10 Amazing Health Benefits of Stationary Bike
The exercise bike is the perfect sport to muscle and refine your legs and thighs while losing weight. But did you know that working out on a stationary bike also had many great benefits on your body and your health? It gives a feeling of happiness through the secretion of very special hormones, helps us feel more confident, decreases stress and anxiety, has antidepressive effects, reduces the risk of various diseases and is extremely efficient against bad cholesterol. Although often unknown, these positive effects of exercise are very powerful! Here are the top 10 health benefits of exercising on a stationary bike.
The heart is a muscle and like all muscles needs to be trained regularly to stay in shape!
A well-trained heart induces a lower heart rate, at rest and during exercise. A well-trained heart thus beats less frequently and is less stressed. Blood pressure, which ensures blood circulation in our arteries, is also lower when the heart is more muscular because it ejects a larger volume of blood at each contraction.
In the mid run, if you exercise regularly, you will improve your cardio-respiratory capacity. You will especially be able to make an effort without being breathless straight away.
These beneficial effects of sports on the heart help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. People who engage in regular physical activity are less likely to have a stroke (cardiovascular accident).
These health benefits appear only after a few weeks if you exercise at least 2 to 3 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes per session. To convince you, measure your pulse at rest and observe the improvement within 3-4 weeks.
The cardio stationary bike, as an endurance exercise, is ideal for training your heart!
In fact, regular cycling does not increase lung capacity, which is the volume of air that can be inspired. Instead, activities such as swimming or snorkeling have a real impact on lung capacity. However, sports and physical activity increase muscle performance, so that muscles need less oxygen during exercise and produce less carbon dioxide. You will therefore not be out of breathe as quickly during the effort as when you are not used to exercising. In addition, working out regularly can help you improve your respiratory capacity since you learn to better manage the frequency and intensity of your breathing during exercise.
People with chronic lung disease, asthma or COPD for example, can do sports and can even improve their symptoms through physical activity. If you are in this case, you should always ask your doctor first for advice before you engage in any physical activity.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Lung capacity is not related to physical performance. Scientific studies have shown that professional athletes do not have greater lung capacity than non-athletes, including marathon runners.
Exercising on a stationary bike is perfect for toning your legs, thighs and buttocks but also your arms, abdominal and back muscles. Your muscles are especially working when you increase the resistance of your exercise bike. A low resistance level is good for warming up and for improving endurance but not to gain muscle. No pain, no gain ;)
Muscle groups used in indoor cycling
- The muscles of the lower body (red in the diagram) work permanently on the exercise bike: the glutes, the hamstrings (just below the buttocks), the quadriceps (on the front of the thighs) and the calves (at the back of the thighs).
- Abdominal and back muscles (yellow in the diagram) allow you to maintain the position of your body and therefore also work.
- The muscles of the arms (green in the diagram) also work, although to a lesser extent than the muscles of the lower part of the body: the biceps and triceps that allow you to hold the handlebars. These muscles work more when you tighten the handlebars, for example during an intense effort.
- When you stand up and ride out of the saddle with a high pedaling resistance (standing while cycling), the muscles of your arms (biceps and triceps) and the muscles of the lower back work more than the muscles of the thighs (quadriceps) and the buttocks.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Rest assured: your thighs or your legs will not double in volume, even if you work out regularly! The cardio exercise bike remains a cardio sports and is not adapted to bodybuilding! It offers a very good workout that can help you refine your legs, tone your thighs and strengthen your glutes! Moreover, the results won't happen overnight, unfortunately... Indeed, you should persevere to see results ;).
Using an exercise bike can help you burn a lot of calories and is effective for weight loss. What you should know is that the higher the intensity of your exercise, the more calories you will burn. However, the higher the intensity of the training, the more difficult it is to keep cycling for a long time... It is up to you to find the right balance. You can also alternate between a long cardio workout at a low or medium intensity 1 to 2 times a week and a high intensity workout (HIIT) once a week for example.
|Physical Activity (1h)
|Stationary bike, moderate intensity
|Stationary bike, high intensity
|Stationary bike, very high intensity
To lose 1 kg, you must exercise 1 hour on your stationary bike 3 times a week. For more information, read our article on how to lose weight on your stationary bike.
Why is cycling good if you want to lose weight? The exercise bike not only helps you burn calories and fat but also strengthens and tones your legs, thighs and buttocks. It is therefore essential to combine a healthy and balanced diet with regular training if your goal is to have an athletic silhouette and beautiful legs!
Endurance sports such as cycling on an exercise bike offer many benefits for diabetics. When we exercise or do sports, our muscles use glucose and as a result the blood sugar level decreases. Diabetes is indeed characterized by an excess of sugar in the blood. Many scientific studies have shown that sport and physical activity lower blood glucose levels in diabetics.
Physical activity also has benefits on insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the body that regulates blood glucose levels, especially lowering blood sugar levels after meals. In diabetics, insulin no longer plays its role correctly, resulting in an increase in blood sugar. Sports or regular exercise makes the body more sensitive to insulin, meaning that the amount of insulin needed to lower blood glucose level decreases. Sports therefore favours a better natural regulation of the blood sugar level.
When you are exercising on a stationary bicycle, your body secretes hormones, especially endorphins and serotonin, which brings you in a state of well-being. These hormones called happy hormones regulate mood, stress and anxiety. They explains the anti-stress and antidepressant effect of sport as well as the feeling of happiness exercise induces. If you want to receive your shot of endorphins and experience the feeling of euphoria commonly described as the "runner's high", you should be cycling on your exercise bike for at least 1 hour or even 2 hours!
Learn more about the effects of sports on the brain.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Stationary cycling can also help you quit smoking! Indeed, the production of endorphins stimulated by the practice of an endurance sport alleviates the symptoms of addiction and can thus help smokers to quit smoking.
The exercise bike is a soft and smooth sport that is often recommended for rehabilitation, especially after a knee or an ankle sprain. Indoor cycling is a low-impact sport that solicits the joints in a gentle manner without shock. However, you should always see with your doctor beforehand if the exercise bike is advised in your case.
What kind of stationary bike is best for knees? The upright bike or the recumbent bike? See our comparison between the upright bike and the recumbent bike or our article on the stationary bike for knee rehab. for more in-depth information.
Cholesterol is not bad in itself, it's just the excess of cholesterol that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, the "good" cholesterol may be distinguished from the "bad" cholesterol. What is important to know is that sports promotes good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. These positive effects of sports on cholesterol have been analyzed in many scientific studies and it advisable for people with cholesterol problems to regularly do sports and engage in physical activity!
The exercise bike is a gentle sport that can be practiced at home all life long, from 9 to 99 years, or almost. It is very important, especially after 65 years, to remain active and continue to exercise and do sports regularly! Indeed, many scientific studies have shown that physical activity, if practiced regularly, could reduce the risks and delay the symptoms of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. This can be explained by the fact that physical exercise stimulates certain areas of the brain. Recent studies also highlight the fact that it is never too late to start because sport can already be beneficial after a few weeks.
As more and more doctors say, sport is the best prevention against age-related diseases!
Regularly cycling on a stationary bike can also increase your life expectancy! Indeed, many scientific studies have shown that the regular practice of a sport could not only reduce the risk of many diseases, delay their appearance and alleviate certain symptoms, but also preserve the effectiveness of the immune system in the elderly longer, thus increasing life expectancy.
According to Dr. Chi Pang Wen's study what involved more than 400,000 people over 12 years, 15 minutes of physical activity per day on average could increase life expectancy by 3 years!
Regular workout on your stationary bike has great benefits on your body, health and mood! Exercise and sports help us feel good and this positive effect is not only psychological, our body really needs it. One could almost consider that our body thanks us every time we do sports by releasing a dose of happy hormones!
You now know everything about the extraordinary health benefits of the exercise bike! Share this article and spread the word: still a lot of people don't engage in any physical activity at all. The first step to any change is awareness!
Clara Miller has a Master's degree in Sports Science and has worked for famous sports and fitness brands. She is passionate about sports and regularly writes about fitness, weight loss and motivation for various blogs and magazines.