women ride exercise bikes to lose weight

How long should you ride a stationary bike to lose weight?

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A stationary bike is one of the best pieces of home equipment you can get if you want to lose weight.

However, to get the most out of your workouts, you should know some more about the type of exercise you can get on one.

In this article, we will be going over some of the benefits of riding on a stationary bike, how long you should be looking to ride one to lose weight, and how to improve your stationary bike exercises in general.

Benefits Of Riding On A Stationary Bike:

1. Low Impact Workout

Perhaps the main benefit is the ability to get in cardiovascular exercise without having to put the same normal strain on your joints than what you might expect with this type of exercise. Running and even jogging can cause significant wear and tear on your joints and bones.

Because of this, it can lead to things like stress fractures or joint pain over time.

Since a stationary bike only requires you to pedal without constant impact being made, it can really be a great way to minimize your risk of injury during your workouts.

2. Good Cardiovascular Exercise

Other than it being a low impact exercise, it is also a good aerobic workout. It can really help to get your heart pumping and provide you with all of the benefits of getting more aerobic exercise into your daily life.

3. Burn Calories and Fat

Along with it being a good workout, it can also be turned into a good way to burn a lot of calories and to target body fat. The total number of calories that you can burn with a stationary bike will be dictated by the pace and temp at which you pedal.

Likewise, it will depend on the resistance you are pedaling at. Regardless, any amount of exercise on a stationary bike is going to be a good way to safely and effectively burn both calories and fat.

4. Easier to Go High Intensity

Another benefit that makes a stationary bike such a good option for those that are aiming to lose weight has to do with the ability to ramp up your intensity.

High-Intensity-Interval-Training or “HIIT” is well known for producing the best caloric burn rate [1].

Because of this, you will want to get this type of exercise into your daily routine for maximum efficiency with your weight loss efforts.

While you can get this type of training in to your daily life with sprinting, it is going to be much more difficult to do so. Sprinting involves a lot of heavy impacts that can make it risky for those that aren’t necessarily in the best shape.

Whereas, it is much easier and safer to ramp up your intensity with a stationary bike.

How Long Should You Ride a Stationary Bike To Lose Weight?

As mentioned, the key to getting the most out of your stationary bike exercises ultimately comes down to knowing your fitness goals.

For instance, the optimal amount of time you should spend cycling is going to be different for losing weight than it would be to build muscle in your lower legs.

Below, we will be going over factors that can influence your results.

Factors that Influence Your Weight Loss Results:

1. Intensity

The main thing that you are going to want to focus on when you are trying to figure out how long you should be riding a stationary bike to get your desired results is your intensity.

The intensity by which you pedal is going to dictate the kind of results you are able to get.

According to Ace Fitness, a standard 45-minute cycling class can help you burn as much as 350 to 600 calories depending on the size of the person and the intensity level [2].

2. Duration of Your Workout

Likewise, the total amount of time you spend working out is going to dictate the total number of calories you end up burning each session.

The longer you workout the more you will burn assuming that you sustain the same rate of intensity throughout the entire duration of your workouts.

3. Fitness Level

Another thing that is going to impact your results and that should dictate the duration by which you ride the bike would be your current fitness level. Anyone that is brand new and a beginner shouldn’t go too long. Whereas, if you have been working up your fitness level for weeks, you can sustain a much faster pace and a longer duration.

4. Fitness Goals

Another big thing that should dictate the total duration by which you workout on your bike would be your overall fitness goals. If your goal is to build muscle, you will want to utilize high resistance and a slower pace. Whereas, if you are looking to maximize fat burn, you should aim to ramp up the intensity even if it means to lower the resistance.

5. Type of Bike

There are a variety of different types of fitness bikes that you can end up purchasing. Whether it be a spin bike, upright bike, or a recumbent bike, you need to factor this into the equation. Typically, you will be using a spin bike for a much more intense workout (see some of favorites here).

Riding Tips For Weight Loss

If you are looking to ride specifically for weight loss, you will want to stick to the following rules.

1. Consistently Vary Your Intensity

One of the key things that you want to do to improve your ability to lose weight with stationary bikes is to vary the intensity.

Ideally, you want to integrate HIIT training into your sessions. However, to break through plateaus, you should try to leverage different levels of intensity. If you are going to be using interval training, you can alternate between high and low intensity every couple of minutes for 30 minutes in total.

This will allow you to maximize caloric burn while getting your heart pumping.

2. Use a Heart Monitor

By monitoring your heart rate, you will be able to sustain the proper pacing with your stationary bike workouts to keep you burning as many calories as possible.

3. Maximize Resistance

Increase the resistance as you continue to enhance your physical fitness level. By maximizing the resistance and sustaining the same intensity level, you can ramp up your heart rate considerably which can improve your metabolic rate.

4. Spread It Out

A good way to keep your metabolism working for you consistently if you aren’t in the best shape is by spreading your high-intensity workouts throughout the day.

Try to break up 45 minutes of exercise into periods of 15 minutes of high-intensity cycling and you should be able to maximize your metabolic rate and have your body burning calories all day.

Final Thoughts

Overall, a stationary bike can be an integral asset to someone looking to lose weight.

It offers many unique benefits and it can really help you burn a lot of calories and fat when used properly.

References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/no-time-to-exercise-then-take-five
  2. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6618/what-you-need-to-know-about-group-indoor-cycling/