I love riding my bike outside, but if it's raining or too dark out, the stationary bike is a great option for me. Since it may not be the most popular cardio machine at the gym, there's usually one available. Here are some pros and cons to think about when hopping on one.
Since you keep your stationary bike inside, you can always get in a workout no matter the weather or time of day.
You can't beat the safety factor. When biking indoors, you don't have to worry about cars, uneven terrain that could make you fall, or sharp objects that could pop your tire. And if you get tired, you can just hop off and end your workout, unlike when you're riding outside and still have to ride back home.
Riding a stationary bike burns fewer calories than running on a treadmill, since most of your weight is supported by the seat. You'll burn 148 calories on a stationary bike after 30 minutes, and will burn 236 calories on the treadmill for the same amount of time.
Biking doesn't offer the same bone-building benefits as high-impact running since you're sitting down.
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Stationary bikes are much cheaper than treadmills or ellipticals, and cost around $600 to $1,200. If you already own a bike, instead of buying a whole new stationary bike, you can attach it to a cycle trainer and ride it inside.
If you have knee or back pain, or need to lose a lot of weight, using a stationary bike is easier on your body than a treadmill, especially if it's a recumbent bike.
You don't have to wear a helmet, or be hyper-aware of your surroundings.