Riding a bike is one of the best cardio exercises you can do, and that’s true whether that bike is taking you miles down the road or sitting stationary in your living room.
Many people choose an exercise bike because it’s convenient and safer than biking outdoors, especially in cities. Others use an exercise bike as an alternative to outdoor biking for training or when the weather is inclement.
Whatever your reason for jumping on a stationary bike, it’s a great workout. Here are the main benefits you can expect from incorporating an exercise bike into your fitness routine.
Exercise Bike Heart Health
Peddling an exercise bike is a cardio workout at its core. Once you start peddling, your heart rate goes up, your respiration increases, and you start burning more calories.
The rise in your heart rate is good for your heart, the increase in respiration is good for your lungs, and both help blood and oxygen flow more freely throughout your body, which is good for just about everything, including:
- Your blood pressure
- Your immune system
- Your blood sugar
- Your brain
- Your mood
- Your sleep
- Your energy levels
- Your stress levels
Basically, regular cardio exercise, like riding a stationary bike makes the bad stuff go down, the good stuff go up, and regulates your entire system.
Exercise Bike Weight Loss
One of the things you can expect to go down from the regular riding of an exercise bike is your weight. That’s assuming, of course, you’re maintaining your weight currently and your diet doesn’t change once you start to ride.
Riding an exercise bike burns as much as 400 calories an hour for the average person riding at a moderate pace. Crank up the tension and get the pedals pounding and that number jumps to over 900 calories per hour.
This makes stationary biking one of the top calorie-burning activities you can do.
Exercise Bike Fat-Burn
Burning calories is easy. You literally do it while you sleep. Burning fat, on the other hand, requires very specific conditions (and plenty of active muscle), which is why many people lose weight without getting rid of those “problem areas” like the belly, love handles and inner thighs.
Biking in any form, including on an exercise bike, offers an advantage over other exercises when it comes to fat-burn. That’s because biking strengthens two of the biggest muscle groups in the body – the legs and the glutes – and the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.
You can increase fat-burn on your exercise bike further by taking “fasted” rides first thing in the morning before you eat, which has been proven to increase fat-burn in men. Bonus if you have a cup of coffee first. Caffeine helps the body convert fat to energy.
Exercise Bike Muscle-Building
Biking on an exercise bike isn’t a weight-bearing exercise, which means you won’t build a lot of muscle doing it. Instead, you will strengthen the muscles in your legs and glutes.
These stronger leg and glute muscles help burn fat and calories and make your exercise bike workouts more effective over time.
So, while you won’t get big muscles from biking, even in your legs, it will help you burn off fat, which makes you look more toned.
Exercise Bike Joint Health
Perhaps, the biggest advantage an exercise bike has over other cardio workout equipment, like a treadmill or a stair-climber, is that it’s low-impact, meaning it’s easy on your joints.
A regular bike ride, where your weight rests on your butt instead of your feet (not spinning), reduces strain on your hips, knees, and ankles, three joints prone to injury and arthritis.
At the same time, pedaling a bike works those same three joints, strengthening them and making them less prone to injury and degenerative disease in the future.
Exercise Bike Lingering Questions
Can you lose belly fat on an exercise bike?/ Does cycling give you a flat stomach?
No. Not really. While the pedaling movement on a bike does use some lower ab muscles, it’s not enough to strengthen or tone those muscles to any noticeable degree.
Regular riding of an exercise bike will help you burn fat everywhere on your body, including in the abdominal/belly region, but it won’t make belly fat miraculously melt away or give you a flat stomach all on its own.
How often should I ride my bike to lose weight?
Any time spent riding an exercise bike will help you burn calories. Like other cardio exercises, though, 150 to 300 minutes per week (30 minutes to an hour 5 days a week) is the recommended minimum for weight loss.
Of course, it matters what you’re eating. You might need more or be able to get away with less.
The longer you ride, the more fat you’ll burn, which means, if you’re looking for quicker, more visible results, longer rides are better.
Riding an exercise bike doesn’t burn as many calories as running and other fully weight-bearing exercises. It does, however, reach similar levels of calorie-burn without the strain on your joints and muscles.
If you’re looking for a gentle exercise option that provides cardiovascular benefits, builds strength in the legs, aids in fat-burning, promotes weight loss, and protects the joints, it may be time to jump on an exercise bike.