Does an exercise bike count as steps? Let’s Find Out!


Walking or riding an exercise bike is a form of aerobic exercise that improves your cardiac health and raises your heartbeat.

From a health point view Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes per week, moderate physical activity. Choosing between these two aerobic exercises is like choosing between apple and oranges.

However, most people like cycling more than walking, and for an indoor workout there is a lot of fitness equipment, and exercise bikes are available.

Both walking and exercise bikes have its advantages and disadvantages; it depends on how you choose to keep yourself healthy and fit.

Which one is better, thousand steps in a day or one mile to burn calories? It is recommended 10,000 walk steps in a day to keep yourself fit and healthy.

Walking 10,000 steps per day is not a magical number; instead, it has become a popular fitness goal to keep yourself motivated and fit.

Once you start moving, you will experience several health benefits

Considering 10,000 steps in a day

Walking 10,000 steps in a day is equal to 30 minutes of activity. Aiming to walk 10,000 steps is a great way to interrupt the time you spend while sitting and keep yourself-motivated.

Here are some benefits that you can get from 10,000 steps in a day.

Walking 10,000 steps boost your cardiac health

If you are taking 10,000 steps in a day, it will enhance your oxygenated blood supply to the body parts. Doing it on a regular basis will boost your cardiac health and help in reducing blood pressure.

Walking 10,000 steps builds muscle: It is suitable for muscle growth and strength.

Strengthen your lungs

To keep your body moving each day, strengthen lungs and muscles. Ten thousand steps in a day increase the rate and volume of inhaled oxygen and enhance the body’s ability to use it efficiently.

Improves your concentration

Any physical activity is useful to improve concentration and focus on your daily activities.

Exercise boosts the release of endorphins hormone, which enhances the blood flow to the brain.

Consequently, cognitive function improved, and you will feel less stressed and anxious. According to research, walking, jogging, or running improves your concentration, creativity, and productivity.

Walking VS Cycling

Walking 10,000 steps is good for overall body health, but it takes a lot of time. An average person would cover 8Km after 10,000 steps with a walking speed of 5km/h. So, it will take 1 hour 36  minutes to complete 10,000 steps per day.

Walking doesn’t require any equipment.

One advantage of walking is that it does not require any equipment while cycling needs a well-maintained bicycle. As well as need a helmet for safety purposes.

Exercise Bikes burn more calories

Both walking and riding exercise bikes burn calories. Joyce L.Vedral presented in his book a comparison of both sides. Cycling and bicycles have the edge over walking to burn calories.

Riding a bike burns 140 calories in 20 minutes while a brisk walk burns 110 calories in 20 minutes. So if you are looking to lose weight with exercise then go for an exercise bike rather than simple walking.

An average walking speed of 5km/h burns 232 Kcal per hour with a distance of 8Km.

While cycling at a moderate pace (20Km/h) can burn 563 Kcal per hour, if cycling speed is 30 Km/h, it will consume 844 Kcal per hour while the fast walking speed burns only 352 Kcal per hour.

Cycling is better for obesity prevention

Researches collect the data of 150,000 people participating in walking and cycling, showing that both are better for an obese person than taking a car or any other vehicle.

However, cycling is more significant to reduce BMI, and body fat Study shows an average person loses 5kg more weight than walking.

How to convert Bike miles to Steps

You can convert your bike miles into steps if you are more interested in cycling than walking in a wellness program.

A Pedometer is used to measure the steps during walking, and some pedometer models can convert step distance into miles.

Similarly, some pedometers are designed to work with bicycles, convert your bike miles into steps, and get your fitness goal with cycling.

Things You’ll Need

  • Pencil
  • Calculator
  • Paper

Step 1: Stand square on your feet with hip-width apart. Then placed a 12-inch tape piece in front of the toes and took 10 steps forward. Now put your feet together and put another piece of tape in front of your toes.

Step 2: Now measure the distance between two tape pieces and divide it by 10 to get average stride length. If you cover 25 feet between two pieces of tape, your average stride length is 2.5 feet (25/10).

Step 3: Now write the mile you covered during cycling and multiply this number by 5280 to convert it into feet. So if you cover four-mile a day, multiply 4 * 5,280 = 21,120 feet cycled.

Step 4: Now divide the cycled feet by your average stride length or feet per step. For example, 21,120 feet cycled /25 feet average stride length= 8448 steps. So you cover 8448 steps by covering the same distance with cycling.

Calculating Your Stride Length

To convert your pedometer steps into the distance, then calculate your actual stride length rather than average stride length, put a mark on the ground, and place your toes at this mark. Now took 20 steps on your walking track and marked the toe point of your twentieth step. Now measure the distance between two marks in feet and divide by 20 to get actual ride length. Repeat the above activity two or three times to get a more accurate stride length average.

Using a Pedometer

Wear a pedometer and establish your daily activity level. Reset the pedometers to zero setting each day and record all unusual activities along with the number of steps. America’s walking recommends attaching the pedometer to your shoes to count your pedal strokes during cycling. Because sometimes it gives fewer steps as you do in cycling. After establishing a baseline, increase your activity level with 20 percent increments.

Wearing a fitness tracker is an effective and easy way to count exercise bike steps. Wear this in the morning and wear it until bedtime if you want to calculate your daily steps in a notebook. At the end of the week, you can count your average daily steps.

Pedometers and Bicycles

America’s walking states said If you pedal constantly, the number of steps a pedometer records in bicycle riding will be lower than the number of steps that you cover during walking.

It means you are expending less energy during a bicycle ride as compared to walking. However, concentrating on your pedal strokes to cover the steps correctly is more challenging than riding.

Function of pedometer

A basic pedometer costs $25 to count your steps only. More advanced models are available in the market if you want to cover and count a number of burned calories.  Fit the pedometer near your hip bone by using a belt clip. Some pedometers also have an accelerometer to measure acceleration, while some models allow the users to download and save data into the computer.

Benefits of pedometers

A journal of the American Medical Association published in 2007 states that wearing a pedometer motivates you to take more steps and achieve your fitness goal during walking or riding a pedal vigorously.

How Much Distance equals a mile on the exercise bike? 

Elliptical exercise bikes are more effective for high impact cardio exercise than jogging and treadmill exercise.

But the problem is that these elliptical exercise bikes do not calculate traveled distance accurately.

Then, calculate the base of stride length some exercise bikes listed stride length itself, while for some models, you manually calculate it.

SPM vs. RPM

Elliptical fitness equipment tracks the number of revolutions when your feet go around the elliptical path by using SPM (strides per minute) or RPM (rotations per minute).

One SPM is equal to half revolution while RPM is equal to complete feet revolution. 120 SPM is equal to 60 RPM, and it is essential to know to convert your traveled distance from SPM or RPM into miles.

Do the calculation

Now measure the stride length of your elliptical bike from forwarding position to the back-most position, it will calculate one stride.

The common stride length ranges from 14 to 22 inches. How to calculate a mile on an elliptical?

Calculate a mile by taking the number of inches on an elliptical in a mile, which is 63,360 inches. Then divide it by the stride length of the elliptical

Let’s explain it with an example; 20 inches stride length will equal to 3,168 total strides if your elliptical exercise bike uses RPM.

Divides this strides number by two to calculate the RPMs in the mile. In this example, it takes 1548 RPMs to travel a mile.

Strides to Steps

The strides length of most exercise bikes is less than usual, walking or running.

That’s why it takes more strides on an elliptical to reach a mile than walking; it takes 2000 steps to cover a mile.

You can estimate the walking equivalent steps by multiplying the number of minutes you exercise.

It is a useful method to track your steps throughout the day if your pedometer does not effectively monitor the elliptical.

Adjustable Foot Pads

Adjustable foot pads are an essential factor when determining the distance equal to a mile on an elliptical bike.

Now-a-day adjustable foot pads come with electronic or manual pedal adjustments to decrease or increase the stride length.

But count different stride lengths for calculation. The longer the stride length less RPM or SPM will complete a mile.

Compare Distance and Speed

Keep in mind before calculating the exercise bike steps; if you increase the pedaling speed of a stationary bike, the distance will increase while the workout will remain the same.

If your exercise bike display is giving 100 percent reading, you will note a significant difference in the distance with an increase of speed. 

Let’s explain with an example; your pedal speed is 10mph for 30 minutes; you will travel 5 miles.

If you increase your speed 15 mph, your pedal will cover 7.5 miles in 30 minutes.

It has an advantage as a more intense workout for less distance. Alternate high and low intensity pedaling workouts burn more calories than pedaling at the same speed for a longer distance.

Other Tracking Ideas to count Exercise bike steps

There are many other options to calculate the stationary bike steps or track your workout.

You can use an exercise bike display, the clock on a wall, or stopwatch. Besides, you can calculate the workout according to your exertion level, but how?

If you are sweating heavily and stop breathing after a few words, you are exercising vigorously.

However, if you are sweating lightly and take a normal breath, then you are doing moderate exercise.

Furthermore, you can also monitor your heartbeat by this formal from your workout. 

If you are female, subtract your age from 226 if you are a male subtract your age from 220 to calculate your maximum rate.

Keep your pulse rate between 50-70 for moderate exercise while keeping it between 70-85 for a vigorous workout.

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