Exercising on a stationary bike provides a low-impact, convenient and effective way to strengthen your lower body muscles and burn calories to build the body you desire. The frequency with which you choose to ride the stationary bike depends on your schedule and fitness level, but if you're healthy enough to do so, using a stationary bike daily can have many benefits.
Aerobic Exercise Recommendations
Any amount of weekly exercise on the stationary bike is beneficial, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises adults to aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week for what the organization calls "substantial health benefits." If you wish to receive further health benefits, the Department suggests increasing your workout to include at least 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
If you're new to exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests starting with three days of using the stationary bike with a day's rest between each day of exercise. Gradually build up to five days of exercise and, if your body is comfortable with more, consider working out daily. Your schedule plays an important role in determining the amount of time you have available each week for your workout on the stationary bike. MayoClinic.com notes that you won't experience a major difference between choosing to work out in several short bursts versus one extended session. Provided you're exercising, you're getting the numerous benefits.
Elite athletes can use a stationary bike daily with no ill effects, but if you're not in optimal health, doing so could lead to muscle strains or other health issues. The Cleveland Clinic advises checking with your doctor to determine your ideal exercise frequency, while the American College of Sports Medicine recommends working up to frequent exercise rather than jumping straight into an intense regimen. If you experience pain during your workout, stop immediately and avoid or modify the exercise until you're free of pain.
Stationary Bike Benefits
Whether you wish to maintain your current physique or lose weight, riding the stationary bike is an effective exercise. This exercise burns calories quickly; Harvard Medical School estimates that a 185-pound individual can burn 466 calories by pedaling vigorously for 30 minutes. Riding the stationary bike delivers minimal impact to your joints, making it an ideal exercise for people who are overweight or who experience knee pain during exercise. A pedaling workout may also strengthen your bones, help you avoid health issues and reduce your stress.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- ExRx.net: Aerobic Exercise Prescription Components
- Cleveland Clinic: Well-Balanced Exercise Program
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- Community Colleges of Spokane Athletics: ACSM Cardiorespiratory Training Guidelines
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Better Health Channel: Cycling -- Health Benefits
- MayoClinic.com: Aerobic Exercise: What's the Best Frequency for Workouts?
- Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images