Cycling for Weight Loss: Does It Really Work?

January 14, 2021

Cycling for Weight Loss: Does It Really Work?

You've probably heard all the tips and tricks for losing weight, but have you ever  wondered if they are true? How about the famous notion that cycling can help with weight management? 

Well, the proof doesn't lie: cycling can help you lose weight. Of course, any physical activity can help keep your weight down or at least stable. But what's so special about cycling? 

There's a science behind why this particular form of physical activity is so effective. Let's take a look at why everyone looking to lose weight should consider cycling. 

How Does Cycling Help with Weight Loss?

Cycling for weight loss works because it exercises several areas of the body through low impact. 

It speeds up your metabolic rate, burns body fat, and increases your endurance and stamina. By riding a bicycle, you mainly work your legs and abs, providing a core, cardio, and lower body workout. This combination helps reduce body fat and build muscle. 

But beyond the direct physical benefits, cycling helps with weight management in no-so-obvious ways. Check out the other benefits below!

1. Cycling Has Gentle Impact 

No matter what your age or weight, it's imperative to protect your joints and bones. Some forms of exercise, like running, can be harmful because the impact is too much for your body, even if you don't realize it at the time. 

The best benefits you get from running, you can get from cycling, too, and that includes weight loss. You still build endurance, get your lungs and heart pumping, but it is gentler than running. 

Riding a bike does not strain your knees, hips, and ankles the way running does. You still receive a rewarding exercise without the damage. Not to mention, most people can ride a bike longer than they can run, so you get a longer workout. 

2. You Can Make It Last 

The issue with a lot of exercise methods is that they are too strenuous. People begin an activity, but they can't stick with it because it's too furious on their bodies.  

Some people never give enough time to let their bodies adjust to new activities. As a beginner, you can't last a long time doing certain forms of exercise such as running, jumping, climbing, etc. 

But cycling? You can make that last all day if you want! 

Riding a bike burns fat because it's a cardio workout. But it's a form of weight management that won't wear down your motivation. 

You can ride for miles and not feel like you are about to burst your heart out just to shed a pound. You can choose easy roads and trails and progress to more advanced riding places. 

Admittedly, even with minimal strain, you might still be sore after riding a bike. However, that will fade away as you continue to exercise. The more your body works, the more weight you'll lose! 

3. It's Easy to Adjust Your High-Intensity Level

When you're ready to boost your exercise difficulty, high-intensity interval training or HIIT is the fast way to burn calories. 

Doing high-intensity workouts on a bike is beneficial because the impact is low. It's all about your effort. 

For about 10 to 30 seconds, increase your intensity level, and then decrease it. Doing this several times throughout your workout helps boost your metabolism and your strength. 

Riding a bike is one of the best exercise methods for moving between low-intensity and high-intensity workouts. Cycling makes it easy for you to go from a leisure ride to a brisk pedal and back to a stroll, all without overexerting yourself.   

If you want to try a workout that builds stamina and helps with weight loss, cycling is a great fit! 

4. You Can Make It Fit Your Schedule

Sometimes, exercise just doesn't fit into our daily schedules easily. It can be challenging to adjust to a workout routine. The great thing about cycling is that it doesn't interfere with your schedule the way you might think.

You rarely find an exercise that's fun, but riding a bike is a blast! So, whether you need to make a quick errand or do something fun with the family, cycling is a great way to roll. 

If you can commute, ride your bike instead of driving. Or get your family or a group of friends involved. Who says exercise has to be with just you? 

By choosing to ride a bike, you have the freedom and variety to do things you need or want to do without the hassle of setting aside a specific portion of your day to exercise. Workout as you go! 

5. It Has Numerous Other Health Benefits Besides Weight Loss

We've discussed how cycling is terrific for weight loss, but what about the other benefits it provides for the body?

Bike riding can:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve mobility
  • Prevent bad posture
  • Improve coordination
  • Boost your mood
  • Lower stress
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Help prevent cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, arthritis, and diabetes.

Cycling is a workout for your body and mind, helping you not only physically but also mentally and emotionally

Any exercise can benefit you in these areas, but especially if you are trying to lose weight, it's a great idea to perform activities that are good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. 

6. You'll Enjoy It!

Believe it or not, how you feel about the type of exercise you do has a significant effect on how much weight you could lose. 

Think about it: if you despise your workout, will you want to do it every day? Probably not. But if you get joy from doing an activity, you will want to exercise. You're more likely to keep the routine, and you will enjoy your weight loss journey instead of muddling through it.

Exercise releases endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormones, but cycling is one of the few exercises that people equate as “fun.” 

Perhaps this is because many of us rode bikes as kids, so it feels almost elementary to jump on a bike as an adult. But, it's proven that child-like activities are good for one's health. “Playing” helps us feel more at ease and increases our zeal and enthusiasm. 

So, not only will you be losing weight and keeping yourself in shape, but you will have fun doing it! 

Start Your Cycle! 

Whether you are new to cycling or you're a veteran, it's essential to be safe when performing any physical activity. Here are a few cycling tips that might help you get the best out of your exercise. 

  1. Try not to hunch your back or your shoulders. If you get tired after a while, stand up on the pedals to extend your legs and hips so you won't be stiff.
  2. Pay attention to how you sit on the saddle. Your posture will determine what muscle groups you use. Sitting forward works the quadriceps and sitting back works the gluteus and hamstrings. Knowing this will come in handy when you are on an incline.
  3. When going up a steep hill, don't try to go straight up. Instead, steer the bike from side to side so you will gain traction.
  4. Change your grip on the handlebars. Don't squeeze so tight — relax and flex your hands when you're cruising along to avoid stiffness.

Conclusion 

If you're looking for a versatile exercise method, cycling would be a good choice. It fits into your daily life, it has brilliant health benefits, and it's ideal for weight loss and weight management. 

Not all exercise has to feel like a marathon. Cycling is perfect for anyone just starting with a workout plan or seeking a healthy activity or hobby.  

So, get out there and give it a try! Cycling for weight loss is worth the effort, and you'll have the time of your life. Don't wait to start shedding those pounds — it's going to be a blast! 

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