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Indoor Cycling or Outdoor Cycling: Which Is Better?

There are some significant advantages to indoor cycling that you cannot obtain when riding outside and same is the case with outdoor cycling.

Indoor Cycling or Outdoor Cycling Health
Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

Have you ever been in a cycling class or walked past the exercise bikes at the fitness centre and began to wonder if they provide the same (or better) exercise as riding a bike outside?

The Advantages of Riding a Stationary Bike

There are some significant advantages to indoor cycling that you cannot obtain when riding outside: For one, a super-fast, extensive, stress-free workout.

If you’re short on time and equipment, indoor cycling is a great option because you won’t have to worry about changing a flat tyre or obeying traffic laws. It’s also quite liberating to close your eyes (which is strictly forbidden while cycling on the road). Don’t cycle outside with your eyes closed. Indoor cycling is the closest thing we have to meditation.

While most stationary bikes have a weighted flywheel in the front (typically weighing around 40 pounds) to simulate what you’d feel outside, this weight slowly builds as you cycle. The added weight makes pushing your body weight on a flat road or up a hill a little easier. You can, however, adjust the difficulty of your rotation in a more controlled manner than simply cycling up a different hill when outside.

The Advantages of Riding an Outdoor Bike

Cycling is a low-impact activity because the bike bears your weight. This is easier on your skeletal system and joints, and it allows people of all ages to participate in an exercise programme. Cycling reduces stress because being outside has a positive effect on your mind. The cost of purchasing a bike is perhaps the most significant impediment to cycling outside. There are, however, ways to get a bike at a reasonable price, as well as numerous motivations to consider getting out to ride at least at times.

Indoor and outdoor biking calories

Some individuals may judge the effectiveness of a workout by how many carbs they can burn off. What is the calorie expenditure of biking? And does it matter if you’re on the inside of a building or outside in the open air?

According to Harvard Medical School, stationary cycling is one of the best calorie-burning exercises available, but the main factors that determine calories burned are not whether the exercise is done indoors or outdoors, but rather a person’s body weight and the intensity of the cycle:

  • For a 125-pound person, stationary cycling burns 210 to 315 calories in thirty min, based on intensity, and outdoor biking burns 240 to 495 calories in thirty min, based on speed.
  • Stationary biking burns 260 to 391 calories in 30 minutes for a 155-pound person, based on intensity, and outdoor cycling burns 298 to 614 calories in 30 minutes depending on speed.
  • Stationary biking burns 311 to 466 calories in 30 minutes for a 185-pound person, depending on the intensity of the exercise, and outdoor cycling burns 355 to 733 calories.

Both are excellent

An indoor cycling class is typically a 45 to 60-minute “suffer-fest” that is guaranteed to burn calories while also checking the “workout” box off your to-do list for the day. There’s usually somewhere to shower afterwards, and it’s weather-independent, so even a winter storm won’t keep you from riding. 

Outdoor cycling, on the other hand, can be just as efficient in a different way: you can cycle to work or the store instead of driving and burn calories while commuting or running errands. If you have a crazy schedule (and who doesn’t?), it may be more reasonable and comfortable to get your regular exercise via human-powered transportation instead of struggling to squeeze in gym time.

Furthermore, studies have shown that riding a bike to work can increase performance and productivity (so you’ll be more efficient all day, not just while training).

In the end, both indoor and outdoor cycling are fantastic and provide numerous benefits. Are they, however, the same in terms of situation, workout, and payoff? No, to put it succinctly. To put it simply, riding 20 miles on a stationary bicycle is not the same as riding 20 miles on the road.

What do you think?

Written by Kavya

Pursuing food technology and trying to make it big. Kavya loves reading, learning and believes that life can be anything but predictable.

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