Exercise Bike or Walking

Exercise Bike or Walking: Which is Best for Your Fitness Goals?

  • 8 min read

Choosing between an exercise bike and walking as a workout can be a tough decision. Each option offers unique benefits, and the best choice often depends on your personal fitness goals and preferences.

If you're looking to burn more calories in less time, an exercise bike might be the better option for you. On the other hand, walking is a more accessible and low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints.

Jump to section

Exercise bikes are great for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and can help you strengthen your leg muscles effectively.

Walking, however, is very effective for improving cardiovascular health and requires no special equipment. Both forms of physical activity can be part of a balanced fitness routine, depending on your needs.


Key Takeaways

  • Walking is low-impact and good for cardiovascular health.
  • Exercise bikes burn more calories in less time.
  • Both options can enhance your physical fitness effectively.


Benefits of Exercise Bikes and Walking


Exercise bikes and walking offer unique benefits for your cardiovascular health, muscle strengthening, and weight management. Each activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and build strength.


Cardiovascular Health

Both exercise bikes and walking are great for your heart.

Using an exercise bike increases your heart rate quickly. This helps improve your cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Cycling allows for intense workouts, which boosts your endurance. Walking is also effective, especially when done briskly. It is gentler on the joints, making it accessible for people of all ages. Regular walking can lower blood pressure and improve circulation, contributing to overall heart health.


Muscle Strengthening

Exercise bikes offer more resistance compared to walking.

This resistance helps strengthen your muscles, especially in your legs and lower body. Cycling targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

It can also engage your core muscles if you maintain the proper posture. Walking, while less intense, still builds muscle, particularly in the legs and core. For extra benefits, you can walk on inclines or use hand weights to add resistance.


Weight Management

When it comes to burning calories, an exercise bike can be more effective than walking.

A moderate effort on a stationary bike can burn about 596 calories per hour for a 155-pound person. Walking at a brisk pace also burns calories, but usually fewer than cycling.

Both activities help you maintain a healthy weight. Cycling burns more calories faster, making it great for weight loss. Walking is easier on the body and can be a sustainable long-term exercise. Both activities support overall weight management through consistent practice.


Determining The Best Exercise Intensity for Walking and Cycling


When deciding between an exercise bike and walking, it's important to understand exercise intensity. This helps in choosing the best workout for your fitness goals, whether it's low-impact routines or high-intensity workouts that challenge your aerobic capacity.


Low-Impact vs. High-Intensity Workouts

Low-impact workouts, like walking, are easier on the joints. This type of exercise is great if you have issues with your knees or hips.

Walking at a brisk pace can still build your endurance and improve cardiovascular health without putting too much strain on your body.

High-intensity workouts, such as those you get from using an exercise bike, can include High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or steady-state cardio.

HIIT involves short bursts of intense activity followed by rest. This can significantly improve your fitness level in less time compared to low-impact exercises. Both walking and biking can be adapted for HIIT, making them flexible options for your workout routine.


Measuring Heart Rate

One key way to measure exercise intensity is by monitoring your heart rate.

To find your target heart rate, you need to know your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate.

An easy formula is 220 minus your age to get your maximum heart rate. For example, if you are 30 years old, your maximum heart rate is 190 beats per minute.

From there, calculate 70% and 85% of your maximum heart rate for moderate and vigorous exercise levels.

For instance, with a resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute, multiply your reserve by 0.7 (for 70% intensity) and 0.85 (for 85% intensity). Then add your resting heart rate.

Maintaining these ranges will ensure you work out at your desired intensity. Methods like the talk test can also help gauge your level of effort. If you can talk but not sing, you're likely in moderate intensity.


Selecting the Right Equipment When Walking or Using An Exercise Bike


When choosing between an exercise bike and walking, consider the specific benefits and requirements of each. Your choice will depend on your fitness goals, available space, budget, and physical condition.


Exercise Bikes

Types: There are two main types of exercise bikes: upright and recumbent.

Upright exercise bikes resemble traditional bicycles and take up less space. Recumbent exercise bikes have a larger seat and back support, making them more comfortable, especially if you have back problems.

Benefits: Exercise bikes allow you to adjust resistance, making it easy to tailor your workout to your fitness level.

They are low-impact, which is great if you have joint issues. Exercise bikes can help build leg muscles, including quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, and burn calories efficiently.

Accessories: Consider getting a helmet if you’re using a non-stationary bike.

For stationary bikes, a padded seat cover can increase comfort. Look for bikes with built-in monitors to track your progress. Ensure your bike has adjustable settings to fit your body size perfectly.

Space and Budget: Exercise bikes are convenient for small spaces and are available at various price points, from budget to premium models.

You can use them indoors, so they are not dependent on weather conditions.


Walking Attire and Accessories

Walking Shoes: The most important equipment for walking is a good pair of walking shoes.

They should provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability. Proper shoes can help prevent injuries such as shin splints and blisters. Opt for shoes with a cushioned sole and breathable material.

Clothing: Wear breathable, moisture-wicking clothes to keep you comfortable and dry.

Consider weather conditions and layer your clothing accordingly. For cold weather, a thermal jacket and leggings might be necessary, while in hot conditions, light clothing and a hat are essential.

Accessories: Depending on your walking environment, consider additional accessories.

A water bottle is crucial for staying hydrated. If you walk outdoors regularly, a helmet may not be necessary, but a hat or cap can protect you from the sun. For night walks, wear reflective gear to stay visible.

Terrain and Location: The terrain you walk on can impact your equipment needs.

For uneven or rugged paths, trekking poles can provide extra stability. If you prefer indoor walking, a treadmill can be a good investment, allowing you to walk in any weather.


Comparing Exercise Bike vs Walking -  Environmental Factors


When deciding between an exercise bike and walking, consider where you will be exercising. Environment plays a crucial role in determining which option suits you best. Here are important factors to consider about indoor cycling and outdoor walking.


Indoor Cycling vs. Outdoor Walking

Indoor cycling on a stationary bike offers convenience. You can cycle at any time, regardless of weather conditions.

This controlled environment allows you to focus solely on your workout without external disruptions.

Outdoor walking, on the other hand, provides the benefits of fresh air and variable scenery.

Walking outside exposes you to natural elements like sunlight, which can boost your mood and provide you with Vitamin D.

Indoor cycling might be better if you prefer a steady, predictable workout. It is easier to measure progress since you control resistance levels.

Outdoor walking suits those who enjoy variety and the dynamic aspects of different settings.


Effect of Terrain on Exercise

The terrain significantly affects the intensity of your workout.

Flat terrain provides a consistent, lower-impact exercise for walkers. It is easier on your joints and suitable for beginners or those with mobility issues.

In contrast, uphill and uneven terrains offer more of a challenge.

Walking uphill increases calorie burn and engages more muscle groups. This makes it effective for building strength and improving cardiovascular health.

For indoor cycling, terrain effects are simulated using resistance settings.

You can adjust the resistance to mimic flat terrain, slight inclines, or steep hills. This allows you to tailor your workout intensity without leaving your home.


Understanding the Impact of Exercise Bike vs Walking on Joints and Bones


Exercise bikes and walking both offer health benefits but have different impacts on your joints and bones. Each activity can help with joint health and bone strength in its own way.


Weight-Bearing vs. Non-Weight-Bearing Activities

Walking is a weight-bearing exercise. It helps strengthen bones, especially in your legs and spine.

When you walk, your body works against gravity, which helps stimulate bone growth and prevent conditions like osteoporosis.

In contrast, an exercise bike is a non-weight-bearing activity.

While it does not offer the same bone-strengthening benefits as walking, it is easier on the joints.

For those with joint pain or arthritis, a non-weight-bearing activity like cycling can be more comfortable. You still get the benefits of increased heart rate and improved muscle strength.

By reducing the strain on weight-bearing joints like knees and hips, you can stay active without worsening your joint pain.


Preventing and Managing Joint Pain

Regular walking helps maintain joint flexibility and reduces stiffness.

It's particularly beneficial for those at risk of osteoporosis as it helps keep bones strong. Pair walking with strength training to support joints and reduce the risk of injury.

Cycling, being a low-impact exercise, is ideal if you have existing joint conditions.

Activities like stationary bicycling or using an elliptical trainer work well to improve joint function without adding extra stress.

Heat therapy, such as warm towels or hot packs, can also help relax joints before you exercise.

This is useful in lowering pain levels and making your workouts more effective.


Frequently Asked Questions

When deciding between using an exercise bike and walking, it's important to consider various health benefits, including weight loss, heart health, and calorie burning.


Can cycling help reduce belly fat more effectively than walking?

Yes, cycling can help reduce belly fat more effectively. Cycling involves more intense workouts, which can lead to a greater calorie burn. This helps reduce overall body fat, including belly fat.


Which has a greater impact on weight loss, using an exercise bike or going for a walk?

Using an exercise bike has a greater impact on weight loss compared to walking. You can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time on an exercise bike, which can aid in quicker weight loss.


Which activity is considered better for heart health, cycling or walking?

Both cycling and walking are beneficial for heart health. However, cycling can be more effective due to the ability to increase intensity, which provides a better cardiovascular workout. Walking is still an excellent heart-friendly exercise, especially for those who prefer a lower intensity activity.


How does cycling compare to walking in terms of lowering blood pressure?

Cycling and walking both help lower blood pressure. Cycling can lower blood pressure faster because it generally involves more rigorous physical activity. Walking also contributes to lower blood pressure, albeit at a slower rate because it is usually less intense.


What is the calorie-burning difference between walking and using a stationary bike?

Using a stationary bike burns more calories compared to walking. According to Healthline, cycling tends to burn more calories for the same category of intensity over the same time period.


How long should one cycle on a stationary bike for effective weight loss?

For effective weight loss, aim to cycle on a stationary bike for at least 30 minutes a day at a moderate to high intensity.

Consistency and the intensity of your workouts will play significant roles in achieving your weight loss goals.

Learning to bench press properly is crucial for anyone interested in strength training. The bench press is a fundamental exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It’s known for building significant upper-body strength and muscle mass. Practising with the right form ensures maximum effectiveness and minimises the risk of injury.
  • 28 min read
If you're serious about leg day, you've likely encountered the leg press machine and the hack squat machine. Both machines are excellent for building strength, size, and definition in your lower body.
  • 13 min read
Choosing between an exercise bike and walking as a workout can be a tough decision. Each option offers unique benefits, and the best choice often depends on your personal fitness goals and preferences.

If you're looking to burn more calories in less time, an exercise bike might be the better option for you. On the other hand, walking is a more accessible and low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints.
  • 8 min read
Cardio Online Easy Returns
Cardio Online contact us phone number
Cardio Online Live Chat Contact Us
Cardio Online Price Match guarantee
Cardio Online Aussie Owned Small Business