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Upright tricycles also have cargo space for hauling stuff -- which can burn more calories.
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Adult tricycles make the case for having fun while losing weight. Getting trim doesn't have to involve sweating it out in an exercise class or struggling through an hour on the treadmill. Any movement -- including pedaling a trike -- that gets your heart beating faster will burn the calories. So if you're wondering whether you can lose weight by riding a tricycle, the answer is definitely "yes."
Types of Trikes
Adult tricycles resemble a standard diamond-frame bicycle, except that there are two wheels at the back instead of one. Tricycles also come in the recumbent style where the rider is placed in a seat with a back, leaning slightly backward. With this type, there may be two wheels either at the front or back of the cycle. According to a study by the University of Michigan, upright models may require a greater range of motion than the recumbent styles, resulting in more calories burned -- though both types will help you burn calories.
Calories and Weight Loss
Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. If you want to lose 1 pound of fat, you have to create a deficit of 3,500 calories. While most types of cycling burn fewer calories than exercises like running or climbing stairs, cycling does burn more than other low-impact exercises such as walking. While it's difficult to estimate the exact number of calories you'll burn, according to MayoClinic.com, a 160-pound person will burn about 292 calories cycling at a leisurely 10-mile-per-hour pace; a 200-pound person will burn an average of 364 calories during that same amount of time.
Benefits of Triking
If you're planning to start a routine that will help you lose weight, triking may be preferable for a number of reasons. If you have balance issues, riding an upright or recumbent trike can help you stay more stable -- though keep in mind that turning is slightly more challenging than you might think. If you're overweight or have joint issues, the recumbent trike may also be preferable, since it won't force you to place your weight on your wrists. You'll also be in a more relaxed seated position which can make it more comfortable to cover long distances.
Diet Vs. Exercise
Let's say you decide to ride your trike for about 1 hour, four days a week. For a 160-pound person, that will burn about 1,168 calories per week, which equates to a weight loss of about 1 pound in three weeks. To boost fat loss, trim the number of calories you're consuming on a daily basis. If you cut another 250 calories from your diet every day, you'll have a 1,750 calorie deficit every week; along with your trike riding, this may help you lose 1 pound about every week. Limiting calories may not be as hard as it seems. Consider that a lager beer contains about 220 calories, and a scone contains about 225 calories. With that in mind, simply cutting out some of the "extras" you're eating is a good place to start.