Indoor Versus Outdoor Cycling: Which Is More Beneficial?

Biking is an excellent form of cardio, and there are advantages to both indoor and outdoor biking. For instance, when you ride a bike indoors (whether it's a spin bike or a traditional stationary bike), you don't have to worry about traffic, weather, or uneven terrain. With those distractions out of the way, you can seriously zone in your workout and focus on your goal, whether it's burning calories or building endurance, per Byrdie.

However, indoor biking might get a little boring. Biking outside gives you all the advantages you might expect, including a mental health boost and a chance to breathe fresh air and explore new areas. It may even decrease tension and depression (via

Both forms of biking provide a variety of benefits. According to Healthline, regular biking might boost cardiovascular health, lower your cholesterol, help you lose weight, and help reduce your risk of some medical problems such as heart attacks, stroke, or high blood pressure. But is one way better than the other?

It depends on your goals

To get an answer to that question, Byrdie turned to Sandra Gail Frayna, a sports physical therapist at Hudson-Premier PT in Jersey City, NJ. She explained that you can encounter many obstacles when you're riding a bike outdoors, and that might hinder your overall experience — especially if you're looking to get a decent workout in.

"The common person can struggle with consistently peddling, navigating, and balancing an outdoor bike, and that will take away from going hardcore and burning the same amount of calories you'd easily burn in a convenient class or on a Peloton at home," said Frayna. There was one caveat, though. Frayna explained that professional bikers used to long workouts might burn more calories cycling outside.

That said, you should do the exercise you enjoy the most, and that might look like a combination of cycling inside and out. However, if you prefer one over the other, that's okay, too. You'll reap benefits either way (per Greatist).