Stationary Bike Vs Walking – Which Is Better?

If you are one of those who enjoy outdoor exercises as part of their health regime, then you must have wondered whether an indoor exercise is a better option or not? And if it is, in fact, a better option, then on what basis?

This leads to comparing the two most popular forms of exercises, i.e., stationary bike vs. Walking, to figure out which one is better

According to our test, bicycling on a stationary bike has more advantages over walking at a brisk speed in burning calories. As riding a stationary bike at moderate speed burns 250 calories and walking 3.5 mph (5.6 km/h) burns 160 calories in 30 minutes in a person weighing 155 pounds. (70 Kgs). Each pound you add would burn an additional calorie in both cases.

However, a more detailed view on the stationary bike vs. Walking will shed more light on the very specifications of these two forms of exercises, i.e., it will give you an idea which one is better according to your health requirements.

Which one is helpful in losing weight?

lose weight

When it comes to burning calories, walking and riding a bike burn a good number of calories when performed at moderate speed.

Although riding a bike has a slight advantage over walking as it burns more calories.

HealthStatus.com calories burned calculator gives a clear idea about the burning of calories by these two exercise forms.

It states that 189 to 351 calories are burned by walking for a 150-pound person in one hour, depending on walking speed. Meanwhile, riding an exercise bike burns between 477 and 774 calories for a 150-pound person in one hour, likewise depending on the intensity of pedaling

Moreover, a comparison between riding a stationary bike vs. walking in Joyce L. Vedral’s book, “The Fat-Burning Workout: From Fat to Firm in 24 Days,” it is shown that bicycling has a slight advantage over walking in terms of calories burned.

The book states that Riding a bike burns 140 calories in 20 minutes compared to 110 calories burned during a brisk walk.

This figures that If you are trying to lose weight, hopping on the stationary bike may be a better choice.

Which one causes less physical toll?

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Although Walking can help you burn calories, build muscles, and get fit, it can be significantly tough on your joints.

When you hit the ground hard with your feet, sometimes the impact is too enormous for one’s feet to handle.

Even if you choose to walk in the finest set of cross-training shoes, you would still feel the effect anyway.

Although Riding an exercise bike is discrete as it is a suitable way to get your heart rate up and burn calories without causing too much strain on your ankles, back, and hips.

Riding a stationary bike, especially a reclining model that upholds your back and is painless for your spine, knees, and hips, will provide you with a better exercising experience than walking while having joint pains.

Therefore, a stationary bike is a better choice for old age people who suffer from joint pains as compared to Walking, which causes a considerable amount of stress on joints.

Which one improves Cardiovascular health more efficiently?

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Although Walking is entrusted with improving one’s cardiovascular health.

Walking works on your large muscle and pushes your heart and lungs so that they can work harder. Over time, this makes your heart stronger. This lowers your resting heart rate and blood pressure.

So, to maintain your cardiovascular health, you will need to walk at least 3 miles an hour, which is a moderate exercise. Many experts recommend 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Even riding on an exercise bike can increase your veins’ blood circulation, thus enabling your muscles to get the right supply of oxygen and nutrients.

A recent study published in the journal Circulation found that people who used to bike regularly had about 15 percent lower heart attacks than non-cyclists. Even a small amount of time consumed in cycling is associated with fewer rates of heart disease.

The Target heart rate for cycling can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220. i.e., for someone who is 50 years old, their maximum target heart rate would be 170 beats per minute (bpm).

But before beginning a cardiovascular exercise program, you should check with your health care provider. If you’re new to exercise, you should begin with an easy routine and slowly increase exercise intensity with time.

Which one is better for maintaining Bones?

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Stationary bike vs. Walking comes with another key difference, i.e., their impact on bones

On the one hand, Walking is a weight-bearing activity, which helps to build stronger bones and lowers the risk of osteoporosis development, a disease that causes a decrease in density of your bones and makes them thinner; this has been explained elaborately in the US National Library of Medicine

Thus, Walking is an apt choice for patients suffering from bones related to diseases like osteoporosis.

While When you ride a stationary bike, you do not place weight on your legs. Though you use your muscles, you do not physically support your weight.

Riding a bike may not help you prevent osteoporosis, though it can certainly protect your knees when you use a stationary recumbent bike.

So, if you want to maintain stronger bones, then walking is a better option for you.

Which one is better for a nature lover?

If you are a nature lover, then walking is most definitely the best option for you as it allows you to engage with the outdoor environment and even helps you consume a good amount of oxygen.

On the other hand, riding a stationary bike does not allow you to come close to nature though it is a preferable option for those who enjoy indoor workouts.

Which one is safer?

Both are riding a stationary bike, and Walking has their reservations. So, if you are opting for one of those, you should maintain some safety measures

Walking safety includes tackling the traffic, wearing reflective clothing at night, and constantly being conscious of your surroundings. You can enhance your walking safety by taking a walk with a partner.

Though Stationary bikes do not require a helmet, you should be careful about the pace and time devoted to cycling.

Proper hydration, Warm up with range-of-motion exercise, and Leg stretches are also important before starting any exercise.

Which one is More Cost-effective?

Walking does not cost you much. Theoretically, you just have to spend on a good pair of shoes at the start, and then you are good to go.

You may also have to spend on a good tracksuit and other safety gear, but it’s optional, and only a pair of good quality outdoor shoes is quite enough.

While buying a stationary bike is significantly costly compared to Walking, this exercise equipment definitely costs more than walking shoes.

But it is only an initial investment, and after that, you would not have to spend so much on a stationary bike. However, it can cost you a few hundred dollars for a beginner-level machine or thousands of dollars for an advanced machine or a gym membership.

So, if you are looking for a better cost-effective option, then walking is a better option for you.

Which one relieves boredom?

Certainly, Walking does not let you get bored as it allows you to experience the outdoors and come close to nature, which in turn relieves stress and improves mental health.

The outdoor environment prompts your creativity, boosts your mood, and is considered a form of meditation. The fact that Walking improves your mental health has been backed up by Former USA Track and Field Association runner Carolyn S. Kortge.

On the other hand, monotony is one of the main disadvantages of exercising on a stationary bike. You may find yourself following the same routine in the same place over and over again

You can combat this boredom by placing your stationary bike in front of your television to enjoy your favorite programs simultaneously, or you can keep your PC in front of you to do the same.

You can also listen to some audiobooks or tapes while you exercise on a stationary bike.

Which one is more convenient?

Walking is an easier exercise routine as it does not demand any additional gadgets apart from some basic ones. Walking is quite flexible with your routine; you can easily adjust your walking timings in your daily routine either day or night.

You can do it any time and anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about having essential items like a gym bag or dumbbells. Moreover, the American Heart Association reports that Walking has the lowest dropout rate of all exercises.

Though Walking may have a huge drawback when it comes to climatic conditions, it is not a convenient option of exercise in extreme climatic conditions.

Riding a stationary bike is also an easy form of exercise as it allows you to burn more calories than walking with minimum impact on your joints.

Riding a stationary bike is independent of climatic conditions, so it is an accessible option for exercising when one is facing extreme climatic conditions.

What are the Pros and cons of Stationary bike vs. Walking?

Walking

                            Pros                            Cons
·       Cost-Effective

·       Adjustable in your daily routine

·       Build Healthy bones thus convenient for patients suffering from a disease like osteoporosis

·       Maintains cardiovascular system activity

·       Good for mental health

·       Maintains posture

·       Maintains muscle health and flexibility

·       Though walking burn calories but not as much as other forms of exercises like running, riding a stationary bike, etc.

·       It has a substantial impact on joints; thus, it may cause joint pains.

Stationary Bike

                       ProsCons
·       Adjustable in your routine

·       Good for bones and has a low impact on joints, so it is a good choice for people suffering from arthritis.

·       It Maintains Cardiovascular system activity efficiently.

·       Maintains muscle health and flexibility

·       Burns a substantial amount of calories

·       A little costly as compared to walking as the equipment requires an initial investment.

·       It may cause monotony

So, what would be the best option for you?

Though both Walking and riding a stationary bike have their benefits and both of them are a really good source of exercise, but they are preferable in their ways.

If you want to lose a good amount of weight, then riding a stationary bike is a better option than walking as it burns a considerable amount of calories

Though you are suffering from osteoporosis, then walking is a better option for you as it helps build stronger bones.

These activities can be entrusted with maintaining good cardiovascular health, thus proving to be a good option for people suffering from cardiovascular system disorders.

If you live in an area where adverse weather conditions are a problem, then a stationary bike is a preferable option for you as it allows you to stay fit while being indoors.

While if you love being outdoors then probably walking will work best for you as it allows you to experience nature with a closer look

While both exercises cause low-impact, which makes them an ideal choice for people who are new to exercise.

While Walking may cause more joint stress in your lower body, as it requires the body to support your weight. Therefore, it’s better to avoid Walking if you are suffering from joints related diseases like arthritis.

Specifically, those recumbent exercise bikes that feature back support provide a better option for those who suffer from constant back pain. However, a recumbent bike burns fewer calories than upright bikes.

On the other hand, Walking has its mental health benefits because going outside and changing your scenery allows you to focus better on your day to day tasks.

Though Walking and using a stationary bike can exist side-by-side in your exercise routine, but you should always let specific muscle groups relax for at least 24 hours for their recovery before working them again.

If you are new to exercise, check with your health physician first before committing to any health regime to maintain a better and healthy physique.

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