A recumbent bike is a terrific cardiovascular exercise that minimizes weight-bearing load on the joints. Another example of non-weight bearing cardio activity especially popular this time of year is swimming. But whether either exercise will produce weight loss depends on a number of factors, most importantly- your diet.
Losing weight involves taking in less calories than you expend each day. A good diet should include foods that you currently enjoy but in moderation; as well as physical activities that you’re comfortable with and are willing to do on a regular basis. A great tool to help you begin your weight loss journey is the U.S.D.A.’s ChooseMyPlate website. From there you can create a free profile with SuperTracker where you’ll be able to plan meals, analyze your diet and track physical activity. You may also want to consider consulting with a medical professional such as your doctor or a Registered Dietitian who can offer you individualized guidance to help you plan a healthful diet to meet your nutritional needs as well as your weight goals.
Along with a healthy diet, you’ll need a well-rounded fitness routine which involves a 3-part combination of 1.) Cardiovascular activity, 2.) Strength/resistance exercises and 3.) Flexibility training. Ideally, cardiovascular exercises (recumbent bike, walking, swimming, hiking, dancing, etc.), are done most days of the week. Your strength training exercises on the other hand involving resistance bands, machines, or body weight should be staggered 2-3 times a week to allow for sufficient muscle recovery time between workouts. Flexibility can be incorporated into your routine everyday to help protect you from injury and includes anything from formal yoga poses to simple full-body stretches performed after your muscles are sufficiently warmed up.
Working with a certified fitness professional is another great way to ensure you are making safe progress while learning effective techniques for developing a progressive program that you can do to help maintain your fitness goals for a lifetime. Feel free to visit the ACEFit website to find a trainer in your area.