Cycling (indoors or out) is one of the best low-impact cardiovascular workouts that you can do, says Amy Dixon, a Schwinn master trainer and creator of the Breathless Body DVD series. "You will never put unnecessary pressure on your joints if you ride with the right amount of resistance," she says. Find your sweet spot with the resistance when riding on an indoor bike (gear if outdoors), and pedal at the right revolutions per minute (RPM) to maximize your burn in the saddle, she says. Try 60 to 80 rpms for hilly terrain, 80 to 100 for flat roads, and 100 to 110 for sprints. Plan to pedal off, on average, about 600 to 750 calories an hour during your ride, she says.
Boost your burn: One of the best ways to increase your calorie burn on the bike is to use intervals that are constantly changing in both timing and type (hills, sprints, etc.) from ride to ride, Dixon says. For example, if you've been doing typical Tabata drills (20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest), try 40 seconds of all-out, breathless effort followed by 20 seconds of recovery, for 6 rounds. In between intervals, work on climbing powerfully at a moderate to hard intensity. You'll definitely get the most out of your workouts, Dixon says.
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