This article discusses stationary bike benefits for weight loss, muscle toning, health, and fitness.
We will also look at the number of calories burned on a stationary bike and a sample stationary bike interval training workout.
If you are planning to start a fitness regimen, you may be in the process of researching exercise equipment. If so, you could be wondering about stationary bike benefits for weight loss and toning.
I was in the same boat when I first started exercising. With so many fitness aids available, it was difficult to decide which would best suit my needs. And, just as importantly, which I would enjoy using.
If you only have the room or budget for one piece of exercise equipment, a good way of working out what to buy is to try the machines at your local gym. Many gyms offer free or very inexpensive trial periods or pay-as-you-go memberships, with no long-term commitment required.
Keep reading to discover whether or not stationary bike workouts will be right for you.
Stationary Bike Benefits Overview
Stationary bike benefits are numerous. On a purely practical level, this form of exercise can be done at home while reading, watching the television, or listening to music.
With indoor cycling workouts being low-impact, the stationary bike benefits people of all ages and fitness levels.
The range of bikes on offer cater to everyone from the new exerciser with a modest budget to the experienced athlete who is looking for a top-of-the-line model and everyone in between.
As with most things, if you pay a bit more, you will usually get a higher quality product.
Generally, higher-priced exercise bikes come with more features. These may include variable resistance and customizable workout programs.
Some bikes also have accessories such as cooling fans, electronic device ledges, and water bottle holders. While not essential to get an efficient workout, these features can make for more pleasant sessions.
Nevertheless, some budget-priced exercise bikes will give you just as good a workout as many of the expensive models.
Video Outlining 10 Benefits of Stationary Bike Exercise
Weight Loss & Muscle Toning Benefits
You may be surprised to learn how many calories you can burn during stationary bike during workouts. The exact number will vary, depending upon a range of factors. These include your gender, weight, the speed and resistance level you work at, and the duration of your workouts.
As a rough guide, the number of calories burned on a stationary bike for someone weighing 180 pounds who cycles at a moderate speed for just 15 minutes will be in the vicinity of 150. When cycling at the same pace, heavier people will burn more calories over the same period, and lighter people will burn fewer calories.
If your bike has adjustable resistance, be sure to use this feature. The greater the resistance you work at, the more calories you will burn, and the faster you will tone your muscles.
The type of bike you use will also make a difference. Typically, recumbent bike workouts burn fewer calories than those on upright bikes. However, recumbent bikes are often more comfortable, so more conducive to extended workouts.
Stationary bikes can play a role in strengthening your muscles, especially in the areas that you use the most while cycling. These include the entire thigh, the calves, and the buttocks. Your abs will also be targeted, though not to the same extent.
Stationary bike interval training will enable you to burn even more calories.
To increase stationary bike benefits for weight loss, do interval training. By alternating between low, medium, and high intensity pedaling, you will burn more calories than when working at a steady pace.
A simple stationary bike interval training session begins by pedaling at almost 100% effort for 90 seconds.
Next, drop back to around 40% effort for 90 seconds. Then go flat out for a further 60 seconds before decreasing your pace for the next 30 seconds. Repeat this, alternating between high and low intensity for the duration of your session.
Start with 15 to 20 minutes, increasing this when your fitness improves. Be sure to start your workout with a 3 to 5-minute Warm-Up and end it with a Cool-Down.
Your Warm-Up can comprise of slow pedaling that steadily increases. For a Cool-Down, decrease your cycling speed until you stop.
When your fitness improves, add extra time to your interval sessions, or include a second set.
Excellent for weight loss and toning, your entire body will benefit from regularly using a stationary bike. Even if your primary motivation is weight loss and better muscle tone, this form of exercise offers other valuable benefits, including the following:
Suitable for heavy-set people
One of the most appreciated stationary bike benefits for many is that cycling is low-impact.
Most aerobic activity has the potential to harm our joints, especially our knees and ankles.
For example, running, jogging, and even walking will put a lot of downward pressure on your knees every time your feet hit the ground. While the movement is also downward when using a stationary bike, the amount of stress placed on the joints is far less.
It’s not uncommon for overweight people to sustain injuries while they are exercising. Often this is because carrying excess weight puts a lot of pressure on the joints.
So if you struggle with your weight and/or you have problems with your back, knees, or ankles, generally, you will have a far easier time exercising on a stationary bike than attempting most other forms of aerobic activity.
Along with strengthening and improving leg function and mobility, the low-impact nature of cycling will enable heavy-set people to work out and lose weight over time.
The back also comes into play when cycling. Cycle regularly, and, over time, your back will become stronger, and your posture will improve.
Another potential problem area that can make exercising difficult for some is the spine. People who have trouble with their spine will often be able to exercise and ultimately lose weight using a stationary bike without risking further injury.
For the least impact, use a recumbent stationary bike.
Improves endurance and offers various health benefits
Another of the stationary bike benefits is that it improves cardio health and strengthens respiratory function.
Aerobic exercise such as stationary bike workouts elevate the heart rate and keeps it elevated for a sustained period, improving endurance.
When done regularly, this type of workout will, over time, result in your heart functioning better, which can help prevent a heart attack.
When using a stationary bike, you will breathe faster and more deeply. This will maximize oxygen levels in your bloodstream and elevate your heart rate, resulting in increased blood flow to your muscles and lungs.
During this process, your capillaries will widen, enabling more oxygen to reach your muscles. Waste products, including carbon dioxide and lactic acid, will be transported away and excreted from your body.
Other benefits include blood sugar regulation and blood pressure reduction. Studies have also shown that regular aerobic activity can help to prevent some cancers.
Stationary Bike Benefits Summary
If you are looking for a simple workout to help you lose weight and improve your health, stationary bike workouts are an excellent option. Along with burning calories, regular sessions will strengthen and tone the muscles of your lower body.
A low-impact exercise, cycling is ideal for people carrying excess weight and those with joint problems.
The primary muscles targeted during workouts will be your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and to a lesser degree, your abdominal muscles.
Most stationary bikes don’t take up a lot of room. They are convenient to use, and there are some fantastic models available that are quite inexpensive.
Excellent as a stand-alone exercise, if you get bored easily, try combining stationary bike workouts with one or more other types of aerobic exercise. Working out this way will target different muscle groups and keep you keen. In the long run, mixing things up will usually burn more calories too.
As you can see, the stationary bike benefits a wide range of people in various age groups. This makes it worth considering if you are looking at buying some new exercise equipment.
You may also like to read this article on the benefits of spinning workouts for health and fitness.
If you’re considering buying a stationary bike and you’re not sure which make and model to get, click this link to read reviews of some of the most popular models on the market today
Not sure which bike will suit you the best? Click here to read an article outlining the 3 types of stationary exercise bikes and their differences.