It's easy to see why an exercise bike makes a brilliant addition to any home gym. There are many exercise bike benefits, from helping you lose weight, gently strengthen your lower body and are good for your overall fitness.
There are many exercise bike benefits in terms of our physical health, but an exercise bike workout can also benefit us mentally too. Cycling in general increases our levels of dopamine and serotonin (our happy hormones), which helps reduce anxiety and stress. You’ve probably heard people speak about the ‘runner's high’ and a bike can create the same effect.
And they don't need to take up a lot of room in your home either thanks to the huge range of mini exercise bikes, ideal for smaller spaces.
If you’re still unsure whether an exercise bike is for you then read on to discover other exercise bike benefits…
Exercise bike benefits
1. Strengthens your lower body muscles
An exercise bike is brilliant for helping to tone your legs, as you’d expect from all that pedalling! But as well as your legs, it’s also great for strengthening your glutes, back muscles and arms too. The more you increase the resistance on an exercise bike, the harder these muscles will work. We suggest setting it at a resistance that is manageable, but still feels like a bit of a challenge.
2. Burns calories
Using an exercise bike is an efficient way to burn calories (according to Harvard Health Publishing a 155-pound person who cycles for 30 minutes on a stationary bike can burn around 252 calories at a moderate pace and 278 calories at a vigorous pace), making it great to lose weight, which can lead to fat loss. You can increase the amount of calories you lose by either upping the resistance (making it harder to pedal) or by pedalling faster. It's important to note that there are some differences between exercise bikes and spin bikes and if you're aiming to burn calories through intense workouts, then a spin bike is better suited compared to an exercise bike.
3. Gentle on joints
If you’re someone who suffers from joint pain, especially in the knees, or an injury, then an exercise bike is a great bit of equipment to continue being active on. It provides you with a low-impact workout that uses smooth movements to strengthen your joints, without putting too much pressure on them.
4. Improves heart health
The exercise bike is a brilliant way to get your heart rate up and pumping! Cycling is a type of cardiovascular activity, which raises the oxygen and blood flow throughout your body and in turn, strengthens your heart, lungs and muscles. It can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. It’s safer than the road
Maybe you love riding a bike, but your road is too busy, or maybe you don’t know how to ride a bike; if either are the case, then an exercise bike is a good solution. You don’t have to be concerned about traffic and if the weather is pretty horrible too, you don’t need to motivate yourself to go outdoors. If you choose to get a pedal exerciser, you can even workout under your work desk or as your sat watching tv.
6. It can boost your mood
We all know that any exercise has wondrous effects for our mental health, as it helps lower our body’s stress hormone, cortisol. But aerobic exercises in particular, like cycling, have also been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. When we exercise and our heart rate increases, more oxygen gets pumped to our brains and our happy hormones are released, helping us feel more positive.
7. Improved posture
While many exercise bikes don't force you to sit in an upright position, they do encourage you to improve your upper body posture as you cycle, as by sitting in a proper position, you're also in-turn improving your lower back strength. If you're not sure on your cycling position, ask a trainer at the gym for advice or attend a spin class where they'll be able to advise you on your position and form.
8. Easy to use
Going to the gym for the first time and using new equipment can be very daunting, but an exercise bike is a great place to start as they're very easy to use. Just be sure to adjust your seat height to suit you. Once you are comfortable, it's like riding a bike.
9. Helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol
If you struggle with high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels then riding on an exercise bike can help bring down your blood pressure and in turn reduce your chances of having a stroke and heart attack. To benefit in this way, 120 minutes of moderate to vigorous cycling is needed.
Is it good to use an exercise bike everyday?
It's a great idea to get some cardio in everyday, and it's advised we aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. That could be 10 minutes on the bike per day, or you might want to mix it up with other forms of exercise. Remember however that overtraining can cause problems to your health, particularly in the form of injuries which is why taking at least one rest day per week is essential.
Can you lose weight on an exercise bike?
If you're looking for gradual weight loss techniques that you can stick to, then an exercise bike is a brilliant way of burning calories. On average, depending on your weight, metabolism, genetics and intensity you cycle at, a 30-minute exercise can burn 150-400 calories. Most modern exercise bikes feature a calories burnt counter where you can clearly see how many calories you have burned that session. To get a more precise figure, we'd recommend wearing a fitness tracker as you cycle.
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After previously working at Heart Radio West, Good Housekeeping, Prima and Red magazine, Bryony Firth-Bernard joined the Yours team as a writer. Her hobbies include hitting the weights in the gym and pole fitness (where she gets countless bruises). On the weekend she loves whipping up new recipes in the kitchen and spending time with her friends and family.