There are numerous benefits of exercise bikes worth mentioning. Getting on your bike regularly can improve both your mental and physical health — and it will improve your outdoor cycling skills, too. We’ve scoured the latest studies and publications to find the biggest benefits of indoor cycling.
Want more fitness tips? Scroll through our round-up of the best exercise bikes (opens in new tab) to find a machine that fits your space and budget.
1. It improves various aspects of your physical health
A systematic review from 2019, published in medicine (opens in new tab) found that regular indoor cycling has numerous health benefits. Exercising can increase your VO2 Max, also known as the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during exercise. This is a key indicator of aerobic health; The better your VO2max, the more efficient your body is at converting oxygen into energy.
Regular cycling can also lower your blood pressure and improve bone density, according to the report — although more studies are needed to confirm whether cycling is significantly better than other forms of exercise for this.
Other studies have shown that cycling of all types helps people with diabetes reduce their risk of early death (JAMA (opens in new tab)).
In short, cycling can help improve various aspects of your physical health, especially if you exercise at a high enough intensity or for a long period of time.
2. It gives you a mental boost
The link between exercise and mental health has been shown to be positive in several academic studies, and aerobic exercise (like cycling) has been shown to have positive effects on those suffering from anxiety and depression.
A small one published in Behavior Research & Therapy in 2004 (opens in new tab) showed that aerobic exercise, such as indoor cycling, reduced participants’ anxiety levels. And a broader 2018 systematic review in Depression and Anxiety (opens in new tab) Magazine confirms that it also has antidepressant properties.
Plus psychology and aging (opens in new tab) found that 15 minutes of moderate indoor cycling led to an improvement in cognitive performance – so if you’re struggling to solve a sudoku, it might be time to saddle up.
3. It can be social
Gone are the days when stationary cycling was a solo activity and the only thing to stare at was the tiny electric screen in front of you that showed you how far you still had to go in your workout. Nowadays you can easily connect with the world and even meet up with your friends to ride a virtual bike together.
The popular Zwift virtual bike app (opens in new tab) offers the possibility to cycle and train in a virtual world from the (in)comfort of your indoor bike, where you can cycle with other riders around the world.
Many fitness companies are now offering live training classes so you can take a group spin class on your Peloton Bike (opens in new tab) or with the iFit (opens in new tab) apartment These are good for low motivated athletes as the instructor will push you to work harder and you can compare your performance to others in the class.
4. It burns calories
There’s no denying that exercising on an exercise bike is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. A small study published in Medical and Science in Sports and Exercise (opens in new tab) Journal showed that just 30-45 minutes of cycling can boost your basal metabolic rate, which means you continue to burn calories post-workout.
You can also easily vary your training with indoor cycling. If you want to burn more calories, a HIIT session or higher-impact interval training session will push you harder and get your heart rate higher for longer than a steady ride.
5: It has little impact
Cycling is much easier on the joints than other higher impact cardio forms such as cardio. B. Running, as it puts less pressure and impact on joints and muscles. This makes it the perfect workout if you’re recovering from an injury or have a problem with impact sports.
6: It burns fat
If your goal is to lose weight, stationary cycling offers a high-intensity workout that can lead to fat loss. A 2010 study in the Portuguese medical journal Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia (opens in new tab) showed that after 12 weeks of regular indoor cycling (45 minutes, three times a week) in addition to a controlled diet, the study participants reduced body mass, fat percentage and body mass index (BMI).
In another 2017 Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation study (opens in new tab)those who participated in a 16-week spinning program ended up with reduced BMI and lower body fat percentage.
Finally, a 2018 study by the Journal of Education and Training Studies (opens in new tab) found that four participants classified as “pre-obese” had moved into a normal weight range after six weeks of regular spin classes. In addition, two who were already classified as obese had reverted to pre-obesity. However, it is important to note that these results should be viewed alongside positive changes in the participants’ diets.
https://www.livescience.com/exercise-bike-benefits Six exercise bike benefits | Live Science