This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Sometimes, frequent exercise can improve your health and treat health problems. Can you use exercise bike every day?
If you have an exercise bike, how often should you use it? Do you need rest days? What happens if you exercise seven days a week?
At lower levels of intensity, using an exercise bike every day can be harmless, depending on your health. However, competitive and recreational athletes should not train seven days a week. They need rest days to recover from the intense exercise.
Training hard every day can pull your muscles, give you persistent fatigue, and even make you vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. You should not train so hard that you weaken your immune system or injure yourself. Taking rest days is a better idea.
I am in far better shape than I was two years ago and I highly recommend getting an exercise bike and training fairly hard. However, you should take rest days. I gave myself brain fog and reduced my exercise performance by training almost every day.
How Often Can You Use an Exercise Bike?
Can you use an exercise bike every day? Sometimes, people claim they get results by using an exercise bike seven days a week. However, you will usually get better results if you take rest days.
Someone might think it is "hardcore" to exercise every day and not take any rest days. However, this is not the right way to train.
Put it this way: would a professional athlete train without rest days? Of course not! Elite athletes take rest days because that helps them compete with other elite athletes.
To answer the question, six days a week should be the limit. A lot of the time, more than one rest day is best. However, some other people get great results taking only one rest day.
Why Are Rest Days Necessary?
Your body repairs and builds muscle on rest days. On days when you train, your muscles are damaged a little. Even relatively light exercise does a minimal amount of damage, and it should.
After you damage them (even without making yourself sore, even if only a little), they will grow back stronger than they were before. This is how exercise works - wear and tear on your old muscles makes new, stronger muscles grow. If you don't take rest days, your body might not have enough time to build new muscles.
Problems With Using an Exercise Bike too Often
Using an exercise bike too often, especially if you use it every day, can cause problems. Some risks are:
- Injuries. You can pull muscles, hurt your knees, and hurt your tendons if you perform the same straining motion over and over again.
- Aching feet. If you push on your pedals really a lot, your feet might not be able to handle the strain.
- Prolonged sitting can cause many problems.
Can You Do Other Exercises On Rest Days?
Sometimes, giving one set of muscles a rest and training another set is a good idea. However, there should still be some days where you do nothing but rest. Take at least some real rest days when you don’t train anything.
What is Overtraining?
Sometimes, athletes can make themselves sick if they train too hard with too little rest. It is not that easy to overtrain, and exercise bikes are fairly safe, but it still happens. You can get sick if you push yourself too hard.
Sometimes it is obvious that you have overtrained - you simply feel terrible and need to stop for a few days. However, you might not be completely sure. Overtraining has specific symptoms to watch out for.
While exercise might be the best way to get rid of stress, too much of it can increase your stress levels. If you exercise too hard too often, the stress hormone cortisol goes too high.
This can keep you up at night, make you wake up after only a few hours, or reduce your sleep quality. While light to fairly hard exercise can help you sleep better, very hard exercise with too little rest can keep you awake.
One of the first signs you are overtraining is that you are persistently tired. If you are tired in the morning and tired all day, and you find life more difficult, you may be training too hard.
Exercise is supposed to give you energy, not make you feel exhausted all the time. If you have persistent fatigue that haunts you at work and during the rest of the day, stop using your exercise bike every day. You will make better progress if you train hard on some days and don't train at all on others.
Excessive Muscle Soreness
A bit of muscle soreness is normal if you are getting in good shape. However, continuing to trail with very sore muscles is a bad idea.
You could injure yourself for a long time that way. If you are experiencing persistent soreness, you may need more rest days. There are also plenty of things you can do to boost recovery as an athlete.
Your performance will also decrease if you are pushing your body too hard. If your performance suddenly drops, try taking a few days off and then going back to cycling hard again. Your performance may go back to its prior peak.
You should experiment to see how many rest days you need each week. You might only train every other day, or you might perform best if you train six days a week. Unless you are training at a relatively low skill level, you aren't likely to find seven days a week the best.
A lot of people associate overtraining with physical sickness and flu-like symptoms. You feel like you have the flu because you actually do have it, or some similar illness. Excessive exercise weakens your immune system, making you vulnerable to germs and viruses that wouldn't normally hurt you.
Training Hard Doesn't Mean Training Daily
Again, professional athletes take rest days. If you want to push yourself hard, train especially hard on days when you cycle as opposed to skipping rest days.
If you take rest days but increase how hard your train each day, you will get stronger and faster. If you try to intensify your training by skipping rest days, you may end up getting hurt, sick, or weak.
Mental Consequences of Daily Intense Training
Not taking rest days can also negatively affect your mental state and behavior. You may get brain fog, agitation, and irritability. You may lose the ability to handle little things that you could easily tolerate before.
This is because daily training will mess with your hormones and stress levels. Not only competitive athletes but also recreational athletes can overtrain. It has negative effects on many different hormones, which affect your body in different ways.
- Excessive exercise will give you chronically elevated cortisol, which can hurt you in all the ways chronic stress can hurt you.
- Over-exercise can lower an important thyroid hormone, leading to a slow metabolism.
- Menstruation can stop if you train too hard.
- Overtraining can give you adrenal fatigue.
- While training can raise your testosterone, overtraining can lower it.
Is it Ever Ok to Use an Exercise Bike Daily?
Yes, it is ok to use an exercise bike every day if your level of intensity is lower. Rest days are necessary for competitive athletes, and usually for people somewhere in the middle. They are not always necessary for people who train with relatively low intensity.
If a person is both 1) reasonably healthy and 2) not training at a high intensity then daily training might be fine - not necessarily ideal but fine. However, if a person is trying to get in excellent shape and is always increasing their speed or duration, they should start taking rest days at some point. Even if using an exercise bike every day doesn't hurt them, it will slow their fitness progress.