If you want to get lighter, trimmer and fitter and overall healthier, cycling could be a great help for you to lose weight. It is enjoyable, easier and efficient and has mental, physical as well as emotional benefits. There are plenty of reasons to include cycling in your regular exercise routine.
Riding on your bike facilitates a cardio workout that could boost your lung and heart health. It also improves the blood flow, lowers stress levels and builds your muscle strength. Most important fact is that cycling burns your fat and calories. There are some things that you should know about how to lose weight through cycling.
1. Setting a realistic target
You could choose your target weight by BMI or body mass index as your guide. BMI is created on your weight and height ration and many professional doctors use it. This is good to identify your healthy weight to target for.
Another way is to target for a fat percentage. A healthy woman would have a percentage of fat about 25-32 whereas for a man, it would be 15-18 percent. A man who regularly rides and trains could reach a body-fat of 8-10 per cent. A woman who regularly rides and trains could reach 24-28 per cent. You may find varieties of weighing scales which would measure your fat percentage and that’s why it would be a better investment to buy one from the market.
Almost everyone tempts to try losing more weight but not everyone could maintain the rapid and sudden weight loss. You should think to maintain it gradually and make it a part of your lifestyle. You may not just want to lose weight immediately but also keep yourself healthy and get used to it.
To lose at least one kg of your weight, you have to keep cycling for about an hour daily. If you continuously do so, you could expect to get your desired range of losing weight.
3. Riding at an adequate pace
For burning fat, you would need riding at a speed which gives a heart rate of about 68 to 79 percent of the maximum heart rate. If you are not able to understand this rate, you should maintain a speed that leaves out-of-breath but you could uphold a conversation.
Not only cycling but all types of exercises should be the same way. Though it is tiring, you would not be finishing your ride fully drained. You should target to do this about one hour per day.
4. Travel to and from work
one most amazing thing about cycling is- you could use it as your transport to go and come from your office. It is a great way to exercise while travelling. Commuting by a cycle could cause a large impact on your weight loss. You could switch from public transport or driving to cycling and lose at least seven kg during your first year while riding about 30 minutes per day. it also helps for improving your stress level, creativity and concentration so you would become more productive while getting to your work.
5. High-intensity sessions per week
You should add 2 or 3 high-intensity sessions per week as it would improve cardiovascular fitness as well as make the body a more effective calories-burning machine. Either change these for 2 or 3 of your regular rides or add on top or you may also combine them adding an intensive session after a moderate ride.
For such efforts, you would need riding to 70-90 percent of the heart rate or riding tough enough to hold any conversation. You don’t have to continue doing this for the entire session as interval training works effectively.
Your body needs to repair itself with proper fuel. You would need more fuel for more muscles and you burn more calories. If the weather is not good, you may do indoor cycling. You could not get fun and enjoyment like riding outside but this doesn’t mean that you would not get benefitted by this workout.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is like a hero after a long hour of cycling. Some research found that the man who gets 6 to 8 hours’ sleep could lose weight more successfully. Less sleep would move you towards over-eating that results in being overweight. Moreover, proper sleep at night is crucial to repair your body and build muscles so that you could get ready for the ride in the morning.
7. Keeping track of the progress
You have to keep monitoring the progress through recording since you go. If you don’t find the desirable change, don’t get disheartened because your body needs time to fit with it. After a few weeks you would see progress.
To track your progress of the body weight and fat percentage, you have to measure it once per week and the first hour in the morning is the proper time to measure yourself. Clothes are a good indicator and you could measure by it when you notice how your tight clothes fit on you.
8. Adding flexibility and cross-training work to the routine
Cycling is the best way to reduce weight but it could put strain and stress on your body especially if you’re new. Cross-training would be helpful to balance your leg-heavy muscles exercise that you get through pedalling. Flexibility would stretch out the tendons and muscles and also prevent pains, aches and injuries.
You may try Zumba, swimming, Pilates, boxing and free weights for cross-training as it could give a strong core that benefits cycling. For flexibility, you could do yoga and Pilates. All of these things would build muscles that are more likely to burn more calories when cycling.
9. Eat often but little
Your body is like a machine and it needs fuel to keep going on throughout your entire day. you should eat less food often as a cyclist if you want to lose weight. This helps burning fat easily as well as keeping the energy levels higher that you need for cycling. After finishing your ride, you should eat vegetables and protein-rich foods for recovery.
10. Avoid processed and sugar-rich foods
Processed foods and sugars may give much energy but such energy comes with less nutrients and high fat. You have to avoid these foods because they could produce calories in your body.
You have to focus more on vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Choose foods like chicken, fish, pulses, beans and foods that could produce carbohydrates.
11. Try to ride before breakfast
One of the effective ways to lose some weight is riding before your breakfast. Your body uses fat storage as there isn’t any food in the system and this technique Is known as fasted training. You should ride about 30 minutes or even an hour to get the best results. After this session, you could eat something if there is a plan to go for longer rides.
12. Enjoy it
Cycling could connect you with nature and provides you with quality time alone. You could go exploring new places on your cycle and enjoy country lakes, mountains. Going for a tour with friends or family is the best option to enhance your practice. Doing this, you would not only explore the unknown beautiful places but also lose your extra weight.
All of these tips above help you to lose weight. All you need is finding the right stability of calories. Losing weight depends highly on how you practice it and combine with your eating habits. You could pick cycling if it fits with your lifestyle and once you start it, you would stick to it. invite your friends to go out with you for a cycling trip on the mountains and enjoy your holiday as well as getting benefited from it!