Cycling ad losing weight12 June, 2014 0 comments
Cycling and Losing Weight
Summer is here and it’s the ideal time to get outside and enjoy yourself before the heat sets in and chases you back inside to air conditioning, ok that sounds a bit optimistic! However, cycling can be a great way to enjoy mild temperatures while remaining active, perfect for the UK. Cycling has all sorts of health benefits, working your legs while being easy on the joints plus providing a sense of freedom and enjoyment. Whether you’re inspired by a new bike, new equipment or a new challenge it’s time to get out there and take advantage of a nice day. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a warm afternoon, but riding a bike is one of the most active ways to spend your leisure time, and lose weight. According to NutriStrategy, a relaxing bike ride up to 10mph burns more calories than an easy walk of 2mph, 281 calories over 176 calories per hour. This may not even be enough, you could challenge yourself by powering your way up hills and pushing your speed over 10 mph, but even so, keeping to a leisurely pace is a great way to supplement an active lifestyle.
We all have those exercises we dread working on. But even if you hop on your bike and take it seriously, pedalling furiously and feeling a deep burn in your thighs, there’s a good chance you’ll still love it despite the difficulty since you’re rewarded with a quick, exhilarating ride. This can also be a great way to energise you for other weight loss plans you may have, such as cycling to the gym instead of driving can burn calories, warm up and cool down from your workouts. Furthermore it’s much easier on your legs, ankles, knees and feet than running. Andy Clarke, the president of the League of American Cycling suggests whether you're recovering from an injury, looking for a weight loss option or hoping to preserve your knees to run a marathon, cycling gets your legs moving and your heart pumping without pounding your joints. Running has the potential to take its toll on the body. Cycling has a far lower impact and engages the muscles in the legs without as much force coming down on the knees. So long as you keep your legs pumping on your bike, it ends up being a smoother, lower risk form of weight loss that you’ll appreciate, even if you’re recovering from an injury.
Cycling for weight loss is challenging, sociable and offers a great workout. Suitable for everyone, any age or level of fitness, cycling helps weight loss as it burns calories, improves health and gets you out and about. More and more cycle paths are being opened across the UK and cycling to lose weight is becoming a more comfortable and enjoyable option. What a great way to get out in the fresh air and help your weight loss goals! Matt Parker a coach at British Cycling says cycling for weight loss is great because its sustained stamina training, cycling's low impact, so you keep going longer. With this is mind doesn’t it sound great, low impact, less injuries, and able to exercise for longer, weight problems won’t be around for long! When cycling for health, exercise can be maintained for a long period of time without your leg muscles getting too tired, although you may feel the burn! Your heart and lungs get a solid workout which is excellent for improving your cardiovascular fitness levels as well as losing weight. As your heart and lungs get stronger you will be able to more efficiently transport oxygen around the body which is the key to a high level of fitness. Your resting pulse rate will decrease as will your blood fat levels and blood pressure. All of these combined will reduce your risk of heart disease. Importantly cycling for 30 minutes just 2-3 times a week will help with all other aerobic exercises too and reduce the chances of you having to stop your activity to get your breath back, and again improve your weight loss. Before you know it a 10 mile bike ride will be a great hour out of the house rather than a chore to lose weight. And for your interest, if one third of all short car journeys were made by bike, national heart disease rates would fall by between 5 and 10 percent (Bikes not Fumes, CTC, 1995). Parker from the British Cycling team also states that injuries through cycling are 6 per 1000 hours of cycling, compared to 11 running injuries per 1000 hours. You'll crash only once every 900,000 miles, ensuring your legs can't fully straighten to minimise injuries. Sticking to this rule off the bike is amusing but very unnecessary.
Ok so here comes the science. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found men who completed a 20-week schedule of interval training cycling lost nine times more fat than a control group doing straight endurance training. This means an exercise session of 30 heart pumping minutes of cycling 2 or 3 times a week will increase weight loss than those long hours on the roads. So get on your seat and complete this 30 minute fat busting ride. This way you will lose fat and burn calories by increasing heart rate, helping to achieve your weight loss goals. As well as fat burning your all round fitness will improve along with your strength and endurance increasing as cycling exercises the major muscle groups in the legs, the quadriceps, glutei, hamstrings and calves.
Don’t forget you will need no special training. If a sport is complicated, you may not take it up. Most of us can already ride a bike. Pedal power is low impact and takes the weight of the body, so for many people who cannot do high impact sports because of the pressure it puts on their joints, such as running, cycling is a great alternative. Very topical at the moment, but cycling to lose weight is cheap and pollution free way of hitting your weight loss goals!