Fitness trackers can help you get into better shape by helping you keep track of your activities, heart rate, calories burned, sleep patterns, etc. Some fitness trackers can automatically track high-movement activities like walking, running, and outdoor bike. But how about indoor activities like spinning or recumbent bike activity?
How do I label a recumbent bike activity? Fitness trackers cannot automatically track certain activities but you can track them manually. The type of exercise you can log in to the device depends on what fitness tracker you are using. There is no option for recumbent bike activity for fitness trackers but the nearest activity you can use are spinning (Fitbit), indoor cycling (Apple Watch), bike indoor (Garmin), or exercise bike (Samsung Watch).
How do Fitness Trackers work?
You can find a whole lot of fitness trackers in different brands and models out there, but they operate more or less the same way.
Fitness trackers detect movement using a three-axis accelerometer which measures changes in speed and direction.
To detect your activity and measure your steps, a fitness tracker uses the input received from the accelerometer (and other sensors available) and analyzes them using an algorithm.
Fitness trackers can automatically track high-movement activities such as walking, running, outdoor cycling, and elliptical training.
Some fitness trackers may have additional sensors such as the following.
- GPS sensor to track distance covered. Some fitness trackers don’t have built-in GPS sensors but they can be linked to the GPS sensor in your mobile phone.
- Heart rate monitor
- Gyroscope sensor to measure rotation and orientation (for more complex workouts)
- Altimeter to measure altitude
- UV light sensors to warn you when you are out in the sun for too long.
Fitness trackers have corresponding mobile apps that you can install on your phones such as the Apple Watch companion app, Fitbit App, Garmin Connect, and Samsung Galaxy Wearable/Samsung Health App. These apps let you see all your stats and help you configure your wearable device.
How do Fitness Trackers Count Your Calories?
Your fitness tracker uses an algorithm to estimate the calories you burn based on the personal information you have entered like your weight, height, age, sex, etc., your heart rate (if available), and the activities tracked by the device.
Is Calorie Tracking in Fitness Trackers Accurate?
Unfortunately, fitness trackers can oftentimes overestimate or underestimate the calorie you burn. How your calories are computed can vary quite a bit among different brands and models. But they can give you a rough estimate of your calorie expenditure.
How to Add Recumbent Bike Activity in FitBit?
As mentioned, recumbent bikes and indoor cycling cannot be automatically tracked by fitness trackers including Fitbit.
If you want to add your recumbent bike activity, you can do so manually thru the Exercise App. Since there is no recumbent bike option in Fitbit, you can use the nearest activity which is spinning.
Adding Recumbent Bike Activity in Fitbit using the Exercise App may be slightly different for each model.
If you’re using Blaze, Ionic, Versa, Versa Lite, and Versa 2, you can follow the following steps.
- Open the Exercise App.
- Swipe to find the Spinning activity then tap to select it. (If spinning is not available, you have to add it as a shortcut on your Fitbit device via your Fitbit Mobile App).
- Tap the Play icon to start the exercise.
- To pause or end the exercise tap the Pause icon.
- To end the workout, tap the Flag icon and confirm.
- Swipe up to see your workout summary.
For Fitbit Charge 3 and 4
- Open the Exercise app on your tracker.
- Swipe to find the Spinning activity then tap to select it.
- Tap Start and then Tap the Play icon to begin.
- Press the side button to pause your exercise.
- Press the side button twice if you want to end your exercise then tap Finish.
For Fitbit Charge 5 and Luxe
- Swipe right or left to the Exercise app, then swipe up to find Spinning.
- Tap the exercise to choose it.
- Tap the Play icon to begin the exercise
- Tap the middle of your screen to scroll through your real-time stats. To pause your workout, swipe up and tap Pause.
- When you’re done with your workout, swipe up and tap Pause Finish. Your workout summary appears.
- Swipe up and tap Done to close the summary screen.
How to Add Spinning and other Activities on your Fitbit device shortcuts?
If spinning does not appear on your Exercise shortcut, you have to add it through the Fitbit mobile app.
- Open the Fitbit App on your mobile phone.
- Tap the Today Tab > Watch Icon
- Scroll to find the Exercise shortcut and tap to select.
- Tap the plus + icon on top and then scroll to find Spinning (or other activities that you like to add)
- To remove activities from the shortcut, tap the activity and then swipe left.
- Sync your device so that the changes will be reflected.
How to Start and Stop Indoor Cycling Workout on Apple Watch
- Tap the workout icon on your Apple Watch.
- Swipe to find the Indoor Cycle workout. If the option is not available, continue scrolling until you find Add Workout and add Indoor Cycle in your list.
- Tap the icon to select. It will count down from three then you can start your workout. Or you can tap the screen to skip the countdown and start your workout immediately.
- Swipe right and tap the Pause button to pause your exercise or tap End to end your session.
How to Start and Stop Indoor Cycling Workout on Garmin Watch
For VivoActive and Venu
- Press the start button.
- Select Bike Indoor.
- Press the start button to start the timer.
- To end the activity, press the start button again. This will stop the timer.
- Swipe up from the bottom to save your activity.
How to Record Indoor Cycling in my Samsung Watch
- Press the Home button to access the apps tray to go to the Samsung Health App
- Scroll and select Workout.
- Select Exercise Bike.
- To end the session press the back button and tap on Finish.
For models with voice control (Samsung Galaxy 4 Watch Classic etc):
- Press and hold the start button and say “start exercise bike”.
- To pause or end the workout swipe to the right and choose the corresponding button.
Fitness trackers can automatically track high-movement activities like walking and running but for other activities, you have to log them manually.
There is no option for recumbent bike activity for fitness trackers. You can use the closest match which would be indoor cycling or spinning.
Which is better? A recumbent bike or a typical exercise bike? Both provide a good cardiovascular workout. But a typical exercise bike will be more challenging as it not only exercises the legs but also fully engages the core muscles. On the other hand, a recumbent bike is best for those who need better support while exercising like those recovering from an injury, seniors, etc. The wider seat and backrest of a recumbent bike make exercising a bit more comfortable.
Is indoor cycling as good as walking? Cycling typically burns more calories than walking for the same category of intensity. But walking seems to burn more fat than cycling based on studies. This may be due to the fact that walking is a weight-bearing exercise while cycling is not. Also, walking is better for building bone density. The best way to get fit is to combine various forms of exercise such as indoor cycling, walking, and strength training.