Bring on the New Year Resolutions!
Mostly everyone gravitates towards running as their preferred method of cardio training for weight loss.
If you have never tried cycling for weight loss then it is time to mix things up! Not only can you do this activity indoors and outdoors, it provides a challenge that will surely help you achieve your goals.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
So what are those great benefits of cycling that we speak of?
Below are some great reasons to incorporate cycling into your routine today!
1. Cycling is for everyone!
Young or old, injured or not, there is a style of cycling for you. Your biggest calorie burning options are going to be upright bikes – either outside bikes (mountain or road) or spinning bikes.
Outdoor bikes will give you more of a challenge because you are pedaling through the terrain.
If you have trouble getting up on a seat, try a recumbent bike.
Because the legs are out in front of you, it takes some of the pressure off your lower body. The best part, if you have a leg injury, there are arm ergometers available to use.
You might want to inquire at your local swimming pools about water cycles. There are spin bikes made specifically, funnily enough, for water.
2. Fat loss/weight loss
Cycling is probably the closest non-weight bearing exercise that rivals calorie burn compared to running.
Depending on your weight and intensity, you can burn around 600 calories per hour…if not more! Some vigorous routines have clocked a 300-600 calorie burn in 30 minutes.
3. Builds lower body muscles
The major muscle groups in the legs are the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. So cycling works quite a large group of muscles! The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn during and after exercise.
Cycling works on strength and endurance of the lower body muscles.
Because of the nature of the activity and calorie burn, you will more than likely not bulk up but you will tone up and slim down.
As you train your heart, your VO2 Max will increase – meaning you will be able to take in more oxygen during exercise. In turn, it will convert into more ATP/energy. The more effort you can put forth in your workouts, the more calories you will burn in a shorter amount of time.
What is going to be the best combination to burn the most calories efficiently?
I highly recommend either upright version – indoor spin or outdoor mountain or road bike. Vary your workouts between climbs or resistance and speed.
For frequency, aim for 2-3 days per week for 60 minutes.
I say that with the reminder that you need a total of 5-6 days per week for 45-60 minutes for weight loss/weight maintenance. I wouldn’t recommend cycling every day to prevent muscle imbalance and boredom.
If you know your Resting Metabolic Rate, your calorie intake, and a good powerful cycle routine; you should be able to create a deficit that should equal 3500 calories weekly – 3500 calories equal 1 pound of fat.
Take it slow and steady with the weight loss, so team that with a clean nutrition plan and you will surely see the fat melt away!
If you don’t know where to start, please contact me for help getting started! I have been a spinning instructor for 15 years, competed in mini triathlons, and trained triathletes in distances ranging from mini to Ironman.
Let’s leave it with Queen: “Get on your bikes and ride!”
Connect with Expert Laura Markuly.