How long can you exercise on a stationary bike?

Author: Alex Bristol

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How long can you exercise on a stationary bike?

Are you wanting to get the most out of your exercise bike workouts and looking for the best ways to lose weight while not damaging your joints?

Well, stay tuned because you’re at the right place.

I’m here to break down the best workouts and how long you can ride on an exercise bike to get the most out of your workout. Stationary bikes are great cardio equipment as they put less stress on your joints than most exercises.

Indoor cycling is an excellent form of cardio and will burn lots of calories, too; it will also strengthen your heart, lungs, muscles, and endurance.

But that’s not all.

Riding on a stationary bike is an excellent step towards becoming fit and healthy; you can work your way up the levels on an exercise bike, and you will never run out of ways to push yourself.

Indoor cycling is brilliant for releasing endorphins and serotonin (the happy hormone) and has major benefits on your health, so as soon as you get into exercise biking, you will notice the difference instantly.

Want to know more? Then keep reading, my friend.

So how long should you spend exercising on a stationary bike?

How long you spend doing a stationary bike workout is completely up to you and your fitness level.

If you’re a beginner, I would recommend easing into 30 minutes first, 3 times a week and when you begin to get fitter, then push it to 40 minutes, four times a week, and then 60 minutes five days per week.

Keep in mind that it won’t be easy at first; it will take your body a few weeks to adjust and build your muscle. You may see that people are doing 1-hour cycling daily, but you may not be able to do that straight away, and that’s fine.

If you’re looking to lose weight faster, then getting yourself a stationary bike and working out for even an hour will definitely rank up the calories burned. Even after 10 minutes, you can burn around 80 calories at a high intensity.

Riding on a stationary bike will feel different riding on a regular road bike; it may not take you places or explore new areas of ground, it still has some serious health benefits.

A stationary bike is a brilliant start in your health journey, plus it offers the complete convenience of cycling when you want to. You can hop on the bike for 20 minutes during your lunch break or 10 minutes here and there to build up your strength until you hit the hour-long rides.

Stationary bikes are also super easy to use; if you’re a regular cyclist looking to take cover from the horrid weather in winter, then using an exercise bike is a brilliant way to keep fit and keep your riding up.

Workout plans for different fitness levels

Now to improve your aerobic fitness, you need to choose a stationary bike workout plan that is easy to adjust to your individual needs.

For beginners:

If you’re starting on your journey to improve your fitness, this workout will be best for you.

You should start with a 25-35 min workout and progress from there, with 1 min intervals to build up your fitness.

  • Warm-up and pedal at a low intensity for 5-10 mins
  • Switch to medium intensity for 5 mins
  • High intensity for 1-2 mins
  • Medium for 5
  • Repeat the last two once more, then cool down for 5 mins.

Weight loss:

  • For weight loss, you need to burn more calories and switch up your resistance levels quickly:
  • Warm-up at a low intensity for 5-10 mins
  • Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 mins
  • Switch between high (1-3 mins) and medium (3-5 mins) intensity for 30 mins
  • Cooldown

Interval training

You can build up stamina and endurance with interval training:

  • Warm-up
  • Medium intensity for 10 mins
  • High intensity for 2 mins
  • Low intensity for 2 mins
  • Repeat 3x, then cool down.

You can increase the interval time as you progress.

Different exercise bikes:

Upright bike:

This is the most popular exercise bike you will find on the market; it is similar to a regular bike with pedals positioned under your body.

An upright bike is a great form of cardio; it strengthens your leg and core muscles too. It can be used both standing and sitting. However, it can put pressure on your hands and wrists while using.

Recumbent bike

A recumbent bike is a stationary bike where you sit in a reclined position, with a large seat and backrest, and the pedals are in front of you.

This bike puts less stress on your upper body, joints, and lower back as your body is fully supported. It will leave you feeling less fatigue and provides a less intense workout.

Spin Bikes

Spin bikes mimic a more natural feel, and movement like you would get out of riding on a road bike; spin bikes also have more exercises than traditional upright bikes.

You can operate the pedals in both a sitting and standing position; the pedals are engineered to support a wider range of different cycling positions.

Why are stationary bikes good for your health?

To start with, exercise bikes are not only brilliant for improving your fitness, getting a good cardio workout, weight loss, and building muscles. They also have some serious benefits on your physical health too.


The heart is the most important muscle, and it is what keeps us alive; it is so important to keep it in good shape. When we workout, our heart rises to pump oxygen around the body; it also helps reduce our resting heart rate as our body is fit enough not to need so much oxygen.

Cycling can strengthen your heart and improvise cardiovascular health. A healthy resting heart rate should fall between 60-100 beats per minute. While exercising, your heart rate should rise to 130-15 beats per minute while effectively pumping blood to your muscles.

You and your heart will feel less stressed, and regular cycling will also reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases.

Lungs and Breathing benefits:

Training regularly on a stationary bike may not increase your lung capacity as much as swimming or snorkeling. Still, regular exercise and physical activity will increase your muscle performance, and your muscles won’t need so much oxygen and carbon dioxide during exercise.

Riding on a stationary bike will also help improve respiratory capacity, so you can improve your breathing intensity and strengthen your lungs.

Muscles and Leg Strengthening:

Once you begin indoor cycling multiple times per week on a stationary bike, you will notice that your legs, thighs, and glutes begin to look more toned. A stationary bike workout will help you lose weight and strengthen your muscles while doing so.

Indoor cycling is also brilliant for building up muscle without straining your joints, like other exercises. It is much more low impact on your joints but massively strengthens your muscles.

Exercising on an exercise bike is a brilliant way to tone your legs and your upper body, like your arms, abdominal and back muscles.

You can also progress your resistance level as you begin to get stronger, so you begin to build more muscle and burn more calories!

No pain, no gain, my friends!

Once you begin to turn up the heat and build the resistance on your stationary bike, your muscles will begin to grow; stationary bikes build arm, leg, and lower body muscles. They also have great benefits on weight loss and burning calories.

To build your arm muscles, you can choose to stand up in your saddle; this will take the pressure off your legs and build your lower back and arm muscles, so it not only works your lower body but your upper body too.

Lose weight

This is when we come in the great benefits stationary bikes have on weight loss. Exercise bikes are brilliant for losing weight, burning calories, and building your endurance.

Again, similarly to building muscles, the higher the intensity, the more fat you will burn. You can also burn calories and build endurance at the same time by riding at a low intensity for longer periods of time.

I would recommend training no more than 5 times a week, leaving as many rest days in between as you can; this will help let your body recover and aid your training in a healthy way.

The more calories you burn, the more fat you will lose and the more weight loss you will notice.

Using a stationary bike, pedaling at a moderate intensity will burn 413kcal an hour; pedaling at a high intensity will burn 620kcal per hour. At a very high intensity, it will burn 738kcal.

Even at a low intensity, that is still 206kcal for 30 minutes!

Produces Endorphins:

When you do any form of exercise like cycling on an exercise bike, your body will begin to produce the happy hormones known as endorphins and serotonin. This can help regulate mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and even has anti-depressant effects on your mood.

Have you ever noticed that you feel a lot happier after a workout? This is because your body releases endorphins and serotonin to improve your mood.

Gentle on the Joints:

Stationary bikes have major benefits on your joints, especially if you have sprained your knee, ankle, or any part of your leg. A stationary bike will work wonders for your joints, no more straining due to running or other forms of exercise.

You don’t put weight on your knees and legs when you’re riding an exercise bike, especially as much as you do when you go on the running machine down the gym. They both work the same muscles, but cycling is less evasive because you sit on a seat.

Unlike running, you don’t have your full body weight pounding on your joints as you cycle in cycling. This relieves stress and strain on your joints and gently builds the muscles to reduce the chance of injury.

Boost Cardio Fitness:

Cycling on an exercise bike is brilliant for cardio and aerobic fitness; it boosts your lung capacity and oxygen circulation around your body. It also boosts your body’s energy and will keep you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

This also helps improve your quality of sleep too!

Even exercising or a workout on an exercise bike for 30 minutes every day will improve your health, strengthen your muscles, improve lung capacity, lose weight, and improve fitness.


Indoor cycling definitely has benefits for convenience as well as major health benefits too. It is also better if you’re suffering from an injury.

Try starting with 30 minutes every other day, and then as you progress, you can increase your intensity and include interval training into your exercise.

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