Scenic Road Bike

Cycling: Indoor vs. Outdoor

Cycling is one of the most popular cardio exercises and for good reason: it's an enjoyable low-impact workout that easily burns calories. Most people start cycling when they are young and associate the activity with their childhood. As we grow, we find other ways to incorporate this activity into our hectic schedule. There is a hot debate in the cycling community on what is the best way to cycle. Whether you have a fancy indoor bike, or a good ol' fashion two wheeler, let's look at the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor cycling.

Things to consider: The price difference between an indoor exercise bike and an outdoor bike is negligible. So don't let it be your main sticking point.

Indoor

PROS:

Convenient- There is no need to get a bike down from a rack in the garage or look up trails close to you. You can bike in the comfort of your own home. 

 

Less Risk of Injury- Nothing is a given, but biking indoors does significantly reduce your chances of getting hurt. No need to look out for other cyclists or cars when you're exercising in your basement! 

 

No Seasonal Limit- It doesn't matter if it's rain or shine, hot or cold, you can bike anytime when you don't have to worry about outdoor conditions.

CONS:

Takes up Space- If you live in an apartment or smaller home, then a stationary bike will take a up a fair amount of space.

Repetitive- It can be very boring if you are cycling while staring at a blank wall. Try to offset this by placing a tv in front of you or by listening to music. 

 

Less Calories Burned- The great outdoors come with certain advantages that can't be recreated, like wind resistance. To make up for this, you will have to push yourself harder on the bike.

FUN FACTS: 

 

  • An indoor bike can cost between $50-$3,800+

  • Spin classes are considered a high-intensity work out.

  • You can burn anywhere from 7.5 to 19 calories per minute. 

Outdoor

 

PROS:

Change of Scenery- Changing scenery keeps you engaged - not to mention when you are outdoors, you have to pay attention to your surroundings. 

Improves Mood- It has been proven that being outside relieves stress and anxiety, which improves your overall mental health. In addition, exercise releases endorphins that promotes feelings of happiness. 

Burn More- Wind resistance helps you burn more calories, but you also have to work more climbing hills. 

CONS:

Conditions Vary- Weather and temperature can change, which can leave you with less than desirable conditions.

Larger Risks- From cars, animals, to other cyclists, there is no shortage of things that can disrupt your routine.

Less Options- It's very possible that you live in a area where it isn't safe to bike or you don't have a way to transport your bike to a place where you can.