The Benefits of Stationary Bike Workouts
Working out on a stationary bike may feel like rolling a boulder up a hill like Sisyphus but in reality there’s a lot of activity happening in the background!
For starters, you don’t have the pressure of facing Zeus’s wrath!
Jokes aside, when it comes to the benefits of stationary bike workouts, you really are helping your body improve its overall health by targeting core muscle groups and leveling up your fitness game. Today, let’s talk all about the benefits of a stationary bike and how it can help you accomplish your goals. First, let’s see what goes “behind the curtain” (as in what changes are happening on the blind side) and then come to the more visible changes.
The Benefits of Stationary Bike Workouts – Behind the Curtain
Let’s explore the idea of cycling first so that we can understand how stationary bikes fit in. In an interview with the World Economic Forum, the Prime Minister of Netherland, Mark Rutte, remarked that “The whole [Netherland] system is nudging people to make use of this (referring to cycling) very healthy alternative.”.
This alternative, it turns out, has some very healthy benefits associated with it:
1. Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Studies have shown that one of the benefits of stationary bike workouts on a consistent schedule has resulted in an improvement of an added six-months of life expectancy, primarily because we are ensuring that our heart and lungs are strong enough to support us even in old age.
That’s not all. Researchers at the University of Glasgow concluded that actively participating in cycling would result in a lower probability of incident cardiovascular diseases, cancer and longer life-expectancy.
2. Economic Costs
While stationary bikes may not help you get to work, they can certainly reduce the chances that you’re going to cash in on your healthcare premiums at an earlier stage in life.
Furthermore, if taken care of properly they have maintenance costs as low as $0!
3. Target Multiple Muscle Groups
When you hop on a stationary bike, you aren’t just pedaling away aimlessly – you’re actively targeting three types of muscle groups.
First, the leg muscles, namely the glutes, the hamstrings, the quadriceps and the calves. Second, the muscles that make up your abdominal region and back muscles. Finally, you are also activating your biceps and triceps.
A great combination of a low-stress yet highly performant workout!
The Benefits of Stationary Bike Workouts – Visible Changes
But what about the visible effects of training on a stationary bike? Well, here’s a few of them:
1. Uplift Your Mood
If you are working out on a stationary bike on a consistent basis, you should be able to extend your workouts to a level where you can actually experience a phenomenon known as the “runner’s high”!
Essentially, this is a boost of endorphins released by the brain that uplifts your mind into a happy-state (workouts don’t have to end with pain, haha!).
2. Weight Loss
I know, I know. It is certainly anti-climactic to say that working out on a stationary bike is going to help you lose weight. But just because it’s boring doesn’t mean it isn’t true!
Depending on your intensity, your workouts can help you burn anywhere from 400kcal to 750kcal per hour. For comparison’s sake, an average person burns 100kcal per hour when walking. Much better returns for the same time investment, don’t you think?
3. Improve Joint Mobility
Not only does cycling provide you with a low-stress workout for your joints (they aren’t being slammed as they would when running), but they also help in strengthening them. It also helps lubricate your joints as they rotate and move up & down.
Plus, if you’re starting off with the intention to reduce weight significantly, it’s actually better off to start cycling so that your knees and joints don’t handle the excessive pressure of your body weight.
4. Tone and Strengthen Your Legs
Using a stationary bike isn’t going to bulk up your legs – but it will help give them a smoother shape. Think of using a stationary bike as a chisel for your legs – it’s going to help tone them out evenly.
Plus, you get the added benefit of increasing your strength over time while getting a cardio workout. A total win-win!
Types of Stationary Bikes
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of stationary bike workouts, let’s take a look at the type of bikes available.
1. Upright Bike
The upright bike is similar to the bicycle you rode as a child – with a small seat and pedals positioned underneath your body. Where it differs is the position of the handle bars – they are positioned a little below your shoulders, which may be a bit uncomfortable for some over the long run.
2. Recumbent Bike
A recumbent bike is an amalgamation of a chair and a stationary bike. You sit down on a cushioned seat that supports your back (helping you maintain a good posture) while you exercise your legs.
The trick here is to focus on your lower body entirely, but be wary of not letting the comfort get to you.
3. Dual action Bike
The dual-action bike, well, provides dual benefits. It is a combination of a stationary bike with an elliptical so that you have the choice of standing up while working out or sitting down.
There’s just one thing to note – this type of bike tends to be a bit more on the expensive side because of the duality of operation modes it provides and the added comfort.
All types of stationary bikes provide a dashboard where you can monitor your performance (the higher the price though, the more abundant the analytics). If you’re on a budget, it’s better to stick to an upright bike – they usually fall within the $250 range. I mean, you are after all buying the machine for the workout and not the advanced analytics!
Remember, it’s all about the work you put in everyday – don’t ever compare yourself to others.
So where do you go from here? What fitness flagpoles do you wish to reach? Where will you go from there?
Whatever your goal, remember that you got the Prime Minister of the Netherlands on your side!
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Hey I’m Patrick!
I built my first home gym in 2012, when I decided I was tired of waiting in line for the squat rack and I started GGC in 2020 to help people find the info they need to improve their fitness and their lives.
I’m passionate about fitness, especially when it comes to working out at home. I’ve learned a lot over the years about what to do and what not to do, and my mission is to share that knowledge with the world!