How Many Miles On A Stationary Bike To Lose Weight: The Ultimate Guide

by Millie
woman on stationary bike

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Are you looking for a new way to lose weight? If you’re sick of the same old routines and looking for something new, you should try stationary biking! Biking is a great way to lose weight and get in shape. It’s also a low-impact activity, which means it’s gentle on your joints.

The question is, how many miles on a stationary bike to lose weight? The answer depends on a number of factors, such as your weight, fitness level, and intensity of your workouts. However, you can burn hundreds of calories per hour by biking, so it’s a great workout regardless of your fitness level.

To learn more about how many miles on a stationary bike to lose weight, keep reading!

Why a Stationary Bike is Great for Weight Loss

scale with tape measure on yellow background
There are a few reasons why a stationary bike is good for weight loss

Here are just a few reasons why stationary biking is good for weight loss:

Calorie-burning Powerhouse

Biking is a calorie-burning powerhouse. Harvard Health estimates the following calories burned by three people of different weights riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes at moderate intensity:

  • A 125-pound person can burn 211 calories
  • A 155-pound person can burn 260 calories
  • A 185-pound person can burn 311 calories

This is almost 50% more calories burned walking at 3.5 miles per hour. A 125 person will burn 107 calories, a 155-pound individual will burn 133, and a person weighing 185 pounds will burn 159 calories.

Or just about 11% fewer calories than running at 12 miles per hour. A 125 person will burn 240 calories, a 155-pound person will burn 288 calories, and a 185-pound person will burn 360 calories.

So if you are looking to maximize your calorie burn, consider adding a stationary bike workout to your routine.

Reduces Belly Fat

Moderate-intensity exercise, such as riding a stationary bike, can help to reduce belly fat. Cycling is a great cardio workout, which is key for burning fat. It also helps to build strong abdominal muscles, which can give you a flatter, more toned stomach. So grab a bike and get pedaling if you’re looking to reduce belly fat.

Low-Impact Exercise

Biking is a low-impact aerobic exercise, so it’s easy on your joints and ligaments compared to some other exercises yet still gets your heart rate up. This is important especially if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy after a long period of inactivity.

Strengths and Builds Muscle Mass

Regular use of a stationary bike will strengthen your lower body, especially your legs, quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes. You also use your abs and back muscles to maintain your position on the bike. And to a lesser extent, you use your biceps and triceps as you hold the handlebars.

The good news is that lean muscle burns calories three times faster than fat. So regular cycling will help you burn more calories even when you’re at rest.

Improves Sleep

Several studies found that moderate exercise, like riding a stationary bike, help improves the quality of your sleep.

When you don’t get enough sleep your body starts to produce more of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for making you feel hungry, and it also increases your appetite. So not only do you have less energy to exercise, but you’re also more likely to overeat.

Using your stationary bike will help you get enough sleep which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight.

Reduces Stress

It’s no secret that stress can lead to weight gain. When stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods. Cortisol also promotes the storage of fat in the body, especially in the abdominal area, which can lead to weight gain.

But stress doesn’t just cause us to eat more, it can also lead to other habits that can lead to weight gain. For example, when we’re stressed, we may be less likely to exercise which can further contribute to weight gain.

The good news is that research has shown that just 10 minutes of physical activity can help to lower cortisol levels and improve your mood.

The Other Health Benefits of Cycling  

3 people riding stationary bikes
There are many health benefits of riding

In addition to the calorie-burning benefits, biking is also great for your health. Here are some of the specific health benefits of biking: 

  • Reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Boosts immune system.
  • Lowers your bad cholesterol levels and promotes good cholesterol.
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Improves your mood and mental health.
  • Improves your joint health.
  • Improves your respiratory health. 

How Many Miles on a Stationary Bike to Lose Weight? 

women measuring her waist
Biking can be effective for weight loss

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, such as your weight, fitness level, sex, age, and the intensity of your workout. But here is a good estimate.

First, to lose weight you must have a calorie deficit. This means that you must burn more than you consume.

Second, one pound is equivalent to 3500 calories. So to lose one pound a week, you should have a daily deficit of at least 500 calories.

Thirdly, to lose weight you need to do a minimum of 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Moderate intensity means that you should be able to talk, but not sing. This is about 50 minutes five days a week or 42 minutes six days a week.

Harvard Health estimates that moderate intensity on a stationary bike is a cycling speed of between 12 and 13.9 miles per hour. 

So, therefore, if you cycle at 12 miles an hour, you need to do 50 miles a week to lose one pound. If you exercise five days a week, this is equivalent to 10 miles a day. 

If you can cycle 13.9 miles per hour, you should complete 57.9 miles each week. Or 11.6 miles each day for five days a week.

The following table summarizes the above information:

table of how many miles on a stationary bike to lose weight
How many miles on a stationary bike to lose weight

If you’re just starting out, this speed and number of miles may be too much for you. Start at your own pace and work your way up to these long rides. 

Also read: How Much to Walk to Lose Weight: The Definitive Guide

Tips for Losing Weight with a Stationary Bike 

people on stationary bikes

There are a few other things you can do to meet your weight loss goals with a stationary bike. 

  • Warm up and cool down for 5 to 10 minutes by riding at a low intensity. A good warm-up will help prevent injuries, while a cool-down will help your muscles recover.
  • Make sure your resistance is right for you. If you are a beginner, start with no resistance. 
  • You should be sweating and breathing hard. Use the resistance levels to find your ideal level of intensity. 
  • When you are comfortable, add high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your workout. This means alternating between high-intensity intervals and low-intensity intervals. Varying your speed and resistance level throughout your workout will help keep your muscles guessing and prevent them from getting too comfortable. 
  • Incorporate upper body exercises over time. Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you can’t get a workout for your upper body as well. While you’re pedaling, try doing some arm curls or triceps extensions.
  • When you are ready, add strength training twice a week to boost your weight loss.
  • Make it fun! If you’re not enjoying your workout, you’re not going to want to keep at it. Find ways to make your workouts more enjoyable – listen to music, watch TV, or even set up a fan so you can stay cool while you pedal.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated and fueled during your workout. Most stationery bikes will have a spot for your water bottle.
  • Be sure you’re eating a healthy diet and watch your calorie intake. It will be difficult to lose weight by eating fast food, junk food, and highly processed foods.

Proper Form on a Stationary Bike

people on stationary bikes
Use proper form to avoid injury or pain

When you’re riding a stationary bike, there are a few important factors you should keep in mind to make sure you’re doing it properly. 

  1. Adjust the seat height. Stand next to the bike and put the seat at the same height as your hips. If the seat is too low it will put more pressure on your knees. On the other hand, a seat that is too high will may strain your hips, ankles, and feet.
  1. Adjust the seat. The pedal should be parallel to the ground at the bottom of the stroke. Your knee should be over your front foot.

    However, if your knee goes past the shoelaces on your shoes, you need to bring the seat back. On the other hand, don’t bring the seat too far back because this will cause lower back and knee pain.
  1. Adjust the pedal position. The ball of your foot should be over the center of the pedal, and your heel should be level with it.
  1. Adjust the handlebars, if necessary. Your handlebars should be at a height that’s best for you, but they should be positioned so that you don’t put too much weight on them, and your elbows should have a slight bend.
  1. Once on the bike, sit up straight and don’t slouch. Keep your head up and look straight ahead, not down at the floor.
  1. Be sure you’re pedaling with your whole foot, not just your toes or your heels. You should also keep your pedals parallel to the ground, not tilted to one side or the other.
  1. Don’t bounce in the saddle – stay seated and pedal smoothly to get the most out of your workout.

Follow these tips and you’ll be pedaling like a pro in no time!

Types of Stationary Bikes

recumbent bikes
Recumbent bikes

You can use a stationary bike at your local gym, or you can purchase your own. If you’re thinking about getting a stationary bike, there are many options for you. There are three main types of stationary bikes:

Upright Stationary Bikes

An upright stationary exercise bike is similar to a traditional road bike and is a popular choice. It has a seat that is higher than the pedals, which makes it a bit more challenging to get on and off.

Recumbent Exercise Bikes

A recumbent bike is designed for comfort and is perfect for people who have back or joint pain. This type of bike is low to the ground and has a seat that is lower than the pedals. This makes it easy to get on and off the bike, and it is also gentle on the back and knees.

Dual Action Bikes

These bikes combine a stationary bike with another cardio machine. Usually, you are able to also include an upper body workout making it easier to get a complete workout at home.

Lose the Extra Weight on a Stationary Bike!

people on stationary bikes
Lose the weight with a stationary bike

If you’re looking to lose weight, riding a stationary bike is a great way to do it. The number of calories you burn bike riding can be more than walking and slightly below running. How many miles you’ll need to ride to lose weight will depend on your current weight, age, sex, and fitness level. 

But for most people, riding 50 miles a week at 12 miles per hour can result in one pound lost per week. Or riding 58 miles per week at 13.9 miles per hour. Both will allow you to meet the recommendation of 250 minutes of exercise at moderate intensity. 

It’s okay to start with shorter distances and a lower intensity level. You will eventually be able to meet your fitness goals. Also, remember you still need to have a caloric deficit to get rid of those extra pounds.

What are you waiting for? Get on your stationary bike and start your indoor cycling workouts today! It might be the best exercise for you!

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