Cycling for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Cycling for Weight Loss

In 2021, it was outlined that the number of cyclists in America had increased over the past three years from 43 million to 47.5 million. Even though the number of cyclists between the ages of six and 17 decreased in the last ten years, the trend among young adults who cycle regularly continues to be strong today. Enjoyability, interest, and weight management are among some of the factors that underpin why cycling is so widely participated in. After all, it’s important to find physical activities that you enjoy when following a weight loss plan. This way, it becomes a healthy habit that sticks.

Because cycling is a form of low-impact aerobics, you can seamlessly adapt it to your everyday life. Be it as a means of transport, leisure activity, or competitive sport, cycling is suitable for various fitness levels. Beyond that, cycling is beneficial for reducing body fat and body mass since it builds muscles and increases one’s metabolic rate.

If you wish to learn more, this article will explain how exactly cycling promotes weight loss.

Increases the intensity of your workouts

Cycling is adaptive, which is helpful as fitness levels vary from person to person. At the start, you may be content with a leisurely pace, but over time, we encourage you to increase the intensity of your rides. The faster you cycle, the more calories you will end up losing. Generally, around 300 calories are burned in an hour.

However great it feels to be shedding more calories, we do advise that you set realistic goals. The key to weight loss in the context of cycling is to sustain regular rides or even adapt to longer sessions with ease. After all, lessened pressure over how many calories you’ve burnt makes rides more pleasurable and easier to adopt.

Boosts calorie burn

High-intensity sessions (HIIT) are an intermittent style of exercise training involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise, including HIIT cycling. This helps you shed weight quicker. A study on obesity treatment explains that HIIT induced weight loss and even improved major cardiovascular risk factors. Because HIIT is a time-efficient exercise strategy, changes in body composition can be seen after a short period of time. However, weight loss effects from HIIT can diminish if this training isn’t done consistently.

For cyclists who wish to lose weight, they can create daily HIIT programs with either cardio or cycling to maximize calorie and fat burn. Those who are up for a challenge can combine cycling with HIIT and practice interval training instead on the same day. This allows your body to repair itself after intensive exertion and burn fat in the process.

Incorporates cross-training into your routine

For those who want to mix things up, cross-training can introduce fun and equally effective activities to your cycling. You can opt for boxing, lifting weights, and Zumba. For those who wish to prevent aches and injuries that aren’t uncommon in regular cycling, you can practice flexibility work as well. These workouts can help stretch sore muscles and tendons, gearing your body better for your next ride. Yoga in particular can enable you to develop the necessary breathing techniques that will boost your comfort and concentration during longer riding sessions. Ultimately, a combination of two activities in a single cross-training session can result in an increased metabolic rate.

Although cycling is a great form of physical activity to support your weight management goals, losing weight healthily requires a balanced diet as well. Getting the proper dietary nutrition in conjunction with your rides ensures your weight loss journey is bolstered by proper strategies.

Photo by Roman Pohorecki

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