Hopping on a bike and going for a long ride seems like fun, doesn't it?
But did you know that biking has immense health benefits including weight loss?
Yes! You heard it right. Cycling is a great way to start if you are looking for weight loss. Besides being a leisure or recreational activity, it helps burn fat, reduce stress and enjoy the outdoors.Contents:
Aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming can benefit your health in multiple ways. The term aerobic refers to “with oxygen”. During any aerobic activity, you breathe faster and deeper, increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood. It helps increase your heart rate and the blood flow to your muscles. An increased flow of oxygen to your muscles helps your body burn more calories and lose excess fat, thus, aiding in weight loss. Aerobic exercises also lead to the release of endorphins, which are known as ‘feel-good’ hormones, that promote a sense of overall well-being.
Cycling is considered a low-impact aerobic exercise that helps you burn calories and get rid of that stubborn fat. However, if you are aiming to lose a few pounds with the help of cycling, then you need to follow these strategies:
Riding at a slow pace will not help you burn many calories. The faster you ride, the more calories you will burn. Increasing the intensity of your ride will help you progress towards your weight loss goal.
Opting for HIIT is a way to burn calories faster. Here you cycle at a fast pace against high resistance for 30 to 60 seconds. You can reduce the resistance for the next 2 to 3 minutes and continue this pattern for 20 to 30 minutes.
You can try endurance training, where you slowly add up to the time given to the activity. It helps in burning more fat. This can help in increasing your stamina and in strengthening your muscles.
Cross-training is a workout regimen that involves a variety of training modes and activities. In cross-training, you can add other activities such as weight lifting along with cycling to improve the effectiveness of your workout.
For weight loss, you can aim to cycle for at least 60 minutes a day 5 times a week. Steady moderate cycling for 60 minutes helps you burn about 300 calories. By increasing your intensity, you can burn more calories within the same period of time.
Aerobic exercises help in improving the blood flow to your muscles. It helps your body burn more calories within a short period of time. High-intensity interval training will help improve your cardiovascular fitness, making your body a calorie-burning machine. You can also combine 2 or 3 of your regular rides with HIIT sessions. This pushes your body to use up more energy and burn more calories.
The increased oxygen supply to your muscles helps in burning the fat and thus helps in weight loss. For burning fat, you need to ride at a pace that keeps your heart rate approximately between 68 and 79 % of your maximum capacity or you can aim for a pace that leaves you out of breath but still be able to maintain a conversation.
Aerobic exercises may initially make you feel tired and burned out. However, over time it helps in increasing your stamina and reduces fatigue.
The best time to cycle would be on an empty stomach. Heading out for a short ride before breakfast would be a great way to kick-start your day. As there is no food in your system, your body will be forced to use up the stored fat. However, if you are planning to ride for more than 30 minutes in the morning, make sure that you have a light snack before your ride.
Cycling has multiple health benefits such as:
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