Stationary BikeStationary Bike

 

Why are stationary bikes so popular? They won’t leave your knees aching, they’re simple to use, and the repetitive motion requires little thought, so you can catch up on reading or television during your workout. Also, since riding a stationary bike requires little balance or coordination, they’re a popular choice for people who are just starting to become more active.


Before you begin: The machine levels given below are a guideline; your particular machine may vary, so double check the wattage for each level (there should be an option to view the wattage on the machine’s display) to be sure you’re achieving the right resistance.

If your stationary bike doesn’t display watts, use the chart below the plan to help make sure you achieve the right intensity level (which will be necessary to calculate activity POINTS® values). And always warm up first by walking in place for a few minutes, and then spend a few minutes stretching all of the major muscle groups, including shoulders, arms, and legs.

Week 1: Do the plan 3 times this week to start.
Machine Level / Watts Time Total Time Per Workout
Level 1 / 50 watts (low intensity) 5 min. 20 minutes
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 4 min.
Level 5 / 200 watts (high intensity) 2 min.
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 4 min.
Level 1 / 50 watts (low intensity) 5 min.
Tip: Looking for a more comfortable ride? Some gyms offer recumbent bikes, which allow you to pedal from a seated position.
Week 2: Do the plan 3 times this week, adding an extra day if you're up to it.
Machine Level / Watts Time Total Time Per Workout
Level 1 / 50 watts (low intensity) 5 min. 25 minutes
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 5 min.
Level 5 / 200 watts (high intensity) 5 min.
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 5 min.
Level 1 / 50 watts (low intensity) 5 min.
Tip: Want to mix up your routine? Take an extra day this week to try out the bike’s pre-programmed modes, like Intervals, Hills, and Random.
Week 3: Do the plan 3 or 4 times this week.
Machine Level / Watts Time Total Time Per Workout
Level 1 / 50 watts (low intensity) 5 min. 35 minutes
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 5 min.
Level 5 / 200 watts (high intensity) 5 min.
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 5 min.
Level 5 / 200 watts (high intensity) 5 min.
Level 3 / 100 watts (moderate intensity) 5 min.
Level 1 / 50 watts (low intensity) 5 min.
Tip: When the weather turns nice, take your workout outside. If you don’t own a bicycle, call a local shop to inquire about daily rentals and ask about bike trails in your area.

After each workout:
Stretch for at least five minutes to keep your muscles loose and limber. Remember, stay hydrated by drinking at least one 12-ounce bottle of water

A Reliable Way to Determine The Intensity Level:
Listen to your body's clues to determine the level of intensity of a given activity or workout. Your perceived rate of exertion has been shown to be a pretty accurate measure of intensity level1, so use the chart below as a guide.

Can you
talk?
Can you
sing?
Is your
breathing...
Do you
sweat?
Your intensity
level is...
Yes Yes Regular No Low
Yes No Often and Deep After 10 min. Moderate
Only in short phrases No Rapid and Deep After 3-5 min. High

1 Pollock ML et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 1998; 30 (6), 975.

Before you start

  1. Talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Do not exercise if you have physical problems that might influence your ability to become more active. Stop exercising and call your doctor if you feel dizzy, nauseated, short of breath, or if you feel pain in your chest. If you are more than 40 pounds overweight, you should not work out at a high intensity level without professional supervision. Read our comprehensive safety tip



 

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