Making time for regular stationary bike workouts has several health benefits.
The amount of time you should devote to weekly exercise is influenced by your fitness goals. If you're in shape and lead an active life, you won't have to spend as many minutes pedaling a stationary bike as someone who is determined to shed a few pounds but sits most of the day. Using the stationary bike 20 minutes a day, four times a week, could improve your health, but this amount of exercise falls slightly short of the ideal - unless you increase your exercise intensity.
Adequate exercise is determined by your fitness goals. While riding a bike four time per week for 20 minutes is a good start, you will likely need to increase your time and intensity if you're looking to shed pounds or improve your health.
Follow the Guidelines
A total of 80 minutes riding the stationary bike at moderate intensity will help you build a fitter body more so than spending 80 minutes performing a sedentary activity, such as watching TV. However, this amount is only slightly more than half of the recommended exercise guideline for adults, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The organization advises adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. If weight loss is your goal, you'll have to exercise closer to 300 minutes.
Increase Your Pace
Not everyone has 150 minutes to devote to exercise every week. If you can't workout for more than 80 minutes per week, elevate the intensity of your exertion when you do workout. The USDHHS notes that 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise is comparable to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise. So, maintain a vigorous tempo while pedaling the exercise bike during your four 20-minute workouts to meet the guideline. Meeting this guideline provides several health benefits.
Consider the Benefits
Even if your 80-minute stationary bike workout doesn't burn quite enough calories to help you lose fat, it improves your overall health in a number of areas. Aerobic exercise such as riding a stationary bike not only helps you slim down, it also boosts your mood, regulates your good and bad cholesterol, increases your life expectancy, reduces your insulin resistance and supports the health of your entire cardiovascular system.
Keep Your Workout Engaging
Riding a stationary bike, regardless of the duration of your workout, provides a number of perks over other forms of aerobic exercise. While this workout requires either purchasing a gym membership or the machine for your home, it allows you to closely oversee your routine and track the calories you burn, the distance you "travel" and the length of your workout. Many stationary bikes also have a number of adjustable machine settings that provide challenging workouts for variety.