Is Biking Cardio? Main Benefits
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more
You’re probably asking yourself is biking cardio because you want to make sure that you’re getting a balanced workout while biking. The answer to this question largely depends on how hard you’re pushing yourself while stationed on your bike.
Are you just sitting there looking at the TV monitor instead of monitoring your heart rate, speed, and intensity? Then you probably won’t get much out of it.
But, when done right, medium to high-intensity cycling can be an excellent form of cardio that contributes to your overall fitness.
Read on as we answer the question, is cycling cardio?
Is Biking Good Cardio?
So is riding a bike cardio? Both stationary and open-road biking can be effective forms of cardio. It all depends on how much effort you put into it.
If you’re just going through the motions while reading the paper or checking your phone, then you won’t get out of it. But if you’re sweating through it and feeling your heart rate go up, then you’ll get the cardio results you seek.
But, there are lots of benefits to low-intensity cycling, especially if you’re new to the gym or are recovering from an injury. A bike workout can be very beneficial at rehabilitating you in a safe and calm environment.
Benefits of Using an Exercise Bike
A stationary exercise bike is a great way to increase your heart rate and exercise your lungs without stressing out weakened joints.
This is especially important for people who struggle with conditions like joint inflammation, bursitis and other ankle, hip, and knee joint issues.
Cycling can also help someone who has been inactive for a long period of time to get back into a healthy workout routine while aiding to sort out balance issues.
Exercise Bikes vs. Other Gym Equipment
Stationary bike cardio is one of the many cardio options that you have available with you when going to the gym. Whether or not you choose it depends on your needs and your goals.
You could opt for the elliptical machine or a stationary bike to enjoy a low-impact exercise that won’t put much strain on your joints. If you’re looking for a machine that gives you a full-body workout, then look no further than the rowing machine, whereas the StairMaster is ideal for lower body training.
Then, you have the treadmill which mimics the natural act of walking or running but in a stationary environment.
To get the most cardio in while cycling, you should choose a cruiser bike that offers flexible resistance levels. It’s always advisable to start with a nice, 5-minute warmup. You should also do modest amounts of cycling 150 minutes per week and vigorous exercise for 75 minutes per week. That way, you don’t have to work out every day, so long as you hit your numbers every week.
According to the American Council on Exercise, the best way to optimize your workout is through interval training. When applied to cycling, this could mean cycling for a couple of minutes at a really high speed, followed by a minute of rest.
Or, a cycle of intense workout reps, followed by a rest period of 10 minutes or so. You can increase these intervals at a rate of 20 to 30 gradually according to your needs.
How to Do Bike Cardio
If you’re looking for a good cardio workout, then biking is where it’s at. It can help you burn up to 400 calories an hour while powering your glutes, hips, and legs.
Whether you’re biking at the gym or on the road, it’s an excellent way to keep your glutes, hips and legs fit.
It’s incredibly important to warm up before each cycling session, for about 5 to 10 minutes each time.
Thereafter, your heart rate will increase and you might even start perspiring. Increase cycling speed gradually as you go along and do a 5-minute cool off where you slow down your speed once you’re done with your workout.
Bike Indoors or Outdoors
As for indoor cycling, you can make it more challenging by either exerting yourself or having an indoor fitness trainer. Just make sure you’re using a level roadway or bike path for this.
Try Hill Biking
If you want to find out is cycling a good cardio workout, then try out hill biking. Also known as off-road cycling, this type of biking requires you to try different types of harsh terrain and cycling routes.
Most importantly, it takes you through tall and challenging hills and surfaces which is great for exercising your core and upper body.
It’s a total-body workout that far exceeds anything you could do with a stationary bike, which mostly targets the lower part of the body and you can even connect your bike to a bicycle attachment for extra weight.
Before you even ask the question of is biking cardio, you should take the following important precautions. This includes positioning the seat and handlebars properly to avoid any pain or injury in the groin, shoulder, and back areas.
Ideally, your bike seat should be on the same level as the floor, with a height that allows for a slight knee bend. Make sure the seat is adjusted so that your hips don’t go back and forth while cycling. Ask your instructor to position your bike for you if you’re taking an indoor spin or other cycling class. Also, be careful when wearing headphones for cycling so you can still hear the noise around you.
If bone density loss is an issue for you then you should go between weight-training and low-impact biking exercising and avoid using the same machine over and over again. Switch it up to avoid injuries that avoid due to overuse, such as bursitis and tendonitis. Also, make sure you get a bicycle hitch rack so you can easily transport your bicycle.
So, is cycling cardio? Hopefully, we’ve answered this question for you so that you can confidently start cycling with the knowledge that you’re doing something food for your body.
It’ll help to keep you fit both mentally and physically.
Have you ever incorporated biking into your cardio routine? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments section!