Cycling is one of the best exercises for losing weight. It is high intensity but with a low impact on your body. This means that although it’s great exercise, very little pressure is put on your joints as you cycle, and there is less likelihood of injury. It is also incredibly accessible as a sport and anyone can get out there onto a bike. If you feel less confident, indoor bicycles are also readily available, either at gyms or for personal use at home.
How many calories does cycling burn?
There are multiple physical benefits of cycling, one of which is burning calories! If you are cycling at speed, or fast enough to be out of breath, then this is cardio exercise and you can be sure that you are burning calories.
Depending on many factors such as speed, age, and fitness level, moderate cycling can burn around 300 calories an hour. Cycling at a higher intensity can even burn up to 600 calories an hour; although this will probably take some time to work towards if you’re a beginner. The important thing is to set yourself realistic goals and enjoy yourself so that you’re more likely to keep it up – consistency is key. Aim to cycle at least 3 times a week with breaks in-between, allowing your body to rest.
Does cycling help you build muscles?
Riding a bike also puts resistance on muscles, particularly if you are cycling uphill. This eventually builds more muscle, raising your metabolism and keeping it that way even when you’re not on the bike. Muscle burns more calories than fat.
Interval training is also recommended for increasing muscle and burning fat. Interval training is when you push yourself to about 70 – 90% of your heart rate for a short duration, with small breaks in-between. This could be something like 2 minutes of sprinting then 2 minutes of slower cycling alternated for 30 minutes. It could be even shorter sprints of 30 seconds each. However, if this seems like too much too soon, then moderate cycling is still excellent exercise. With continual effort, you will certainly see results within a few weeks.
Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so if you don’t see weight loss happening on the scales, it could be because you are losing fat and building muscle, which will contribute to a leaner physique!