The Benefits of Cycling Outdoors Instead of in a Gym

When it comes to working out, gyms provide you with a very well-rounded environment to get exercise. So much so that if you wanted to avoid exercising outdoors completely, you could easily do so. With fitness equipment such as treadmills and exercise bikes, you can comfortably perform most outdoor exercises indoors. 

For athletes, this type of equipment can be especially helpful in the colder months when conditions are too harsh to run or cycle outdoors. That said, some more casual gym-goers will buy a membership and only ever run or cycle indoors. This article focuses on the benefits of exercising outdoors rather than in a gym, with a specific focus on cycling. 

The Benefits of Cycling Outdoors Instead of in a Gym

Cycling outdoors with the wind in your face is a great way to get outdoors and get some fresh air. In this section of the article, we’ll be exploring some of the benefits associated with cycling outdoors as opposed to using indoor exercise bikes. 

Provides a Different Type of Workout

Outdoor cycling requires much more skill and coordination than using an indoor exercise bike. When it comes to using an indoor exercise bike, you don’t have to worry about balance or your surroundings. Exercise bikes are very stable and using one is as simple as sitting down and pedaling away. 

When using a bike outdoors, you’re engaging extra muscles to balance and using your brain to assess your surroundings continually. You still get the same pedaling action with an exercise bike, but riding outdoors gives you a more complete and stimulating workout.

The Scenery

If you’re someone who frequently uses an exercise bike, it’s easy to get bored of staring at the same wall. If you’re lucky, your bike might have a screen mounted to it, but it’s no replacement for the great outdoors.

When it comes to cycling outdoors, there’s truly no limit to how different your scenery can be each time you ride. Whether you live in the countryside or a city, there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to take in. What makes it even greater is that you’re free to choose a different route every time you ride. Adding this type of variety to your rides helps to keep them fresh and as enjoyable as possible.


Using an exercise bike in a gym can be time-consuming when you consider the fact that you need to go out of your way to get to the gym. The great thing about cycling outdoors is that you can implement it as a method of transport. This way you’re still able to get a workout in and get to places you need to go to.

An example of the scenario above would be cycling to work. Not only do you save time and effort you’d spend going to the gym, but you’re also helping the environment. Cutting down on the fuel you use to get to work won’t just save the planet, it will also save you money by stopping you from filling your gas tank so frequently. Cycling outdoors as a method of transport is a great way to get your exercise in as well as get you from A to B.


So we’ve already mentioned how outdoor cycling can save you money spent on fuel, but it can also save you money spent on gym memberships. The one-off cost of a bike can be a few hundred dollars or less. When compared to the cost of buying a gym membership every year, cycling outdoors proves to be a cheaper way to get exercise. 

It’s easy to get your hands on a budget bike. If you’re looking for something cheap to get around on single speed bikes are available new for a couple hundred dollars, you can even get your hands on more advanced bikes such as mountain bikes for under 500 dollars .

Competing in Sport

If you’ve got a competitive edge, cycling outdoors can help to satisfy your competitive side too. There are plenty of different types of competitions, from downhill mountain biking to road bike competitions. These events not only allow you to compete but are also a great chance to meet other cyclists which brings us on to our next point. 

The Social Side

Although gyms are social environments, if you’re keen to find other people who love cycling the best way to do it is through outdoor riding. There are cycling clubs available in most communities; you’ll be able to get out and cycle with other people who love cycling when you join a club. This will allow you to meet new friends and learn more about cycling through the experience of others.

When Indoor Cycling is Recommended

Indoor cycling isn’t all bad and there certainly are benefits to using indoor exercise bikes, some of these are listed below:

Injury Recovery 

Exercise bikes can be great for injury recovery, especially for athletes of other disciplines such as runners who need to carry out a less strenuous activity to aid their recovery. Exercise bikes have plenty of different intensity levels; this allows athletes to use a setting that’s comfortable for them and increase them as their recovery progresses.

During Bad Weather

Sometimes in harsh weather conditions, outdoor cycling isn’t an option. Exercise bikes are a great way to help you get a cycling workout in during adverse weather. This is helpful for athletes who need to follow a rigorous exercise routine during the colder winter months.  

Can’t Ride a Bike?

Some people never had the luxury of learning to ride a bike. For those people exercise bikes are a great way to get a workout in on a bike without having to worry about stability or balance. 


Now that you’ve finished reading the article, we hope that you understand the benefits associated with outdoor cycling. Using a bike outdoors can be a great way to get around save money, see great scenery as well as help the planet. Using indoor exercise bikes do have their benefits, but for anyone who has been thinking about starting to cycle outdoors, we highly recommend it.

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