of drops of oil now and then) because it’s a handy machine that I attach my road bike to, not a guy who alternates yelling at me and affirming me at the local gym.
My bike trainer is a machine, not a guy named Jeremy.
Some Bike Trainer Perks
Let’s get going with some of the advantages associated with using a bike trainer as a tool to lose weight.
1. If you live anywhere in the world that doesn’t experience perfect year-round weather, you’ll find that most forms of outdoor exercise take a hit during certain parts of the year. For some of us it’s due to rain, snow, and ice during the winter months. For others its sweltering heat during the summer. By having the option of doing a focused indoor workout on a bike trainer, weather is eliminated from the ‘I can’t exercise today’ excuse list.
2. Not having to go to a gym for exercise makes better use of your time. When you have to factor in the time it takes to load up and get to and from the gym, there will be days when there’s no time to exercise. Jumping on your bike trainer can consume as little as 20 minutes.
3. Sometimes going to the gym can include making sure you’re obeying an agreed upon set of fashion standards. At home on your bike trainer, just about anything goes in the ‘what should I wear’ department.
4. A bike trainer has a very small footprint. Unlike a stationary bike, a rowing machine, an elliptical, or a treadmill, a bike trainer doesn’t take up a lot of floorspace. In fact, when not in use, it is folded up and stuffed into a small closet.
5. Bringing your workout indoors is the only sane place to be for those who live in highly congested areas. From a cyclist’s perspective, fighting traffic can be both frustrating and dangerous on busy streets. Riding indoors during the bulk of the week, and then transporting your bike outside of the crowded city for week-end rides is a pleasant way to get in your exercise.
6. Riding a bike is easy on the joints, provided you’re pedaling at a high enough cadence and not putting too much strain on your knees. A smooth pedaling stroke spares you the shock inherent in a lot of other forms of exercise.
7. A bike trainer is perfect for the type of exercise that strips the weight off fastest…interval training. Although it has long been the domain of endurance athletes, interval training (alternating hard efforts with easy efforts throughout the workout) has now hit the ‘fitness consciousness’. By doing interval training you can count on your metabolic rate to be elevated as long as several hours after your workout. You get all of that fat burning time for free, which is a great deal for your efforts.
8. A bike trainer makes interval training possible for those who wouldn’t normally be able to put in short bursts of hard efforts. One of the more interesting videos I watched recently demonstrated a short, but sweet workout which entailed a 10 minute warm-up…followed by 10 minutes of alternating 10 second bursts of intense effort with 10 seconds of easy pedaling…followed by 10 minutes warm-down. It occurred to me that people who have a lot of weight to lose would find it impossible to go to the local high school track and do wind sprints for ten minutes.
Because there’s no shock involved with pedaling a bike trainer, this type of effort is possible to anyone who’s been cleared by their doctor for more than mild workouts.
Use A Bike Trainer To Get The Body You’re Seeking
We’re a country benefiting from too much of a good thing. Not only is our food packed with too many calories, but having to burn off what we do eat isn’t a part of our ‘natural day’. We have so many labor saving devices around that we have to invent ways to keep ourselves slim and trim.
One of the exercise devices that’s been an important part of my fitness arsenal is my trusty bike trainer. I keep it maintained with a bit of lubrication now and then, and it keeps me physically fit.
It’s a good trade.
About the author: Ron Fritzke is reviews cyling gear for his website, Cycling-Review.com. His latest focus has been on indoor bike trainers. A former 2:17 marathoner, he now directs his competitive efforts toward racing his bike…and looking for good cycling products.