A stationary bike is undeniably one of Americans’ most popular fitness equipment. Regular use of stationary bikes offers several benefits, including loss of body fat, an increase in lower body strength, and a reduction of pain. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, working out on a stationary bike can also be instrumental in the athletic performance of people with knee osteoarthritis.
All of these sound great!
But how long does it take to see results from riding a stationary bike?
You can usually see visible results from a stationary bike in about a month. However, it will depend on several factors, including:
- How frequently you exercise on the bike
- The level of difficulty you have on the bike’s settings.
- The duration of your riding sessions.
- Whether or not your diet is conducive to a healthy lifestyle.
You will also learn about these topics in this article:
- How quickly can you see results from riding a stationary bike?
- How often do you use a stationary bike, and for how long?
- What is the proper diet for your efforts to pay off?
- How do you entertain yourself while cycling on an exercise bike?
So, are you motivated to use a stationary bike to get your dream body? Today, I will explain the best methods to use this fitness equipment and how quickly you can expect to see the results.
Seeing results – the expectations
Let me start by saying that having realistic expectations from your exercise routines is a great way to begin a fitness journey. This is important, so you don’t feel disappointed after a few months and feel discouraged about taking your exercise routines seriously.
Working out on a bike is no different from using other fitness equipment. For results such as loss of body weight, and an increase in energy to show in your body, you need consistency and patience.
Results from physical activities also show up differently in different persons. For instance, if you are on the heavier/weightier side, you will usually see quicker results than someone lighter. The simple explanation is that you need more energy to cycle on the bike and, therefore, burn more calories.
Of course, this should not prevent you from using an exercise bike if you are on the lighter side – with the right combination of exercise frequency, duration, and patience, you will see great results, which brings us to the next topic.
How Can You Get the Best Results While Using a Stationary Bike?
If you want to see the best results from a stationary bike, you need to do more than ride it for a few minutes a couple of times a week. Understanding and employing the right components is paramount to hitting your fitness goals with an exercise bike.
With that in mind, here are the pro tips for your consideration for the best/fast results from using a stationary bike.
How long do you exercise
The length of your cycling on an exercise bike is one of the primary points that will determine whether you see the best results. According to a Harvard University study, you can burn 252 to 278 calories from riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes – this is assuming you weigh an average of 155 lbs.
This data of calories burnt on a stationary bike clearly shows that you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes to see the best results.
However, you cannot overlook the importance of maintaining a sensible exercise routine.
Overstressing your body with rigorous exercise, or cycling in this case, can cause several issues. Fatigue, soreness, burnout, and increased risk of injury, are among the most common side effects of over-exercising. This physical problem can set you back in your fitness journey instead of helping you get quick results.
Ideally, you want to start riding your stationary bike for 15-20 minutes and gradually increase the duration of pedaling as you progress.
The difficulty of the cycling settings
Working out on a stationary bike looks the same from the outside, but if you dig deeper, you will see the different types of resistance. Exercise bikes usually have three levels of resistance – low, medium, and high. Some bike models will come in Revolutions Per Minute, or RPM, numbered – 60, 80, and 100.
When you cycle at 60 RPM, it means that one pedal can make 60 revolutions in a minute. Riding a stationary bike in this setting is a lot easier than riding at 100 RPM since you need to pedal harder and put in more effort.
Cycling on a stationary bike at low resistance or 60 RPM is much easier than riding at 100 RPM, especially if you are a beginner. As you get used to the exercise bike and get stronger, you can increase your resistance and burn more calories.
Increasing the resistance/RPM on a stationary bike, in combination with the other factors I am tackling in this section, will help you achieve your fitness goals.
The frequency of your rides
If you are on a mission to see quick results from a stationary bike, how frequently you ride it will also play a big role. This is regardless of whether toning muscles or losing fat is your ultimate mission with an exercise bike.
Ideally, riding a stationary bike every two to three days will help you get the desired results. If you can maintain this frequency of using an exercise bike for two to three weeks, you will begin to notice an increase in strength, endurance, and of course, losing weight.
In this regard, consistency in maintaining a cycling routine will make a lot of difference in whether you see fast results or not.
However, if your goal of working with a stationary bike is not to lose weight, you can get away with using this exercise equipment once or twice a week.
Ask any nutritional or fitness expert, and they will readily tell you that a foolproof and effective weight loss method is 25% exercise and 75% diet. A balanced and healthy diet plays a significant role in whether you see quick results from riding an exercise bike.
So what does the right diet look like; if you want to see the results of your hard work on the stationary bike? Harvard Medical School has the answer for us.
According to the Harvard Publishing School, a balanced and healthy diet does not follow a fad diet. Instead, the right diet essential for effective weight loss is free of prepackaged meals and snacks and focuses on natural, unprocessed food items. The emphasis is also on vegetables and fruits – meaning plant-based over animal foods.
The same source also states that the right diet consists of plenty of healthy fats, including olive oil, fish oil, and protein. Finally, the right meal for a weight loss program is low in salt and sugar.
Having said that, some food items to consider for your diet while working out on a stationary bike include:
- Leafy dark greens
- Seeds and nuts
- White meats
- Quinoa and brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
Adding a wide variety of food items to your diet is important so you get the required doses of macro and micronutrients. Not only will the right diet help you lose weight, but it will also keep your bones and muscles healthy and strong in the long run.
How Do You Occupy Yourself While Using a Stationary Bike?
Stationary bikes are a piece of fantastic exercise equipment if you love working out in the comfort of your home. However, since they are parked in one place, riding the bike daily in the same spot can get a bit boring – and you might even skip your exercise sessions.
To stay motivated throughout the cycling sessions, a lot of people watch the news or shows on TV. In fact, according to one source, 77% of Americans hop on a stationary bike to watch TV.
But you don’t have to feel like the TV is your only option while exercising on a bike at home. There are several entertainment options you can indulge in while burning calories as you pedal away:
- Play an outdoor cycling video
- Ride with your partner or a friend
- Talk to your best friend as you cycle
- Put on your favorite playlist
- Watch a video/tutorial from your favorite YouTuber/influencer
- Switch between low and high RPM or resistance
- Read an online book or flip through a sports or fashion magazine
These are my suggestions, but feel free to try other activities or indulge in entertainment to keep your mind busy while riding an exercise bike to stay motivated.
While riding a stationary bike is a great way to keep your heart rate pumping, it is not enough to achieve your fitness goals. If you desire to lose weight, tone muscles, or strengthen your lower body with an exercise bike, it is important to keep it challenging, be consistent, and watch your diet all at once.
In addition, committing to regular rides on an exercise bike and switching between the difficulty levels is a great way to go.
If you wish to see the effort from riding your stationary bike quickly and hope the weight loss and toned muscles last, the best ingredient you can ever use is a combination of consistency, persistence, and patience.