Who wouldn’t love to drop those pesky pounds away and slay it all with a well-toned figure? Well, in that case, cycling for weight loss could be an ideal solution for you.
If you are someone who is striving to burn those extra calories, this article will bring you a ray of hope. In fact, cycling is a great cardio workout that could boost your metabolism and encourage you to lose weight. This article is about effective cycling for weight loss and everything you need to know about it if you are a beginner.
Apart from the fun part that you would get through riding a bicycle, it could have numerous other benefits to your health. According to experts worldwide, cycling is recognized as one of the best cardio workouts. On top of everything, bike riding is excellent for losing weight, burning calories, and getting rid of that annoying belly fat. Moreover, cycling could improve heart and lung health and blood flow, which is excellent for muscle building and reducing stress levels.
As claimed by a study, cycling can represent a distinct role in securing a more manageable future, given health, environmental and socio-economic hurdles being encountered across the world. Whether it is air pollution, urban overpopulation, climate evolution, or physical indifference and obesity, cycling is a secure, budget-friendly, and ethically assertive activity that should be supported.
Can You Lose Weight With Cycling?
Bike riders scattered among the world find that cycling is one of the best ways to discover, observe and appreciate the beautiful world around us. Who wouldn’t love to shed some extra weight while having these advantages to admire nature? However, if you would not be able to ride outside under any circumstance, you still have an option. A cycling machine would do the job, and we will talk about this later in our article.
Cycling is a flexible, sustainable activity that can burn calories at a pace of 400-750 calories an hour. However, this could depend on the kind of cycling you are doing, the speed, and the weight of the person. In addition to all of these factors, incorporating a healthful diet is crucial if your intention is to lose weight. You will not obtain the best results if you are in a calorie surplus. But, if you remain in a calorie deficit and try cycling for weight loss, there are very low chances that you’d fail to get safe and faster results. In a nutshell, when a healthy, nutritious diet is combined with riding, you can reach the dream body you were eagerly waiting for.
Is Cycling Good For Weight Loss on Stomach?
New research revealed that frequent cycling might encourage a healthy weight by improving overall weight loss. That study further showed that either indoor or outdoor cycling would support reducing belly fat, but it might probably take time. A good 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling session and a healthy protein-rich diet effectively reduce stomach fat and raise good fat levels. This has been confirmed to decrease many health jeopardies and aid in the weight-loss process.
Tips For Effective Cycling For Weight Loss
If you intend to drop weight by cycling, the tips that we will discuss in this section will be really important to you. Just hop on your bike seat, and paddling aimlessly will not bring you the genuine results that you expect. Therefore, pay attention to the following tips whether you are already into riding or a beginner who needs to try cycling for weight loss.
#01- Your Motivation For Weight Loss
The fundamental point you should remember is that good things never come easy. Nothing will work if you give up too early, even without trying. Think about your purpose to lose weight. You might not be satisfied with your body image( which is, by the way, not a very reasonable thing to worry about), or either you want to be healthy. However, the primary cause of losing weight should be healthy. So, this is something that goes beyond hitting a particular number on your scale.
#02- Double the Strength
Just as we said at the beginning of this section, cycling comfortably apparently will not help you much to lose weight. However, if you force yourself to sweat harder and higher the strength of your ride, you will make more improvements toward your aim to reduce weight. As a standard course, the more actively you ride, the more calories you’ll burn. That’s because your body exerts more energy to ride faster. And, the more calories you torch, the more weight you will probably drop.
In fact, according to university research, a 155-pound individual can burn as much as 298 calories in a 30-minute ride session if they cycle at a 12-to-13.9 mile-per-hour speed. Someone who weighs 185 pounds can burn 355 calories by paddling at this speed. And, at a speedier pace of around 14 to 15.9 miles per hour, a 155-pound person can torch up to 372 calories in only 30 minutes. At the same time, a person who weighs 185 pounds can burn 444 calories in that period. Consequently, on average, regular-pace cycling torches around 300 calories in 60 minutes. But, you can consume more than that if you double the strength.
#03- Try to Ride With Cycling Companions
- Riding with companions can have added advantages. You will possibly exert yourself more and pedal more actively if you are with companions.
- It is much more difficult to leave the session when you are with others.
- If you’ve decided to pedal with others, you are much less apt to cut your ride due to justifications like the weather.
- Initially, it might look like it will be degrading your confidence. But, cycling with ones who are better or more prepared than you will indicate you will soon catch up and adjust with them.
- Cycling with people who possess the same ideas on the weight loss mission as you will provide you reassurance, encouragement, and responsibility
- Above all, it is indeed fun to have friends to accompany you!
#04- Have a Healthy Diet
Eating right is key to a healthy life and weight. As we stated on top, nothing will work correctly to lose weight if you keep stuffing yourself with junk, sugary or unprocessed foods. Thus, try to limit or avoid too many carbs, bad fats, sugar, and particularly alcohol. Instead, rely upon low-fat food, good fats, healthy carbs, a lot of proteins, and whole foods. And, especially after a ride, keep in mind to refuel yourself properly by hydrating with water and healthy treats instead of hitting the pub or cafe. We will share a cycling diet plan that you could follow down below.
#05- Go for High-Intensity Interval Training
Interval training is one of the most reliable means to get the most kick from cycling, mainly when it comes to dropping weight, or you have little time. Basically, it includes processing brief intervals of high-intensity forces with periods of low-intensity or relaxing measures.
The principal benefit of intervals for weight loss is boosting your metabolic flow for the next 24-36 hours. However, you can train them outdoors on the bike or for ease and accuracy. Also, you can do them indoors on a turbo trainer or exercise bike. There are many methods of interval training that range how many intervals you make, how lengthy those intense sessions are, and how difficult they are. But, the difficulty is that this process could be pretty disturbing to the body and its healing. Intervals may impair muscle fibers considerably more than constant-state training, which could remain for up to 48 hours. Therefore, if you need a ride the following day, you may find performing high-intensity or lengthy sessions quite challenging. Accordingly, prepare your cycling sessions properly.
#06- Ride Hills
Simply cycling hills is excellent for weight loss. We say this because our body has to function more as it’s riding against the forces of gravity. In fact, several circumstances affect your calorie-burn total, including the gear you are in, the span of cycling, the steepness of the hill pace, etc. So, you could try hill repeats or choose a challenging mounting and bike it repeatedly.
#07- Moderated Fasted Cycling
Many people have seemingly doubled results when they start their cycling session on an empty stomach. But, this method has some downsides too, so in that case, you should not try this daily but moderately. What we meant here was to try cycling on a fasted stage but not under starvation. After about a 2-hour session you can eat. And remember to carry high-energy food if you are planning a long ride. Plus, do not try high-intensity riding as your body is without food, as you might end up collapsing with too much fatigue.
#08- Go For Off-Bike Exercises
By including off-bike exercises like planks, Pilates, lying down bicycle exercise, Zumba, yoga, etc., you could double the results to reduce belly fat. These off-bike exercises will enhance your ability to cycle while strengthening your muscles and overall fitness.
#09- Use Your Bike To Travel To Work
You don’t have to do this daily but take this as an added chance to try cycling. If you are using your car to go to work, get up a little earlier, try riding off slowly to work without sweating yourself too much.
#10- Get Sufficient Rest
Keep in mind that your body needs an adequate amount of rest when cycling for weight loss. Rest is a crucial factor, especially after a long and high-intensity cycling session.
Is 30 Minutes Of Cycling a Day Enough?
According to the expert personal trainers, they have shown that 30 minutes of cycling per day will possibly help in weight reduction. They further explain that generally, a 30-minutes cycling session could burn up to 200 calories. But, this could differ under a few circumstances like the intensity, one’s weight, and resistance. However, to maximize the results in under 30 minutes, you could try these tips as experts suggest.
- Incorporating strength training.
- Lifestyle changes (healthy diet, proper sleep).
- Mixing up indoor and outdoor cycling both.
- Raising the resistance.
- Including Short and high-intensity intervals.
Cycling For Weight Loss At Home Using a Stationary Bike
As we have stated at the very beginning of this article, for those who find it difficult or incapable to try cycling for weight loss outdoors, they can always go for a stationary bike and try cycling indoors. According to the studies, a 1-hour cycling session on a stationary bike could burn up to 600 calories which makes indoor cycling a great way of torching calories. However, this will, again, depend on the intensity of your workout. You can enjoy the following benefits by trying cycling indoors:
- Much safer than outdoor cycling (weather hazards, careless drivers, poor visibility, uneven roads)
- Supports interval training.
- Helps to reduce overall body fat.
- Strengthens lower body muscles and legs.
- Enhances cardio fitness.
If you are a beginner and need to choose a stationary bike for cycling at home, what we share with you next will be important.
Types of Stationary Bikes
When choosing a stationary bike, you should focus on your workout goal, joint health, and level of fitness. You could talk with an accredited trainer and seek help from them to choose a bike for yourself. However, commonly, there are three types of stationary bikes that you could choose from. They are:
- Recumbent Bike- This bike exerts less pressure on your joints, lower back, and upper body. You will not be tired after working out, and the body will be thoroughly supported, delivering a less intense session.
- Upright Bike- This is comparable to a conventional bicycle, with the pedals located below your body. It usually gives an excellent cardio workout and strengthens your core and leg muscles.
- Dual-action Bike- This bike is slightly like an ordinary road bicycle. It has handlebars that push back and forth to aim your upper body muscles. Hence, while you are pedaling and going on your legs, you are capable of obtaining a substantial upper body workout.
Tips To Cycling For Weight Loss Beginners
As we talked about indoor cycling for beginners, we hope that novellas are interested in knowing about road cycling too. On that note, the first thing that should catch your consideration is choosing a bike for yourself. You can choose a road bike, a trail bike, mountain bike, electric bike, or a hybrid bike upon your preference.
Also, consider these tips and safety measures as a beginner who is going to begin cycling.
- Carry sufficient water or any kind of energy drink and a bottle carrier.
- Do not forget to wear helmets and gloves.
- Apply sunscreen lotion on the exposed skins.
- Wear helmets and gloves.
- Ensure the good condition of your bike – get regular maintenance done and spot inspections to make sure the wheels, brakes, tubes, and chains are functioning correctly.
- Pedal on the right side of the road.
- Use hand signals- Signal other riders and other drivers on your path to know that you are preparing to take a turn or take other actions.
- Ride in a single line- if you are riding with a friend, let one person head the way and maintain distance.
- Be careful of unexpected road dangers – Rough grounds, standing water, potholes, and other possible risks could be hazardous, so look out for them.
- Do not wear electronics like headphones or anything that might reduce your capacity to hear other vehicles around you.
Health And Other Benefits From Cycling
Apart from losing weight, cycling could have many health and other advantages too.
#01- Strengthens Your Immune System
Recent university research data shows that cycling can enhance our immune system by boosting the production of vital proteins and awaking inactive white blood cells.
#02- Improving Leg Strength
Cycling increases overall performance in your lower body and stimulates your leg muscles without emphasizing them. It aims at your glutes, hamstrings, calves and, quads.
#03- Boosts Mental Well-being
According to specialists, cycling is found to be a great activity to reduce mental stress, anxiety, and depression. As long as you enjoy cycling, it can effortlessly diminish your stress levels.
#04- Excellent For People With Cancer
A study from 2019 shows that cycling could positively help those who are recovering from cancer. It also helps to reduce several types of cancers, including breast cancers.
#05- Improves Lung and Heart Health
Cycling improves your heart rate and gets the blood pumping around your body. And it torches calories, restricting the possibility of you being overweight. As a consequence, it’s amidst a variety of modes of activity approved by an expert panel. They confirmed cycling to be a healthful approach to lower your prospect of developing primary heart diseases and lung illnesses.
#06- Advances Flexibility, Coordination, and Posture
As you uphold your body and hold your bike upward, you’ll enhance your overall stability, coordination, and posture. As strength tends to diminish with age and weakness, it’s essential to pay attention to it. However, advanced flexibility is helpful to prevent slips and fractures, as with age, you’ll take more time to recover.
#07- Boosts Your Sex Life
A specialist shows that cycling strengthens some preferably necessary muscle groups. All these muscles operated on the bike are utilized during intercourse. Therefore, according to his data, when these muscles are built better, you could have more energetic and prolonged intercourse.
#08- Helps to Prevent Certain Medical Conditions
Cycling frequently is one approach to circumvent an inactive lifestyle and health matters linked with it. It can limit cardiac concerns such as heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Moreover, cycling may also assist in controlling and preventing type 2 diabetes.
#09- Cycling is Environmental Friendly
We say this because you will not leave carbon tracks when you use your bike in daily travels instead of your vehicle. Besides, cycling will be a great alternative to lessen traffic, extended waiting periods in congestion, or fight for parking.
#10- Promotes Better Sleep
It is not only the fatigue from cycling that makes you sleep better. As we have written on top, cycling improves your mental well-being. So, accordingly, when you are able to reduce your stress levels or anxiety, you could naturally embrace a night of good sleep.
Cycling Diet Plan- What To Eat After Cycling to Lose Weight?
As we said before, eating healthy while cycling for weight loss is extremely important. You should include more proteins, vitamins, good fats, and carbs, calcium-rich food as much as you can in your daily food consumption. However, good carbs, whole foods, lean protein sources, and good fats are recommended after cycling. So, here’s a diet plan that you could try when cycling for weight loss. This is suggested by a specialist, and trying it is solely your own responsibility.
- For breakfast – Eggs/ porridge oats
- Mid-morning snack – Yogurt or fruits of your preference
- For lunch – Left-over pasta from last night/ wholemeal bread sandwich/ jacket potato
- Mid-afternoon snack – A bowl of unsalted nuts and seeds/ a piece of fruit
- For dinner – A piece of fish/ chicken /sardine / other lean meat with pasta/ rice and vegetables.
- Pre-bedtime – A beverage made from milk of your choice.
Is Cycling Better Than Running?
Generally, running torches more calories than cycling because it utilizes more muscles. However, cycling is more tender on the body, and you can do it faster or longer than you can run. Getting back to the question of what is better, well, that depends on your intentions and how you reach them.
How Many Km Should I Cycle a Day to Lose Weight?
As we mentioned earlier, cycling 30 minutes per day could burn calories and help in reducing weight. Accordingly, a 30-minute cycling session covers around 15 kilometers. As per training experts, cycling for about 15-20 kilometers daily can add visible results to your weight loss process.
Cycling is an excellent mode of exercise to burn calories and get rid of extra weight that you worry about. When combined with a proper, healthful diet, and if you follow the tips that we have listed above, you could get the optimal and expected outcomes from cycling weight loss. We hope you enjoyed our article, and let us know what you gathered through this feature by commenting down below.
Sources and References
Pledge Sport News