Cycling to lose weight? Yes, of course. To start, it’s low-impact, doesn’t put much pressure on your joints and can be done outside or with friends – making it the perfect sport no matter your age or current state of fitness.
So how exactly does it help you lose weight?
It’s magic for your metabolic rate
Even a short stint in the saddle can help your slimming efforts go a long way. According to health and fitness website LIVESTRONG, cycling between 12-14 mph for just half an hour can help a 175-pound person lose a whopping 346 calories. At a faster pace of 14-16 mph you can torch 420 calories.
Your bike itself doesn’t have to be moving for your body to feel the burn, either. On a stationary bike, the same person can lose 451 calories (again, in 30 minutes) with a bit of effort, while someone of average weight can burn a staggering 826 calories in one hour. The trick is to pound that pedal – the faster your legs are whirring, the more calories you’re burning.
It increases your heart rate
As your heart pumps faster during exercise, it transports more oxygen to your muscles, which then work harder and burn more fat.
Cycling is a wonderful way to power-up your pulse. It’s a low-impact activity that doesn’t put much strain on your limbs, so you’re able to go further and for longer, keeping that circulation flowing fast.
Regular bike rides will ultimately make your heart stronger, which has myriad benefits. A shocking study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2017 showed that regular cycling cut the risk of death from ailments by more than 40%– and cancer and heart disease, specifically, by 45%.
It’ll slim you down and tone you up
If you’re patient and consistent with your cycling, pairing your efforts in the bike seat with a good nutritional plan, you’ll lose weight –particularly as the sport works your ‘slow-twitch fibres’. These fibres increase your muscles’ endurance, but not their mass – therefore, you shouldn’t bulk up as you bike, giving you a leaner look.
That doesn’t mean your muscles won’t get the workout they need. Cycling focuses on your hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles in particular – contributing to more toned and stronger legs – along with your bum, waist, abs and back. Not bad for a quick spin around the block.
It’s a lifelong love story
The key to keeping your weight down is to maintain good exercise and eating habits – and it’s incredibly easy to fit cycling into your routine. Use your bike to commute to work, explore your local park, enjoy a sunny evening, run errands, and connect with friends – before long, you’ll wonder how you ever managed life without it.
Sounds good to you? Hop into the bike seat and spin your way to slimness at one of our EVO gyms today – click here to find your local club.