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Calories Burned Biking

written by: Donna Clarke • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 2/28/2010

It's hard to think about fitness when you're inside watching snow. Stationary bikes offer a great alternative when inclement weather keeps you inside. The calories burned biking with a stationary bike can provide the perfect option to those who enjoy biking as their fitness choice.

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    Why Bike?


    Lets face it. For many of us, the thought of exercising just doesn't create those warm and fuzzy feelings.

    Lack of time, fatigue and personal obligations always seem to get in the way of taking care of yourself. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are a number of ways to get into better shape, improve overall cardio health and discover more energy, and vitality along the way.

    One option is biking, and the calories burned biking makes the activity well worth the effort.

    Biking offers the opportunity to get a great workout while enjoying variety through new and exciting biking paths, with different degrees of challenge. During times of inclement weather, stationary bikes offer a wonderful alternative to riding outside, allowing the avid biker the ability to continue his or her exerciser routing in the comfort of home.

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    Measuring Your Workout

    Determining the value of your biking workout can appear simple, but in order to determine an accurate measure, one must consider a number of factors. First, the degree of challenge with respect to the biking route can play a significant role in calories burned. The weight of the rider, the style of bicycle, weight of bicycle, amount of wind drag as well as biking speed and challenge of the biking path itself, can all influence the degree of workout and by default, amount of calories burned biking.

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    Formula For Computing Calories Burned

    Though there are a number of different factors with respect to the accurate determination of calories burned while biking, and a few have been stated previously, states "Dr. Edward Coyle at the University of Texas in Austin has worked with top athletes studying their oxygen consumption and he has figured out for biking: 10 mph -- 0.17 calories/pound; 15 mph -- 0.2 calories/pound; 20 mph -- 0.25 calories/pound; 25 mph -- 0.3 calories/pound; and 30 mph -- 0.38 calories/pound."

    Using Dr. Coyle's chart, calculating the value of calories burned is easy:

    body weight X calorie consumption based on bike speed = calories burned.

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    Stationary Bikes

    Stationary Bikes offer a fabulous way to continue riding during times of inclement weather. Should you choose a recumbent bicycle, you have the added benefit of a more realistic ride.

    Another consideration when exercising with a stationary bicycle is the drag from wind that simply does not occur with this style of biking. As a result, your biking experience is not exactly equal to what would occur with a standard bike.

    To remedy this disparity, simply add length to your workout time. Moreover, the faster you ride, the more calories you will burn, so pick up the pace. You will get a better workout and improve your cardio, too.

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    Biking to Get in Shape

    Biking is a fabulous way to get in shape, stay in shape and improve overall health. As with all exercise, the best way to see long lasting results is to begin slowly and build in realistic increments over a long periods of time.

    To mix things up a bit, vary speeds, tensions and times of your workout, and be sure to calculate calories burned. Using the chart above makes it easy, although there are numerous aspects, which can affect accuracy.

    As always, the key to success with respect to an exercise program is to be sure to follow it up with proper diet and hydration. After all, the calories burned biking would be wasted without proper nutrition and fluids. And don't forget to rest. These components are a true formula for success.

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    Lance Armstrong's Physiological Maturation. Edward F. Coyle, PhD.

    Maximize Your Workout: how to burn the most calories on the bike, treadmill, elliptical and stair climber. Karen Asp. APril 2005. Shape magazine.