How to Improve Fitness by Biking

Two Methods:Improve Fitness on a Stationary BikeImprove Fitness by Road Cycling

Choosing a workout that fits your lifestyle is important. If you are trying to improve your overall fitness, then there are many aerobic exercises that can work, such as jogging, fast walking, using an elliptical trainer or biking. Biking is a great choice because you can choose a stationary or regular bike, depending upon your preference. Studies have shown that biking just 20 miles (32 km) every week can cut your risk of developing heart disease by 50 percent. There are plenty of reasons to take up cycling from transportation to weight loss to heart health. You should start slowly and settle into a cycling routine that increases your endurance, lung capacity and cardiovascular health in slow increments. This article will tell you how to improve fitness by biking.

Method 1
Improve Fitness on a Stationary Bike

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    Buy or find a stationary bike. You should have daily access to the bike in order to improve your fitness, and if you live in a snowy climate this may be the best option. There are a number of models that you should choose to use based on your overall health.
    • You should choose a recumbent bike if you have any back problems. Stationary bikes are usually very easy on the joints and they are considered a low-impact workout, unless you have severe knee problems. A recumbent bike allows you to sit up straight while pedaling and holding on to handles by the seat or by the computer monitor.
    • You can choose an upright bike if you don't have any back problems. You will lean over and put your hands on handles near the computer monitor. An upright bike can also help to strengthen your core muscles as long as you use it properly, by flexing your core as you bike.
    • Look for a gym with spinning classes, if you like to use upright bikes and you are very serious about cycling or losing weight. During these 30 to 90 minute classes, an instructor tells you when to speed up and slow down, hoping to optimize the calories you burn.
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    Adjust the seat to the proper level before beginning. You should be able to almost reach full extension as you pedal. Become accustomed to the controls, such as the resistance or incline on the machine.
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    Start by cycling at a low resistance for 20 to 30 minutes for the first few weeks. Many people do this by listening to a podcast or watching their favorite sitcom. You can get used to sitting properly in the bike by starting slowly.
    • Studies show that books, television and some other distractions will lower the intensity of your workout. However, it may extend the time you spend on the machine as long as you make a goal to stay on the bike for the duration of the show.
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    Increase your resistance every week, as long as your body is comfortable with this increase and it does not produce prolonged muscle soreness. Aim to cycle every other day at the beginning and walk for 30 minutes on your days off.
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    Rotate your workouts. Aim to work on speed 1 day, by sprinting and resting frequently. In the next workout, aim to increase your endurance by pedaling for 30 or more minutes, or increasing your time even further.
    • Workout rotation will improve 2 types of fitness, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic is often called cardiovascular fitness, and it is of a low-enough intensity that your lungs can provide your blood and muscles with enough oxygen to complete the workout. It improves your heart and your lungs. Anaerobic exercise, most often used in sprinting, also uses stores in your muscles and increases the strength and condition of your muscle tone and mass.
    • Even if you are cycling at a low resistance, increase your resistance by a level and sprint for 20 seconds. Do that 8 times during your workout. This will increase your overall fitness level over time.
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    Try to do programmed workouts of either endurance or intervals, if you have a computerized stationary bike. Wait until you feel that you have been cycling for at least a month, improving your resistance, so that you can keep the proper postures while you do the workout.
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    Set weekly or monthly goals. You may want to be able to cycle for 30 minutes at the highest resistance or cycle for 60 minutes at a time. Whatever your goals are, they will help to improve your overall fitness by improving your heart, lungs and muscle tone.

Method 2
Improve Fitness by Road Cycling

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    Shop around bike shops to find a bike that fits your body. It is important that the seat, the handle bars and the pedals are all at the right length and levels for your body. You are more likely to lose your balance and hurt yourself if the bike does not fit you properly.
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    Learn about the various hand signals. Biking comes with rules and regulations related to turning and biking on paths. You should learn the proper etiquette before cycling around a town or in the country.
    • You will have a number of bikes to choose from, including mountain, cruising, road and recumbent bikes. Explain your current level and the ways you plan to use the bike to the people in the shop to make sure you are buying the right model.
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    Spend the first few weeks of cycling to get your balance. Riding a bike is dangerous if you do not have the proper confidence and balance. Before attempting to ride fast or around curves and hills, you must be comfortable with gear changes and braking.
    • One of the main fitness benefits of road cycling is that it improves your coordination.
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    Use your bike for transportation. This is a great way to get into condition with a low-level aerobic workout without noticing it is a workout. Cycling to and from work will also help reduce stress and help you sleep better at night having worked your body harder during the day.
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    Go for longer trail rides on the weekends or holidays. Cycling 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 km) or more can help to build your endurance. These rides often include hills, which work your body in a similar way as sprinting because you must increase your pace to overcome the obstacle.
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    Make sure to bike for at least 30 minutes 2 to 3 times per week to improve fitness performance. Cycling is best when combined with other workouts that involve your upper body. Although biking improves the core, it concentrates the workout on your gluteal, quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles.
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    Time yourself as you cycle. You should get faster as you cycle more often. Aim to get to your destination just a few minutes faster every week to improve lung capacity and heart health.


  • Cycle greater distances every week to improve stamina.
  • You may have the choice to buy either a new or used stationary or a road bike. Many used bikes are cheaper and in excellent condition. Make sure you read reviews and trust your seller before buying a used model.
  • Studies have shown that assisted cycling can help children with cerebral palsy. The muscle movement in this exercise can improve the child's mobility and functionality.
  • Try to find a partner if you plan to go to a gym or take spin classes. Working out with a partner helps to increase your resolve to attend classes and often spurs you on with healthy competition.
  • Keep a workout journal as you try to increase your fitness. Studies have shown that keeping track of your workouts will help you to achieve goals and stay on your path to fitness and/or weight loss.


  • Do not go cycling around in snow or dangerous weather. It is difficult for cars to see you and you can easily be hurt.

Things You'll Need

  • Stationary bike
  • Gym membership (optional)
  • Bike
  • Cycling etiquette guide
  • Timer

Article Info

Categories: Sports and Fitness | Bicycling