Bicycling comes with a number of benefits including physical well-being as well as provides for health benefits. On the other hand, bicycling is also fun as well as considered a low-impact exercise. This makes it ideal for a weight loss routine.
Bicycling for weight loss is ideal for the right for everyone, as it does not strain your joints even for beginners in the exercise. In addition, it boosts your cardiovascular health as well as tones major muscles and joints.
When taking up cycling for losing weight, we recommend that you stick to your workout routine so you notice the required changes. To help you to get started, you need the right gear, draft a workout plan/ routine, adjust your diet, as well as identify ways you will stay motivated so you keep going to achieve your objective.
The benefit of bicycling is diverse making it ideal for individuals with different fitness levels and age. Indoor cycling (exercise bike or even elliptical machines) will give you the best benefit of getting your desired body shape quickly.
Cycling for Weight Loss
Different people cycle for different reasons and for this purpose, identifying the right gear will go a long way to meeting your objective. The bicycle you choose as well as accompanying gear is important. With several factors to consider when biking for weight loss, the following are key considerations.
Step 1. Choose your gear
While the key objective is cycling, it is important to note that a bicycle is not the only equipment required.
- Bike selection (regular bike vs. stationary bike)
This is also dependent on the terrain you will be undertaking. If you do not already have a bike, this would be an important consideration. The key considerations when choosing a regular road or mountain bike include your terrain as well as your body type.
Alternatively, you can work out using a stationary bike. If you can buy one, it is a great idea as you can stick to a routine that is convenient for your schedule. You also have the choice of joining a gym.
Always ensure that you have the right clothing. Do not make them too tight to eliminate discomfort or baggy to get in your way.
- Protection gear
Protection gear is important as it helps you to boost your confidence on the road. Keep in mind that you will be cycling with the aim of losing weight and feeling confident and safe helps to boost your mental motivation to keep you going.
Step 2. Planning your Routine Workout
It is important to first lay out a plan before you start. At the beginners’ level, we recommend that you do not overwork yourself to prevent the risk of injuries. A simple routine will include:
- Start slowly on flat areas where there is little traffic and ride harder as you approach the end of the routine
- Gradually, you can start to alternate your riding intensity. A low casual pace helps to build endurance whereas sprinting is ideal for burning more calories.
Always allow for recovery to prevent straining your muscles and joints. In addition, get a day off where you can have enough sleep/ rest.
Step 3. Set your Goals
When biking to lose weight, different individuals have different goals. This is because; they may have the different weight to lose as well as vary in the time they have to lose it. It is important to remember that weight loss is a long-term strategy thus; you will need to set both short and long-term goals. Keep them realistic and time-based so you remain on track.
Step 4. Adjust your Diet
Cycling does not mean that you can eat right about anything with the thought that you will burn the calories on your bicycle. A healthy diet with necessary fluids will boost your effort in weight loss. To help guide you;
- Eat a healthy breakfast rich in fruits and vegetables
- Eat while biking especially when going on a long ride to keep you going
- Eat after biking to provide the necessary nutrients for recovery
- Stay hydrated. We recommend drinking plenty of water as opposed to other drinks
Step 5. Motivating Yourself
It can be discouraging to keep going if you are not motivated. Some tips that will motivate you to include:
- Keeping your bike in sight so it acts as a constant reminder of cycling
- Explore varying routes to excite you
- Cycle with friends (with your road or hybrid bike) more preferably of similar objectives
When opting for a stationary bicycle, it is best that you vary the speed levels so you can intensify your workout over time. Start slow and increase your workout intensity for better results. Lastly, we recommend patience and motivation as cycling to lose weight are not an instant miracle worker.
Type of Bicycle Workout
Bicycle workouts vary depending on the specific objective to be achieved. The following are some bicycle workouts we recommend.
Standing Hill Drills
This workout refers to a combination of standing and sitting while pedaling up a hill. This aims at burning calories as well as boosting endurance. It also works on your muscles and joints. While this workout is highly recommended, it is best that you start with less steep hills as you advance to a steeper hill.
You can opt to ride when sitting longer when you start and stand occasionally and as you progress, you can stand more when riding.
Stationary Bicycle Workout
A stationary bike comes with the added advantage of keeping track of your progress. It will indicate the time it has taken to burn a given amount of calories. In addition, some road bikes also indicate the distance covered in the event you were out cycling. In this, you will always know if you have met your short-term objectives.
Start slow like someone who is cycling casually or for leisure and as time advances so should your workout intensity. Consider working with a trainer who is knowledgeable in the field. The added advantage of working with a trainer is his or her ability to motivate you as well as their ability to personalize your workout so you meet your objective.
Biking for weight loss not only meets your objective but it can also be fun. We recommend cycling as it is not discriminatory to the fitness or age of an individual thus making it ideal for everyone. With the right equipment and gear, a laid out plan, and the will to meet your objective, cycling is a great alternative to weight loss.
While it guarantees weight loss, you need to adopt a healthy and nutritious diet to boost your effort. The right diet also helps your body to recover after an intense workout. You can incorporate other weight loss exercises alongside bicycling without the worry of overworking your muscles or cardiovascular health. The above tips and bicycle workout routines will help you lose weight effectively and in the long-term.