Exercise bike workout duration is a vital weight loss component. Generally, the more time you exercise, the more calories you burn, the better for your fitness goal.
Determining how long your cycling sessions should be to lose weight is not as straightforward.
The Australian guidelines say 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week (or 150 minutes) can help with weight loss.
Still, others recommend a shorter or longer workout duration than this. It is mainly because each person is different and requires an individualised approach when designing a weight loss plan.
To help you start on the right track, let’s identify the factors you should consider when determining your ideal workout duration.
Then, read on for my suggested timed cycling programs that you can use to design your weight loss routine.
Why is Workout Duration Important?
Before planning your personalised fitness schedule, I think it is necessary to understand why time is essential first.
Isn’t stretching my exercise bike workout duration effective for faster weight loss? Well, lengthy workout time is not exactly how it works. There is no need to punish yourself to be healthy and fit.
Adding the time element into your cycling workout is essential because:
- Workout duration keeps you focused. Having a definite time for your exercise helps you stay on track and monitor your progress. Weight loss is not about exercising for hours, but following a workout schedule consistently is.
- Workout duration maximises calorie and fat burn. Some cycling workouts for weight loss, like HIIT, are specially designed to ensure you are pushing your body enough to see results. And the success of these workouts depends on timing yourself and monitoring your heart rate.
- Workout duration prevents you from overtraining. A study in 2015 noted that extremely high doses of exercise can lead to various heart problems. Not giving your body enough rest can also make you too exhausted to work out the next day. Worst, it also increases your risk of overuse injuries.
Set an exercise bike workout duration that you can do and stick to throughout your weight loss journey.
What Factors Should You Consider When It Comes to Cycling Workout Duration?
Weight loss guidelines are only suggestions to healthily and safely kick-start your fitness program.
However, you can still use them while considering other personal factors.
Here are a few things to consider when figuring out how long your workout should be.
1. Your schedule and time availability
Modern lifestyles and busy schedules often get in the way of meeting fitness goals. Thus, setting a strict time for exercise can be discouraging and impractical.
Some will have more time for exercise, while others have work and home duties that take priority. If you fall into the latter category, you will need to be more creative to squeeze exercise time into your routine.
For example, if chores and kids take most of your day, consider moving your cycling workouts to night-time or early morning.
On busy work days, why not dedicate weekends for longer exercise bike workout duration to your weight loss plan? Then, allocate recovery time, quick HIIT cycling, and strength training for the rest of the week.
Adding an indoor stationary bike to your small home gym setup should make planning and tweaking easier.
2. Your preferred type of training
Longer cycling workouts at moderate intensity indeed burn a lot of calories.
When you cannot spend 30 minutes or 1 hour of exercise every day, you can shift to metabolic training.
This concept works by adjusting workout variables, like exercise intensity, duration, and rest periods, for maximum cardio and metabolic impact.
In simpler terms, you make your indoor exercise bike session harder in exchange for a shorter workout duration and better weight loss outcomes.
Some popular forms of this training mode are HIIT, high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), and sprint interval training.
With these options, you can get a good cardio workout in 30 minutes or less.
Aside from that, you also ensure exercise variety in your routine, which is another vital element of successful weight loss.
3. Your fitness level
Your current fitness status and strength level are important indicators of how much exercise you can realistically do.
Jumping right into a 30-minute cycling session is unnecessary if you are new to exercise or have taken a long break from the gym.
So, start with a shorter exercise bike workout duration for your weight loss plan instead. Or follow what your doctor or health specialist recommends.
As you get fitter, transitioning to longer exercise sessions will be easier.
More importantly, matching your workout duration with your fitness capacity prevents demotivation and risks of injury.
How Long Should Your Cycling Workouts Be Each Day to Lose Weight?
Workout is not all about duration. It also needs flexibility. What’s important is you give time for exercise when you can.
Giving yourself more room for adjustments like this reinforces workout consistency, which, I think, is more important to sustainable weight loss.
Here are a few timed workouts you can incorporate into your weight loss program.
Do a mix of the following each week, depending on your available time for the day.
20 to 30-Minute Cycling Sessions for Busy Days
When you only have less than 30 minutes for exercise, dedicate that time to a quick but powerful HIIT cycling workout.
You can do this up to three times per week, depending on your fitness level.
It’s challenging, yes. But it also burns calories similar to longer routines. Moreover, it encourages the afterburn effect, so you continue burning calories post-workout.
A short exercise bike workout duration for weight loss largely depends on intense effort, active recovery, and your maximum heart rate.
So, use a heart monitor during your HIIT routine and work out within your ideal heart rate zone. Also, schedule your high-intensity indoor cycling after a good rest or a day after your moderate workout.
You might find this interval training step-by-step guide helpful, too.
30 to 45-Minute Cycling Sessions for Recovery Days
An ideal weekly routine would be five days for exercise and two days of rest.
Resting does not have to be sitting on the couch all day. You can opt for active recovery days instead — giving your body a break while doing low-intensity activities.
It doesn’t have to be on a stationary bike. It can be swimming time at the pool or beach, walking the dog at the park, or doing restorative yoga at home.
Rest days will not burn as many calories, but these prepare you for moderate and intense workouts.
45 to 90-Minute Cycling Sessions for Relaxed Days
An extended exercise bike workout duration for weight loss is the happy median.
It is a moderate-intensity exercise that burns enough calories but not to the point of stressing your body too much.
It will require longer than 30 minutes. So, set this on days when you are not too busy.
Ideally, dedicate 3 to 4 days of the week for moderate cycling sessions.
Conclusion on Exercise Bike Workout Duration
Following the 30-minute exercise bike workout duration is an excellent way to kick-start your weight loss plan.
However, you can modify this into a shorter or longer session based on your availability, preference, and fitness capacity. Rather than follow a strict workout routine, create one that you can follow and maintain.
Use the basic exercise recommendations as your framework while designing a fitness plan that lets you lose weight, rest, and progress. For best results, consult healthcare providers or personal trainers for advice.
Lastly, don’t forget to complement your cardio workout with a reliable exercise bike and good eating habits.
1. Is a 20-minute exercise bike routine enough?
A 20-minute exercise bike ride at moderate intensity burns an average of 168 calories. This workout duration is good enough as a starting point for fitness beginners. However, it is too short for significant health improvements and weight loss progress. You can maximise this routine by increasing the workout intensity and adding strength training.
2. Is it OK to use an exercise bike every day?
It depends on the type of exercise bike you have purchased. For instance, upright bikes require more intensive cycling and doing it repeatedly every day can result in joint stress or overuse injury. On the other hand, a recumbent bike lets you cycle in a reclined position, which is more comfortable and ideal for daily sessions. But generally, a workout schedule that includes cardio and strength training is best for optimum health benefits.
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