Does an Exercise Bike Count as Steps?

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An exercise bike offers you an aerobic form of exercise that makes your heart stronger. Walking and riding offer great health advantages, they are incomparable when you have to choose one of them.

However, several individuals prefer cycling as it is more interesting than walking, and you have excellent options for fitness in this aspect for both indoor and outdoor workouts.

The benefits and drawbacks of these exercises excel in few areas and score poorly in some others. It all depends on your endurance, your health, how well you can keep up with that form of workout, your personal preference for the method, and so on.

If you choose to be healthy using walking, you should aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day to keep yourself fit. If you walk only 1000 steps a day or one mile, it does burn calories but not enough to ensure your fitness.

Though 10,000 steps a day is not the final target, it still offers you a baseline to start with to experience the health benefits of walking. All you need to do is start moving and be consistent to enjoy the wonderful effects of walking.

Why should you consider walking 10,000 steps daily?

You spend at least 30 minutes minimum to walk 10,000 steps in a day. Instead of sitting and thinking which workout suits you best, you can do the same as you walk. Once you walk 10,000 steps a day consistently, you never want to stop doing it.

Below given are the notable changes you will observe after you start walking:

Improve your cardiac health with 10,000 steps a day

Walking 10,000 steps a day regulates your blood pressure as your heart health improves considerably over time. Your overall body gets stronger using the muscle strength and muscle growth you gain while you exercise.

You will supply your blood with more oxygen which provides your body with an enhanced supply of oxygenated blood. Body parts get rejuvenated and become capable of fighting minor illnesses on their own, leading to an overall improvement of your health.

Enhances your lung capacity

When you walk after 10,000 steps a day, you start taking deeper breaths as your body requires more oxygen. This process strengthens your lungs as you need to retain more oxygen to pump your fast-flowing blood quickly as it passes through.

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Your body works towards its immediate need and improves your lung capacity to match this requirement. Consequently, you get to enjoy a higher concentration of oxygen in your blood due to the enhanced capacity of your lungs.

Boost your concentration power

As exercising boosts the release of endorphins that enable better blood flow to the brain, you get to enjoy better focus and improved concentration for your daily activities. Your cognitive function improves, and your anxiety and stress levels go down.

A couple of mention-worthy advantages of jogging, walking, or running are enhancing your productivity and creativity.

Duration for 10,000 steps

Taking 10,000 steps a day is what you need to achieve healthy exercise. It is approximately 8 kilometers distance, and when calculated at a walking speed of 5 kilometers per hour, an average person can cover it within 90 minutes.

Walking vs. Cycling

Here is a simple comparison of walking and cycling in different aspects to let you know their advantages and disadvantages. Using this information and based on your requirements you can easily decide which one suits you better.

Walking – equipment free

One main advantage is that you can start it right away without the need for any equipment. At the most, you might need proper shoes which again there are high chances that you might already have them. While cycling requires a good bike and safety gear such as a helmet and kneepads for protection.

Cycling – higher calorie burn

To break it down into a simpler calculation, you get to burn 110 calories when brisk walking and 140 calories when riding a bike for 20 minutes. If you aim to lose weight, then an exercise bike is an ideal option compared to walking.

You burn around 232 kilocalories per hour for brisk walking at the speed of 5 kilometers per hour, covering a distance of 8 kilometers. On the other hand, you burn 563 kilocalories per hour for the same one hour when you’re cycling at a moderate pace of 20 kilometers per hour.

If you up the game a little and cycle at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour, you can reach up to 844 kilocalories per hour, which is impressive.

Cycling – controls obesity

Cycling can significantly reduce BMI, meaning you lose body fat better than walking. An average person can lose an extra 5 kg weight by cycling than walking. It is proven in research done on 150,000 people, and the data fully supports this fact.

Process of converting bike miles to steps

If you are a fan of walking and wonder how many steps you covered while riding a bike, you can convert the miles you covered on your bike into steps. An easy way is to use a pedometer designed especially for this purpose which does not require you to do any calculations.

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Calculation method

Keep your calculator, sticky tape, measuring tape, pencil, and paper ready.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Put a piece of 12-inch tape in front of your toes
  • Walk forward for ten steps using your normal gait
  • Keep your feet together and place another piece of tape in front of your toes
  • Take note of the distance you covered in 10 steps by measuring the distance between the two tape pieces
  • For instance, if it is 25 feet, then calculate your average stride length by dividing it by 10 as it is the measure of 10 steps => 25/10 = 2.5
  • Convert the miles you cycled into feet by multiplying it with 5280. If you cycled 4 miles then you will get 4 x 5,280 = 21,120 feet
  • Finally, calculate your steps by dividing the feet cycled using the average stride length. So, you will get 21,120 /2.5= 8448 steps

This helps you know that you have covered 8448 steps equal to walking through cycling.

Accurate stride length

When you aim to convert your pedometer steps into the distance, use actual stride length instead of average stride length. You do this by marking the ground, and then by placing your toes at this mark, you start taking steps. After taking 20 steps, again mark at the toe point of the 20th step.

Divide the distance measure you get between these marks with 20. Repeat the process 2 to 3 times to achieve precise stride length by averaging them.

Pedometer support

A pedometer tracks your activity level with high accuracy as they are designed exactly for that purpose. You start your day by resetting them to zero every day, and they keep tracking all your physical activities, including your steps.

If you attach them to your shoes when you pedal your bike, it also records pedal strokes. That helps you establish a baseline of your activity which you can use to push your activity level further in increments of 20%, again using the pedometer to know your progress.

Fitness trackers count your exercise bike steps effectively, and it is the easiest way to count them. Just note down the daily steps by wearing it from morning to bedtime and calculate your average daily steps at the end of the week.

Bicycles and pedometers

Only when you pedal constantly, you get the correct number of steps, but it is not always possible to keep up with the consistency of riding. So, if you notice that your pedometer is recording a much lower number of steps in comparison to walking of similar length, then you are coasting.

It means that you should put more effort into your cycling by increasing your pedal strokes or ride on a challenging route for expending greater energy.

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Various pedometers

An entry-level model priced around $25 can only count steps. However, highly advanced models are available in the market that can also tell you the number of calories you burn. Few come with a facility to clip the pedometer to your belt, keeping it near to your hip bone.

Some have a built-in accelerometer that can measure acceleration. Also, you get models that allow users to download the data to their computers for saving or analysis.

Benefits of pedometers

There are several benefits of wearing a pedometer, but I am mentioning a few below.

  • Users feel motivated to take more steps than before they were using a pedometer
  • You can establish a baseline and track your progress accordingly
  • Calculating your physical activity of various kinds throughout the day becomes possible as you wear a pedometer and don’t need to carry it like your phone

How much distance equals a mile on the exercise bike?

When using elliptical exercise bikes, it is not easy to calculate the distance traveled accurately. However, they come with the stride length measure mentioned in the manual, or you can calculate the stride length if you did not get it. So, you can use this value to calculate your distance.

SPM vs. RPM

The number of revolutions is tracked on an elliptical using SPM – strides per minute (half revolution) or RPM – rotations per minute (full revolution). Now you can calculate your distance using SPM or RPM in the below method.

Do the calculation

Stride length ranges between 14 to 22 inches. It is usually indicated by the manufacturer in the manual or else measure it by checking the distance between the most forward position and most backward position of the pedal.

A mile, when converted to inches, becomes 63,360 inches. Divide it with the stride length meaning a 20-inch stride length will give you 3,168 per mile based on SPM.

When you divide the result by 2, you get 1548 which is the required RPMs for covering a mile distance on your elliptical.

Strides to steps

As an elliptical has a lesser stride length, it takes more steps for you to cover the same distance compared to running or walking. If your pedometer is not equipped to track the elliptical activity, then estimate it easily with a little trick.

Use the method of multiplying the number of minutes you exercise by 203 for obtaining equivalent walking steps.

Adjustable foot pads

Adjustable foot pads allow you to enjoy different stride lengths. Take into account the proper stride length for calculation for such models. Remember that as the stride length increases, you will need less RPM or SPM to cover a mile.