A 180 lbs person using a recumbent cycle at a moderate to vigorous speed (90 to 100 watts) can burn about 290 calories in 30 minutes. He can burn about 660 calories in 30 minutes if he increases the intensity and cycles vigorously (160 watts). This is an approximate number. The exact number of calories burned using a recumbent bike can vary depending on numerous factors such as your speed, resistance, body composition, metabolism, etc. Use our recumbent bike calories burned calculator to get a more accurate idea of what you can expect from your workout. Keep reading the article till the end to learn more about the formula we have used in it and why our recumbent bike calories burned calculator is more accurate than mere calorie meters. I have also answered some FAQs so you can set your expectations right.
💡 Quick Tip: Want to burn more calories than what our recumbent bike calories burned calculator has calculated for you? Replace your conventional recumbent bike with Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical. It engages your upper body muscles too, giving you a full body workout and burning extra calories.
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical
Formula used our recumbent bike calories burned calculator
The MET value of an activity can help you decide how intense the workout is and how many calories it can help you burn.
MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent of a Task. It indicates how intense an activity is compared to sitting ideal. The MET value of sleeping or sitting ideal is 1. Standing has a MET value of 1.5 which means it is 1.5 times more intense than sitting and requires 1.5 times more calories. Walking can have a MET value of 3 to 5, depending on the speed and the type of terrain you are walking. So, walking is 3 to 5 times more intense than sitting ideal and needs 3 to 5 times more calories. Running has a MET value of 9 to 14. Swimming can have a MET value of 8 to 13 and outdoor cycling can be around 8 to 14.
MET values are not fixed. They vary according to your performance. The more intense you work, the higher the MET value will be i.e. the more energy/calories you will need to do it.
📖 Related Article: Want to know what is the MET value of jumping jacks and how many calories they can help you burn? You can find out the exact number using our Jumping Jacks Calories Burned Calculator.
The MET value for a recumbent bike can be between 3.5 to 11 (or more if you cycle with very vigorous effort).
The formula that we have used in our recumbent bike calories burned calculator is-
Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
Using this formula, a 180 lbs person using recumbent bike leisurely can burn-
Calories burned = (3.5 X 81.6 X 3.5) ÷ 200= 4.9 X 30 minutes = 150 calories approximately.
If the same person cycles at a moderate speed that may have a MET value of 7, recumbent bike calories burned could be-
Calories burned = (7 X 81.6 X 3.5) ÷ 200= 10 X 30 minutes = 300 calories
The formula used in our recumbent bike calories burned calculator is the most reliable one. There is no guesswork in it. You just need to choose the right MET value.
The problem is you may not know the exact MET value of your activity. That's where our recumbent bike calories burned calculator can help. Simply choose the relevant intensity at which you are cycling and our calculator will automatically pick the most suitable MET value, do the calculation, and provide you with an approximate result. The exact result may vary though depending on the various factors listed below.
💡 Quick Tip: Looking for an affordable but durable recumbent bike that you can use leisurely while watching TV or reading a book? I recommend Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike: ME-709. It is meant for beginners as well as fitness enthusiasts. But, if you are already a well-built person, it may not have enough resistance for you. Nevertheless, it is suitable for most people.
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike: ME-709
Factors that affect the number of calories burned using a recumbent bike
Heavier people burn more calories doing the same activity as lighter people. That's because they have to spend more energy to move their body. Enter your exact weight in our recumbent bike calories burned calculator to find how much energy your body would have to spend for a specific cycling session. Measure your weight as soon as you get up in the morning after using the toilet but before eating or drinking anything.
Different people have different metabolism depending on their gender, age, and physical health. If you have a slow metabolism, you will burn fewer calories than someone who has a very active metabolism.
- Women often have a slower metabolism than men. That's why they often struggle hard to lose weight.
- Younger people have a very active metabolism. They can eat and digest a lot of food without gaining weight because they end up spending more calories.
- Certain diseases and conditions such as underactive thyroid and slower heart rates can also slow down your metabolism, affecting the number of calories you burn using a recumbent bike.
📖 Related Article: Want to find out how much body fat you have? Our website has many body fat calculators that you can use to evaluate your current health status and prepare a plan to improve it (if needed). One of the easiest and most reliable ones is the YMCA body fat calculator.
Needless to mention, this is the most important factor that determines recumbent bike calories burned. The speed and resistance you are using can increase/decrease the MET value of your workout and help you burn more/less calories. Most recumbent bikes such as the Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series come with enough resistance to challenge even well-built people. These bikes come with their own calorie calculators but the calculators are often inaccurate. Plus, they do not count the age factor. Our recumbent bike calories burned calculator can provide you with more accurate results.
💡 Quick Tip: If you have created an outdoor gym or simply set up your recumbent bike outdoors, you may want to buy CyclingDeal Waterproof Bike Bicycle Cover to protect your bike from dust, dirt, and insects. Although the cover is waterproof, you must not leave your bike outdoors when it's raining.
CyclingDeal Waterproof Bike Bicycle Cover
How to burn more calories using a recumbent bike
Other than increasing the speed and resistance, here are a few things you can do-
- Do a HIIT workout. Pedal for 80-100% of your max efficiency for 30 seconds followed by 15 to 20 seconds of low-intensity pedaling at 50% of your max efficiency. Keep repeating this until you are done. HIIT helps burn fat faster. This might be strenuous for your butt and back. Keep yourself comfortable by using Domain Cycling Bike Seat Cushion for Recumbent Bike.
- Engage your upper body too. While your legs are doing their work, you can make your arms work too by using a pair of dumbbells. You can do curls, overhead presses, etc.
- Do not exercise for too long. Overexercising can cause fatigue and injuries. You will end up missing your next few sessions. Start with 15 minutes a day and do not cycle for more than 45 minutes at a time.
Recumbent bike calories burned FAQs
How long does it take to burn 500 calories on a recumbent bike?
As I said above, the exact time would vary depending on your age, gender, weight, and speed. But, an average person would have to cycle for 45 minutes to 1 hour at a moderate speed to burn 500 calories.
Does a recumbent bike burn as many calories as a stationary bike?
Recumbent bikes do not provide a full body workout so they do not help burn as many calories as stationary upright bikes do. These bikes help target the abs, glutes, back, arms, and even the neck. So, if you want to lose weight and if you do not have knee or back issues, you should opt for upright bikes.
How do I calculate calories burned on a recumbent bike?
Almost all recumbent bikes come with inbuilt monitors that can track basic details such as time and calories burned. But, their calorie meter is often inaccurate unless you are using a really expensive product. Plus, their calorie meters do not ask for your weight, which is a very important factor for calculating the number of calories you burn. That's why we have created this recumbent bike calories burned calculator so you can track your calories more precisely.
How many calories do 30 minutes on a recumbent bike burn?
An average person cycling at a moderate to vigorous speed can burn about 220 calories to 250 calories. Please note that this is just a rough estimate. The exact number may vary depending on your age and metabolism.
Are recumbent bikes good for weight loss?
Recumbent bikes are not as good as upright bikes but they can still help you burn a decent number of calories. If you choose the right speed and resistance, you will be able to get a good cardio workout.
I hope this article helps you understand what you can expect from your recumbent bike workout. If you have any doubts or suggestions, you can email me or leave a comment. Before you go, you may be interested in some of our other calculators such as reverse BMI calculator, squats calories burned calculator, calories burned shoveling snow, calories burned skiing calculator, and many more.