Conventional aerobic exercises that provide high caloric burn rates, such as bicycling and jogging, are useful for weight loss and for maintaining health and fitness. However, these exercises are associated with anatomical stresses such as uncomfortable posture or joint impact, and such stresses can prevent people from doing the exercise. The StreetStrider, a new device that puts the elliptical cross trainer on wheels, offers all the exercise benefits of the elliptical cross trainer, including natural posture, full body workout, low joint impact and high caloric burn rate, plus the additional benefits of fresh air and adventure. Therefore, riding a StreetStrider, or StreetStriding, might be the exercise of choice to prevent wear and tear on body joints and muscles in an outdoor setting. However, until recently, it was not fully appreciated how many calories were burned while StreetStriding. Could StreetStriding burn more calories than say other more conventional outdoor exercises such as bicycling? If so, the StreetStrider would provide even more exercise benefits to busy people.
To determine this, a group of healthy adults, both males and females ranging in body weight from 135 to 246 lbs, were trained to ride a StreetStrider and a bicycle at the same speed over the same course. During these exercises, speeds were measured with a cyclometer system equipped with GPS, and oxygen consumption rates were measured with a portable gas monitoring system worn by each person. Oxygen consumption rates were converted to caloric burn rates in order to calculate total calories burned while StreetStriding.
The measured caloric burn rates, which increased with body weight and with riding velocity, were significantly higher during StreetStriding than during bicycling, averaging 51% higher at 8.5 mph and 56% higher at 12 mph. Using these data along with information published in the exercise physiology literature, we developed 3-dimentional surfaces (Fig. 1) and a calorie burn rate calculator (in development), with which persons of any body weight and height riding a StreetStrider for any distance and time can find out how many calories they have burned during their stride. For example, the caloric burn rate calculator showed us that persons near 200 lbs who rode a StreetStrider at moderate speeds could easily burn in excess of 1000 Calories in an hour, which is supported by our data. This caloric burn rate calculator can also be used to plan a StreetStriding adventure in order to achieve a desired amount of calories burned. Such feedback and predictive information will help ensure that exercise goals are reached, whether to build strength and cardiovascular endurance, to maintain or lose weight, or just to enjoy an exercise that provides sufficient vigor to keep us fit and healthy.
In conclusion, StreetStriding burns significantly more calories compared to conventional bicycling. This increased caloric burn rate, which most likely results from several factors including the natural weight-bearing upright posture as well as the use of upper, lower and core body muscles for propulsion and steering, will lead to increased weight loss and better overall fitness. Additionally, using nearly all skeletal muscles minimizes isolated muscle fatigue, resulting in a low perceived rate of exertion. StreetStriding has none of the anatomical stresses associated with bicycling or jogging, and the fun factor removes exercise boredom and monotony. The StreetStrider can also be used for green transportation, allowing riders to exercise while simultaneously getting around town. StreetStriding is the exercise of the future.