Are 3 Miles on a Stationary Bike the Same As Walking 3 Miles?

What is the difference between walking 3 miles and riding a stationary bike 3 miles? It’s a common question for many, especially those new to fitness. If you have the same doubts, perhaps this post can help. 

Walking 3 miles may not be the same as 3 miles on a stationary bike. One of the best ways to determine this would be through calories burnt from these exercises. Walking 3 miles will lose you 600 calories, while 160 calories on a stationary bike. 

Riding on a stationary bike and walking are excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise. However, comparing these two based on calories may result in varying answers. Keep reading as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to this, including:

  • What is the difference between walking and a stationary bike?
  • Does resistance determine the calories burned while walking or riding?
  • Which form of cardio exercise is better in terms of time?
  • What are the benefits of walking and stationary biking?

What Is The Difference Between Walking And A Stationary Bike?

Comparison between walking and the stationary bike is not new and is often made to see the differences. They are both common forms of cardio exercises followed by many fitness enthusiasts. It improves your heart health and other conditions too. 

Both are good cardio exercises, and you can opt for one that suits you. However, if you want to know the differences between these two, let’s proceed. 


Let’s talk about walking. This form of exercise would best describe a sort of laid-back type. Here you don’t have to push yourself; walk miles until it tires you out. Some people set a specific time or hour to reach a particular destination within that period.

If that’s the case, one has to push themselves to reach their goal within the set time. It allows one to put energy to full use, thus burning calories. Especially if you’re walking in a hilly area, it will drain you more but burn calories simultaneously.

Stationary bike

Most people who are busy stick to stationary bike. It can be described as indoor exercise since these bikes are mostly kept indoors. Unlike walking, it allows you to push yourself, thus losing calories. 

It features multiple intensity settings where you can increase or decrease the pace. If you like to lose calories quickly, high-intensity cycling may burn 782 calories within an hour. 

Understanding the differences

Biking for an hour will burn more calories than walking. It also depends on the distance you walk, but, in most cases, the calorie burn is more when you ride on a stationary bike. Not saying walking is not good, but biking seems more effective. 

For instance, cycling three miles is equal to one mile of running. And if you convert it into steps: 3 miles equals 6336 steps! However, calories burn more in stationary biking if you consider time length. 

That said, you should note that this result may vary for different individuals. Various factors may lead to variation in outcome, including time, speed, distance, place, etc. 

Nonetheless, both are excellent forms of physical exercise. Eventually, it depends on your requirements and preferences. If you have a busy schedule, a stationary bike would be better. Besides, it’s more effective in losing calories compared to walking. 

However, walking is a worthy long-term goal for weight loss. Even better, it allows you to breathe fresh air, and you don’t have to spend money buying a stationary bike! 

Does Resistance Determine The Calories Burned While Walking Or Riding?

Yes, resistance is crucial in determining burned calories, whether riding or walking. As mentioned above, multiple factors may lead to different outcomes regardless of the exercise type. 

One of the crucial aspects of both walking and riding is resistance. It determines how much you’ll lose calories. We have stated that riding a stationary bike is more effective for losing calories. However, what you should know is the intensity at which you ride. The same applies to walking. 

Here is an example to understand better. If you ride a stationary bike for 15mph (Miles Per Hour) at a low setting, calories lost will be 380 in 30 minutes. In contrast, if you walk 5mph, which means 10,560 steps, you’ll lose 300 calories. 

The stationary bike comes with low and high-intensity settings. Start at low intensity first to warm up and then increase the intensity. Alternate the speed every fifteen minutes for a better outcome.

Today, a variety of stationary bikes are available with different features. Some have terrain features that involve more energy but lead to the immediate burning of calories. 

When it comes to walking, it would be better to set a goal. Suppose the distance from your place to point B is 3km. Walking at a normal speed might take more than an hour to reach, say three hours. It may lose you some calories, but it won’t be much. 

However, if you set a goal to reach the point within an hour, you’ll lose more calories. Since you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, it indirectly leads to energy loss which results in burning more calories. 

Or, you can choose the uphill region where there is more chance of calories burned. You may lose 100 calories per mile by walking uphill compared to walking in a flat area.

Which Form Of Exercise Is Better In Terms Of Time?

Considering the time length, riding a stationary bike would be better. Walking is more of a long-term goal which we have discussed earlier.

Take this example to understand the difference. If you walk 5mph, the time taken to cover a mile would be 12 minutes and thus resulting in burning 100 calories. But if you walk for an hour, you’ll lose 600 calories. 

In comparison, riding 15mph will take 5 minutes to finish a mile but a lesser calorie burn (50 calories). However, if you continue it for an hour, the calories burnt might be 720 calories. 

Therefore, riding a stationary bike seems more effective considering the time length. Eventually, it’s up to you! Biking seems more reliable and effective than walking if you want to lose some weight within a specific period. But if you don’t have a set goal, you can choose walking.

Benefits Of Walking And Stationary Biking 

We have discussed enough time length, burned calories, resistance, etc. Perhaps, looking into the benefits of both forms of exercise might help you decide which to choose.

Both are excellent, especially for those who have heart problems. However, knowing the benefits of these exercises will help you choose a suitable one. Knowing the benefits, it offers to your health regardless of the exercise type is crucial. So, let’s look into the benefits of stationary biking and walking. 

Important benefits of walking

Besides calorie loss, walking provides multiple benefits. Now, we don’t want to compare it with stationary biking, but when it comes to this exercise, you don’t have to buy equipment. And this can be performed by people of all ages. 

All you need is a good pair of running shoes with excellent comfort. Walking helps even blood circulation, which helps in improving your heart health. Additionally, it helps in lowering your cholesterol level.

It also helps improve your mental health as it helps calm your nerves. This exercise allows you to destress and keeps your mind occupied as it allows you to focus more on your surroundings. We may also say it’s better than a sedentary lifestyle which involves spending more time watching TV, using mobile phones, playing video games, etc. 

Important benefits of stationary biking 

Now that you know the benefits of walking, let’s look into stationary biking. Compared to walking, stationary biking provides more benefits. It helps in defining your leg muscles and has excellent thigh build-up. 

Biking daily prevents you from feeling fatigued. It improves breathing and helps burn calories within a short period. Many fitness enthusiasts prefer biking as it strengthens and tones their leg muscles.

Stationary biking is also suitable for those who have pain caused due to sprained ankles. Since it’s soft on joints and muscles, it eliminates pain. It also releases endorphins in your body, which is known for uplifting mood. 

Biking also offers long-term benefits to your health besides losing calories. You can ride it for 20 to 30 minutes per day which is sufficient unless you’re on an intense weight loss program. So, if you have the budget, get this exercise equipment. 


As we conclude the article, we hope that it was helpful and clarified your doubts. Walking and stationary biking are excellent physical exercises providing various health benefits. 

Although there might be some differences in time, miles, and calorie loss, both are equally beneficial. Eventually, it depends on what you like and the type of exercise suitable for you.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas Lampi and I work as a fitness writer, nutritional consultant and personal trainer. My favourite exercise is the bench press and my favourite food is pizza!

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