Is Biking Good Cardio? (What Studies Say!)

We all cycle for different goals. Some ride a bike for weight loss, and others do it to enhance their brainpower and mood. What if you want to cycle for good heart health? Is biking good cardio?

Experts argue that biking can be a good cardio workout if you cycle at least three days a week for 30-60 minutes each day. Doing so will boost your heart functioning, lower the risk of heart-related diseases, and strengthen your heart muscles, amongst other benefits.

But should you do it indoors or outdoors? We will answer that and explain how long you should work out for good heart health. 

Later, we will also answer some questions relating to the topic. But first, let’s understand why biking is a good cardio workout below. 

Is Biking Good Cardio Workout?

Riding a bike is a good cardio workout. A study by the Journal Circulation states that people who ride a bike regularly have 15% fewer chances of getting a heart attack than those who don’t. 

This is evident that cycling alone reduces the risk of heart-related diseases like stroke and cardiac arrest. 

But how long should you cycle for a good cardio workout? Before cycling for cardio, you should know your heart rate and what you want to achieve beforehand.

Mainly, the target heart rate falls between 50 – 85% of the maximum heart rate. So, this is usually calculated by generally minus your age (in years) from 220. 

For example, if you are 50, you should target a heart rate of 220 – 50 = 170 bpm (beats per minute).

However, if your heart rate is too low, you should increase your riding intensity, combine cycling with cross-training, or embrace high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But if your heart rate is too high, you are likely straining, so you should dial down your riding intensity. 

That said, if you are trying out cycling for a good cardio workout, you should start slow and add the intensity gradually with time. And as Web MD advises, you should cycle 30-60 minutes daily for at least three days a week for maximum cardio benefits.

is cycling good cardio workout

How Does Cycling Benefit Your Heart?

Now that we have seen that cycling is good for your heart, let’s look at the benefits of cycling to your heart below:

1. Boosts Cardiovascular Functioning

Cycling is an aerobic exercise. Doing this regularly, at least three times a week, will help decrease the risk of heart-related or vascular diseases.

Even better, cycling boosts your cardiac functioning. That means your heart stays healthy and can pump blood effectively and efficiently in each heartbeat, which translates to a good cardio function. 

2. Decreases Heart-Related Diseases

A 2017 British Heart Foundation report on lack of physical activity states that living a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity puts individuals at threat of developing circulatory and heart-related diseases. So, does cycling help in this? Yes, it does!

Cycling improves your heart health which means a decrease in cardiovascular diseases. When the heart pumps blood flawlessly with each heartbeat, it reduces the occurrence of heart-related diseases like blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, atherosclerosis, or any other heart-related illness. 

3. Cycling Strengthens Heart Muscles

Regular cycling not only improves your heart health and strengthens the heart muscles. That is because cycling lowers resting pause, which decreases blood fat. 

And since people who cycle regularly to school or work have less exposure to environmental pollutants than those who use cars or buses, they have improved lung function. 

Since the heart pumps blood to the lungs for purification, heart health is also improved.

Indoor Bike Vs. Outdoor Bike for Cardio

Now that you know cycling will improve your overall heart health while combating heart-related ailments, should you cycle indoors or outdoors?

While this is a more personal question and depends entirely on your preference, a 2019 National Library of Medicine study shows how stationary bikes are suitable for cardio. 

These indoor bikes also give you good balance and are safe, especially if you are old. Even better, the modern options, which you can check on Amazon, come with workout equipment to help you cycle for a healthier heart. 

However, if you are an outdoor person, there is nothing wrong with that. You can enjoy so much more working out outdoors. 

However, remember to wear the proper protective gear, like a bike helmet (Check on Amazon), and be careful of the terrains you cycle in, especially if you like mountain biking.  

is cycling good cardio

Effects of Cycling On Body Shape

Cycling is an intense and full-body workout. Since it helps you shed excess fats and burn calories, you will achieve that lean body you want. 

Even better, since cycling tones muscles, it can help you achieve a more masculine structure. However, you need to engage in high-intensity interval training, embrace cross-training and increase your riding intensity for a good body shape. 

People Also Ask

1. Is Biking Good Cardio for Bodybuilding?

Though cycling tones and builds muscles that give you a more masculine look, most bodybuilders opt for other cardio exercises. 

They usually avoid high-intensity cardio training that can take away their weight training. For this reason, they consider cycling a vigorous and explosive exercise that robs them of their power to train.

2. How Long Should I Bike for A Good Workout?

You should cycle at least 30 – 60 minutes for 3 – 5 days every week for a good cardio workout. However, riding for 10 – 15 miles each session should be a good starting point if you are a beginner.

Not only will you achieve good heart health, but you will also build muscle endurance, burn fats and enhance your brain power.

3. Is Biking Good Exercise?

Biking is indeed good exercise. It works on your cardio and lower body, tones muscles, and helps burn calories. 

Also, cycling will help you shed stubborn fats and is good exercise for your weight loss journey. 

4. Is Biking Good for Weight Loss?

Compared to other exercises, cycling is an excellent way to lose weight. But how you cycle, how hard you work out, and how long it takes are essential for your fitness journey.

For the best results, you should involve yourself in HIIT (high-intensity interval training), embrace cross-training, increase your cycling intensity, and remember to check your diet. 

5. Is Cycling Good for The Core?

Cycling is good exercise for your core. Though it primarily works best on your lower body, it also works on your arms and core. 

It aids in preventing lower back discomfort, enhances spinal health, and relieves pressure on the core muscles. 

To make cycling a good workout for your core, keep your abs taut, your weight off your arms, and your posture correct to engage your body when riding. 

6. What Are the Cycling Benefits for Ladies?

Many studies have shown that more men embrace cycling than women do. But what does cycling do to cycling women? 

Well, cycling has many benefits for women, including improved heart and mental well-being, reduced obesity and osteoarthritis, and reduced cancer, diabetes, and heart-related diseases. Cycling also helps build confidence and self-esteem in many women.

In Conclusion, Is Riding a Bike Good Cardio?

As seen, riding a bike is a good cardio workout. It will help boost your cardiovascular functioning, decrease heart-related ailments and it also helps strengthen your heart muscles. 

Moreover, cycling 30 minutes to 1 hour 3 -5 days a week will improve your body shape, tone your muscles and work on your core.