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Exercise bikes are nothing new. In fact, they’ve graced most gyms and workout spaces for decades in one form or another, from simple cable-and-belt systems to advanced computerized exercise bikes.
Most modern stationary bikes can tell you the number of calories you’ve burned, your heart rate, the distance you’ve traveled, and your speed and time, even your elevation. You can monitor all these pieces of information while listening to the day’s news or the latest videos and playlists.
Over the last few years, exercise bikes have been the craze as more people have turned to working from home and avoiding gyms and workout spaces.
The rise of Peloton and its sleek, modern take on the exercise bike, particularly its interactive fitness courses and plans, have pushed the exercise bike to its popularity at present.
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Which Is Better for You – Stationary Bike Vs Walking?
It’s an interesting and important question since exercise bikes can be expensive, and they may not always be exactly what you need depending on your body and your fitness goals.
If you’re new to fitness and exercise, there may be days when you will find it nearly impossible to work out. In this guide, we’re going to compare exercising on a bike against going out for a walk, to help you decide which form of exercise will be more beneficial to you.
Pros and Cons of Walking
First, let’s weigh the benefits you get from walking.
Benefits of Walking
- It’s cheap. It may actually be the cheapest form of exercise there is, as all you need to do is head out and do it! You don’t need any special equipment or coaching, and it can be done by almost anyone, anywhere.
- It’s low impact. It doesn’t take a toll on the body like running or other forms of exercise do. You can do it even when you’re not in peak physical condition, or if you need to start somewhere easy to build confidence before transitioning to more demanding forms of exercise.
- Burns a surprising amount of calories. This is especially true if you can keep a good pace and walk a considerable distance.
- A breath of fresh air. Walking outside is the best way to get a breath of fresh air, literally. This is incredibly valuable and can improve your quality of life and health, including your mental health.
- Develops muscle and fitness. It’s a great way to improve muscle tone without need of any special techniques or training to do correctly. After all, you’ve likely been doing it for most of your life to an acceptable level!
Downsides of Walking
There are a couple of downsides to walking, which may make the exercise bike a better alternative in some situations.
- Dependent on weather conditions. One of the big downsides of walking is that it just isn’t possible in poor weather conditions.
- Not a very efficient calorie burner. Walking does burn calories but isn’t nearly as efficient as more intensive forms of exercise, such as cycling. You’ll need to walk longer and farther than you would by cycling to burn the same amount of calories.
- Time consuming. Since you’ll need to walk longer to burn the same amount of calories cycling, it means that walking takes more time to do, which may not suit everyone’s schedule.
Pros and Cons of Exercise Bikes
Exercise bikes have many benefits, which is why they’ve blown up in popularity over the recent years and become a favorite way to keep in shape.
Benefits of Using a Stationary Bike
- It is convenient. One of the main benefits is the convenience of having your own exercise bike. It means you can exercise whenever you feel like it without going out to the gym. This is a hugely efficient way to exercise for people who struggle to fit everything into one day.
- Low-impact. Exercise bikes are also fairly low-impact workouts, which means that they are a great way to work out without putting too much strain on the body. It’s a great choice for starting to gain confidence and fitness as a beginner.
- Monitoring progress is easy. Exercise bikes also make it easy to monitor your own progress and timings, particularly if they have built-in performance tracking.
Downsides of Exercise Bikes
Exercise bikes aren’t without their downsides, but the important thing is that you’re aware of these disadvantages.
- Can be expensive. One of the major downsides is cost. You’ll need to spend for it as opposed to walking, which is free, more or less. The best exercise bikes can be expensive, and the more features you want, the more expensive it will become.
- Needs space. Exercise bikes take up space in your home, and not everyone will have space to accommodate the larger better-equipped bikes.
- Not a great way to get fresh air. Unlike walking outdoors, biking indoors doesn’t give you access to fresh air and can often lead to boredom, which is a major reason why many people falter and lose motivation when working out and getting in shape.
Which Is Best for You?
Deciding on the best workout requires you to weigh different factors and consider your personal needs and goals.
Here’s a good compromise – start out by walking to gain a little fitness and confidence. It is free and doesn’t involve any learning curve, so it’s a no-brainer.
Once you feel like you’re making progress and want to take your fitness to the next level, you can then purchase an exercise bike to support your fitness goals.
If you love to cycle though or want the most efficient way to keep fit at home, an exercise bike is a great choice and well worth the extra initial cost.
Written by Alisha Wishart – TheHealthPot.com
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Writer and Contributor
Alisha, is a Mother, Wife and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). She understands how demanding everyday life can be and takes great pride in working with individuals and groups to help them achieve their desired fitness goals. Read more about Alisha here.