Is It Ok To Use a Stationary Bike Every Day?
Stationary bikes are a convenient alternative to outdoor biking. It would make sense to gravitate toward a bike that you can use regardless of the weather.
But that would also mean you’ll run out of excuses to NOT hop on one. So, we can only wonder: Is it ok to use a stationary bike every day?
Cardio on the daily—yes or no?
Riding a stationary bike every day is perfectly fine. Our bodies are normally capable of sustaining about 20-60 minutes of pure cardio workout, depending on our fitness level.
However, there is such a thing as too much exercise—fitness gurus and doctors alike call it overtraining.
Overtraining and cortisol
When our bodies overtrain, they start producing an abundance of cortisol—a type of hormone that is released during times of stress.
Having too much cortisol causes the body to store fat in the abdomen and face, making you look out of shape.
In other words, working out too much can be counterproductive.
Plus, it can make you look out of shape due to the stored fat in unwanted areas.
You wouldn’t want to expend effort working out only to look fatter, right?
Low-impact workouts and stress
Low-impact workouts such as stationary cycling are designed to be sustained by the body for prolonged periods.
With low-impact exercise, you should be able to effortlessly pull through for a couple of minutes (ideally, 20 minutes) without feeling the need to catch your breath.
Simply put, stationary cycling is not a stressful, strenuous activity! So, if you find joy in stationary biking, consider this good news.
Adding it to your daily routine should not be a problem.
However, if you choose to squeeze in your bike workouts on the daily, there are some things to keep in mind.
How much is too much?
One important thing you have to remember is to know your limitations. How much cardio is too much? Let’s look at some numbers.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week for healthy adults.
That’s roughly 20 minutes a day for 7 days. Moderate aerobic activity can include walking, swimming, biking, and even mowing the lawn!
In other words, 20 minutes of indoor cycling a day is perfectly safe.
Note that these numbers apply to maintaining weight. If your goal is to lose weight, you might want to do longer workout periods.
Most healthy adults can maintain cardio for 30-90 minutes. This is for normal, 3- to 5-days-a-week cardio.
If you’re planning on doing this every day, you should lessen the duration of your daily cardio or stationary biking to avoid overtraining.
Signs of overtraining
Overtraining is when your body is always in workout mode, and doesn’t have enough time to rest and heal itself.
This is mostly applicable to beginners and those with health problems, but the body still demands time to recuperate even from light exercises such as stationary biking.
You can still exercise every day, provided you don’t overwork yourself all the time.
To be sure you’re in tune with your health, here are some signs of overtraining to watch out for:
- Muscle loss
- Aching joints and muscles
It’s not a lot, but these signs can definitely be noticeable a day after your workout.
These signs especially happen to those who incorporate the “all-or-nothing” approach.
This mindset is popular among newbies who are quick to commit to a lifestyle only to find it backfiring on them.
A “go-big-go-home” mindset toward working out simply gives you muscle pain and discouragement.
Going intense cardio for 4 days a week coupled with a strict diet isn’t exactly going slow.
What’s worse, you have a greater chance of relapsing into your previous lifestyle if you rush everything.
Remember that the key to avoiding overtraining is to take it slow. Your body will thank you for it.
Everyday cardio—not a requirement
While it’s not typically harmful when done right, going stationary cycling every day for 7 days isn’t really any better than taking rest days in between.
In fact, it’s not a good long-term workout plan.
Hopping on the stationary bike every day can quickly reap benefits like muscle loss and better aerobic capacity (how well your body distributes oxygen), but you will plateau in the long run.
This means that your body will get so used to the biking that it won’t find a reason to improve itself anymore.
So, remember that while biking every day is perfectly safe, it’s nice to give yourself a break sometimes.
Also, remind yourself to not work too hard, too fast.