Exercise Bikes for the Obese

By Linda Ray

According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity means having too much body fat. The way that you get obese is to consume more calories than you use. Obesity can lead to a number of high-risk conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, stroke and heart disease. In addition to eating fewer calories, you need to exercise to burn additional calories and build lean muscle mass. Exercise bikes are effective tools for those who haven't exercised in a while because they are easy on the joints and come in a variety of sizes with a slew of options.

Portable Peddler

A portable peddler is an effective way to start out on an exercise program, especially if you are carrying a lot of extra weight. The small piece of equipment easily rests in front of a chair and allows you to remain stable as you place your feet on the pedals. To begin burning calories, pedal with your feet for five or 10 minutes at a time. Rest and repeat. According to personal trainers at Weight Loss Professional, you can achieve a cardiovascular workout by using a portable peddler. Many portable peddlers have adjustable resistance controls to increase the intensity of the workout. After building up your endurance, you then can move on to more traditional bikes that burn even more calories.

Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes typically come with a wider seat than other stationary bicycles, making them more comfortable for the overweight. As you sit on the low-slung seat, you place your legs out in front of you to reach the pedals. The seat's back provides additional protection for your lower back, helping you to avoid back strain. Because of the comfort and lack of leg pressure, you can work out on a recumbent bike for longer periods of time than upright bikes or cross trainers.

Cross Trainers

Elliptical machines that also serve as bicycles tend to be big and easily accommodate larger users. The advantage of using an elliptical cross training machine is that you receive a complete upper and lower body workout. Unlike the recumbent bike, your upper body is involved by holding on to the handles as your feet pump the pedals in a step-like pattern. You can rest on the seat and continue pedaling when your tire without stopping the workout. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should try out an elliptical trainer in the store before purchasing it to make sure the machine fits you. The proper fit allows you to move freely without hitting your knees on the front post and the placement of the handles should allow you to stand upright and maintain good posture while you pedal.

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