There are numerous benefits of stationary cycling that are worth noting. Regularly riding your bike could improve both your mental and physical health, and will also give your outdoor cycling skills a boost. We have reviewed the latest studies and publications to find the greatest benefits of indoor cycling.
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1. Improve various aspects of your physical health
A 2019 systematic review published in Medicine (opens in a new tab) found that there were numerous health benefits to regular indoor cycling. Exercise 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 VO2 max, the more efficient your body is at converting oxygen into energy.
Regular cycling can also lower blood pressure and improve bone density, according to the review, although more studies are needed to confirm whether cycling is significantly better at this than other forms of exercise.
Other studies have shown that cycling of all kinds is effective in helping people with diabetes reduce the risk of premature death (JAMA (opens in a new tab)).
In short, cycling could help improve various aspects of your physical health, especially if you engage in high enough intensity or for significant periods of time.
2. It gives you a mental boost
The link between exercise and mental health has been shown to be positive in multiple academic studies, and aerobic exercise (such as cycling) has been shown to have positive effects on those suffering from anxiety and depression.
A small 2004 published in Behavior research and therapy (opens in a new tab) showed that aerobic exercise, such as indoor cycling, reduced anxiety levels in participants. And a larger systematic review from 2018 in the Depression and anxiety (opens in a new tab) magazine confirms that it also has antidepressant qualities.
In addition to this, Psychology and Aging (opens in a new tab) found that 15 minutes of moderate indoor cycling resulted in improvements in cognitive performance, so if you’re struggling to complete a sudoku, it might be time to get in the saddle.
3. It can be social
Gone are the days when stationary cycling was an individual activity, and the only thing you looked at was the little electric screen in front of you that showed you how much you had left to do in your training. These days, you can easily bond with the world at large and even get together with your friends to virtually ride a bike together.
The popular virtual cycling app zwift (opens in a new tab) provides the opportunity to ride a bike and train within a virtual world from the (in) comfort of your indoor bike, where you can ride alongside other cyclists from all over the world.
Many fitness companies now offer live training classes, so you can join a group spin class at your home. Peloton bike (opens in a new tab) or using the whether (opens in a new tab) application These are good for athletes with low levels of motivation, as the instructor will push you to work harder and you can compare your performance with others in the class.
4. Burn calories
There’s no denying that exercising on a stationary bike is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. A small study published in the Medicine and Sciences in Sport and Exercise (opens in a new tab) journal showed that just 30-45 minutes of cycling could increase your basal metabolic rate, meaning you’ll burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout.
Also, with indoor cycling you can easily vary your workouts. If you want to burn more calories, a higher-impact HIIT session or interval training will push you harder and keep your heart rate elevated for longer than a steady run.
5: it is low impact
Cycling is much easier on your joints than other higher-impact forms of cardio, like running, as it puts less pressure and impact on your joints and muscles. This makes it the perfect exercise for when you are recovering from an injury or have a problem with impact sports.
6: Burn fat
If you’re looking to lose weight, stationary cycling provides a high-intensity workout that can result in fat loss. A 2010 study in a Portuguese medical journal Brazilian Archives of Cardiology (opens in a new tab) revealed that after 12 weeks of regular indoor cycling (45 minutes, three times a week) along with a controlled diet, study participants reduced body mass, fat percentage, and body mass index (BMI).
In another 2017 study conducted by the Exercise Rehabilitation Magazine (opens in a new tab)those who participated in a 16-week spinning regimen ended up with a reduced BMI and reduced body fat percentage.
Finally, a 2018 study conducted by the Journal of education and training studies (opens in a new tab) found that after six weeks of regular spin classes, four participants who were classified as “pre-obese” had moved into a normal weight range. Additionally, two who were already classified as obese had reverted to overweight. However, it is important to note that these results should be seen in conjunction with positive changes in the participants’ diet.