Pedal your way to a healthier you: 6 impressive benefits of using a stationary  exercise bike 

According to IMARC Group Research, the global exercise bike market size reached  US$ 663.2 Million in 2022 and is expected to reach US$ 888.7 Million by 2028. Post global pandemic and with ever-increasing rates of obesity in the UK, over 25% of the population, according to Obesity statistics – House of Commons Library  (parliament. UK), investing in a stationary exercise bike can be an ideal way to start pedalling your way towards improved fitness and wellbeing. So what are the main health benefits? 

What muscles does an exercise bike work? 

Depending upon the type of bike you have, and the type of bike workout you seek,  the primary muscles engaged are the calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. Always ensure that your posture is fit for purpose eg if you are standing on a spinning bike,  your stance will differ too when you are seated on a recumbent machine. You want to also ensure that your abs are engaged wherever possible. 

1. Calves 

Your calves will help you to push down as you pedal and also work your ankles and heels as you pull up during each stroke. Stretching calves before and after a workout is really important to avoid injury – we often forget about the level of load-bearing our calves are under on a daily basis. 

2. Hamstrings 

During your workout, your hamstrings are used throughout the pedals’ 360-degree motion – the up and down stroke. As hamstrings are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, it is important to stretch before and after your bike ride. As many professional athletes will concur, a pulled ‘hammie’ is very painful! 

3. Quadriceps 

The quadriceps, or ‘quads’, are the large muscles at the front of your thigh.  Whilst you use your quads routinely when walking or honouring day-to-day tasks, cycling can further strengthen your quadriceps, especially as you increase resistance on your machine. 

4. The Heart 

Getting your heart pumping is key to any workout and increasing cardiovascular health. Cycling at home is a low-impact form of exercise that you can manage at your own pace, based on your routine and personal circumstances. 

RBF Exercise Bike

Does an exercise bike tone your stomach?

The answer to this question is yes, it can, but there are other factors involved. If you are hoping to lose body fat, you should also review your diet, alcohol intake,  hydration and sleeping patterns. Weight loss does not occur on a stand-alone basis.  However, the good news is that if you are engaging your abs as you cycle and are burning more calories than you consume, in theory, fat loss can be achieved. 

Benefits of an exercise bike 

So, what other benefits do exercise bikes like the range offer? 

1. Safer than road cycling

You can exercise in the comfort of your own home,  without having to worry about other drivers, wet roads or headlight glare. You can even catch up on your favourite TV show as you pedal! 

2. Burns body fat

As detailed above, using a stationary bike can help you to lose body fat but always ensure that you seek professional guidance from a  physio or personal trainer, especially if you have a chronic health condition. 

3. Small but often workout: 

This type of bite-size workout, or ‘exercise snacking’, is very much ‘on-trend’ right now. At a recent Diabetes UK Professional  Conference 2023, exercise snacking was presented to help those with type 1 Diabetes better manage their blood sugar levels 

4. Strengthen lower body muscles: 

Engaging muscles in your legs and glutes will challenge and stretch your muscles over time, especially if you mix up your workouts, leveraging low and higher-level resistance. 

5. Burns high calories: 

Going back to basics, you will naturally burn calories when your food and drink intake is less than your output. A calorie deficit is therefore key for weight loss but always ensure that you pace yourself and consider other factors such as fat, sugar and salt consumption. 

6. Simple and convenient

Working out at home on your bike couldn’t be easier. Just open a window, put on the right clothing and footwear; get yourself some water and climb on! If you work shifts or are an erratic sleeper, having a folding or stationary bike at home gives you flexibility and choice. But how long should you work out for? 

Is 30 minutes enough and is an exercise bike good for weight loss? 

According to UK government guidelines, an adult should exercise for an average of  150 minutes per week. If you want to lose weight, then you can up the duration of your workouts as well as better control your food and drink uptake. An App or monitor should show you how many calories you are burning as you pedal. You can also track what you eat via Apps such as 

How many calories does an exercise bike burn? 

In terms of how many actual calories you burn, this will be dependent upon your pace, your weight and the type of cycling you are doing: a virtual spinning class might burn more calories than a gentle pedal whilst you watch Eastenders. Both 

forms of exercise are still honourable and you shouldn’t become too obsessed with calories. According to Harvard Health Publishing, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity pedalling will burn between 210 and 300 calories, depending upon your weight (nine to 13 stone). 

Often, when we burn a lot of calories, we get really hungry so balance is key when it comes to finding a level that works for you. The most important thing to remember is that regular movement is key – keeping active, walking up stairs if you can and trying to avoid sedentary behaviour are also beneficial from a mental health perspective. 

So, a lot to consider before you press the ‘buy’ button and pedal your way to a  healthier you this Summer.

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