Not everyone loves to exercise. Many people work out to get fit and lose weight, but it can sometimes feel like a chore. Indoor cycling is one of the best exercises to help you to lose weight. Before you get too excited, it is not as easy as getting an exercise bike and just jumping on it now and again. To maximise the amount of weight you can lose during indoor cycling, you should have a structured training plan and be tactical with the time you have on your exercise bike.

Are Exercise Bikes Good for Burning Calories?

The way to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit. A simple definition of calorie deficit is consuming fewer calories than you are burning throughout the day. When you are in a calorie deficit, your body starts to burn up your fat reserves as fuel.

Regrettably, you cannot target a specific body part. Do not fall into the trap that if you do 100 ab crunches a day; your belly fat will disappear and be replaced with a six-pack. This is one reason indoor cycling is such a popular method of losing weight; it is a less intense way of getting a full-body workout.

Here is a quick snapshot of how many calories you could burn during a 30-minute workout, compared to more ‘regular’ activities.

Activities
125-pound Person
155-pound Person
185-pound Person
Bicycling, Stationary: moderate
210
252
294
Bicycling, Stationary: vigorous
315
278
441
Walking: 3.5 mph (17 min/mi)
107
133
159
Mowing Lawn: push, hand
165
198
231

(Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities)

It is essential to bear in mind that the amount of calories you burn depends on your biology and current weight. So you will need to listen to your body and ideally use a fitness tracker or an exercise bike with a built-in HR monitor to help give you more accurate estimations of the calories you burn during indoor cycling.

Tips for Losing Weight on an Exercise Bike

Stay focused on your goal. It is excellent that you think about getting an exercise bike to help you lose weight and get fit. You need to set yourself a realistic goal that you can work for. Something hard enough to be a challenge, but not so hard that it is unrealistic.

Although your end goal may be to lose weight, you could start with your goal being simply to use your exercise bike 2 - 3 times a week for the first four weeks. Just by building that habit, you will naturally notice that you end up losing weight.

Use your time wisely. If you have a hectic schedule, you could think that you do not have time to work out on an exercise bike. However, that is the beauty of indoor cycling. You do not even have to leave your home, and with high-intensity or vigorous workouts, you can maximise the number of calories you burn in a short time.

Try HIIT (High-intensity interval training) to get your heart rate up during shorter workouts. You go all out for 30 seconds, then rest (still pedalling, but gently) for a minute and repeat it ten times. In just 15 minutes, you could burn more calories than walking for an hour.

Binge your favourite series. One of the best things about indoor cycling is that you can set it up in front of the TV and catch up on your favourite series guilt-free. Rather than being slumped on the sofa, you are using your muscles and burning calories without having to think about it (exercise) too much. You will get to the end of the episode before long and hardly realise that you just worked out for 30+ mins straight.

Final Thoughts

Indoor cycling is a fun, low-impact form of exercise that is good for losing weight. It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself when you first start, as it can sometimes take a few weeks of regular exercise to notice significant weight loss. Do not give up and make the most of working out and reaching your weight loss goals in the comfort of your own home.