Considering cycling for weight loss? Regardless of whether or not you are a seasoned professional cyclist or just starting out, it is entirely possible to become substantially leaner simply by cycling. Cycling is an extremely low-impact aerobic exercise that burns hundreds of extra calories per hour whilst being gentle on your joints, perfect for shedding off your extra-lanky spare tyre at the gym.
In terms of cycling for weight loss, it does not require a massive change in lifestyle and certainly won’t feel like a huge effort to begin. For beginners it is best to aim for around thirty minutes three times a week, cycling on a flat surface, such as a pave or cobbles course. You may be surprised at just how quickly your weight can drop when you take into account the increased muscle mass you will be burning with every pedal stroke you make. Begin with five minutes at first, and see how you do. A five-minute ride can be enough to really ramp up your calorie-burning efforts and will help you shed off pounds even while you are doing practically nothing else. If you find that you are unable to stay committed to the program however, then reduce the time spent cycling per day by a few minutes, perhaps replacing the cycling sessions with walking or jogging instead.
It is important to also factor in your diet when considering cycling for weight loss. Firstly, it is important to ensure that you are eating a high-protein diet, high in complex carbohydrates but low in fats – as the former helps to burn the calories we take in, whilst the latter has been shown to assist in reducing body weight. Eating a diet rich in vegetables is also essential. Vegetables such as broccoli and leafy greens (particularly purple sprouts and kale) contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, which are essential for building strong muscles, and for burning calories. Try to eat six meals a day and to always snack in between them to ensure you are not starving yourself.
Another major reason to consider a cycling for weight loss workout is the potential to significantly increase your heart rate. The reason for this is because, unlike jogging, cycling forces your upper and lower body to work in unison. As your legs pump more blood, your heart rate goes up to support the need, and your muscles are forced to grow stronger to keep up with the additional demand. This means that, if you are looking to lose weight fast, this should be included in your exercise plans.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when planning your cycling routine. Perhaps the single most important factor is ensuring that you ride enough rides. The longer you ride, the more stress your body will have to cope with, and the harder your muscles will have to work to keep up with the demands. The ideal goal is to ride 3 times a week for an hour each time, or even more if possible. This will ensure that your body composition stays steady throughout your workouts, which is very important because your body needs to undergo minimal changes to stay healthy.
As long as you are dedicated to making these few simple adjustments, it is perfectly safe to add this type of exercise to your daily workouts. However, if you are serious about cycling for weight loss, you should seriously consider signing up for a cycling class, either online or at a local fitness club. A cycling class will allow you to fully customize your workouts because the instructor will be able to tailor the challenges to your body and health status. Not only that, but you will also be able to meet other people who are committed to seeing you reach your goal. You will quickly realize that the social aspect of cycling for weight loss is one of the best incentives for sticking with your plan!