Women doing cycling, CO

Stationary Cycling 101

If you’re just getting started building your exercise routine, a stationary bike is a good option for getting in your cardio. In fact, it’s just as beneficial as walking or running outside or using the treadmill or elliptical trainer. It can feel challenging at first, so start slowly and work up to more intense workouts.

Why choose cycling? It allows you to build fitness while protecting your joints. It’s convenient, because you can workout inside even if the weather is bad, and it’s low impact, so it won’t stress your joints. In fact, cycling can help lubricate the knee joint naturally, and it builds up the quads, which can support your knees and alleviate knee pain. At a gym, you’re likely to have the option of a recumbent bike, which is perfect for those with back problems. It’s an extremely effective exercise, working the opposite lower body muscles from what you’ll work out by walking or running. Stationary bikes have programs to follow, or you can adjust the resistance to create your own workout.

When you first start with the stationary bike, your legs may feel tired quickly. This is normal because it takes time to build up your endurance. If your level of resistance seems too high, pull it back. If it’s too easy, increase the resistance. Go as long as you can and take breaks to stretch your legs if you need to. Work out three times a week, resting for a day between workouts, and add a few minutes to your workout each time until you’re up to 30 minutes. After your workout, stretch your lower body.

Here’s a suggested stationary bike workout for beginners:

  • Spend five minutes warming up at a comfortable pace with low resistance.
  • Increase the resistance to be one to four levels harder than it was during your warm-up, to the point where you’re working but can still converse. Consider this your baseline pace and hold steady for three minutes.
  • Raise the resistance and pace again so that you’re working a little harder than baseline for two minutes.
  • Go back to baseline for three minutes.
  • Increase the intensity once again for two minutes.
  • Lower the intensity to a comfortable level and cool down for five minutes.

Once you feel comfortable with this 20 minute workout, add another three minutes at baseline and two minutes at a higher intensity. Do this until it’s comfortable and then add the same thing again. At that point you’ll be at a 30 minute workout, the minimum recommended daily exercise, and you can build from there.

When you’re trying to reach your fitness goals, a supportive environment can enhance the experience. At the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, we offer world-class training that keeps up-to-date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join today or contact us to learn more.