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Bicycling: Lose Fat Weight And Reduce Stress Riding A Bike

Updated on January 24, 2012
Woman riding a bike
Woman riding a bike | Source

Riding A Bike

Going for a bike ride or riding an exercise bike is a good way to improve your health and reduce fat. You can burn a lot of calories, reduce stress, build muscle and improve your cardiovascular endurance. It is one of my favorite forms of exercise. I prefer to ride outside but riding an exercise bike is more convenient because it can be done anytime.

Besides the scenery the main difference is that exercise bikes do not require as much balance. As a result they are not as good for your abs. When you balance yourself you work your core including your abdominal muscles. Another difference is that you can stop whenever you feel like it when using an exercise bike. Riding a bike outside can be relaxing and fun if you bike where there are not a lot of cars.

Calories

At around 130 pounds I can burn over 700 calories an hour running. I use an elliptical trainer so it is easier on my legs. Using a bike I burn less than 500 calories an hour. On an exercise bike I do not need to pace myself. So I could burn almost as many calories as running but I would not be able to keep up the pace for that long. Biking or running for an hour is not easy. You need to work at increasing your endurance first and you need to pace yourself.

Running is one of the best ways to reduce fat because it burns a lot of calories but it is harder on your body. You could burn just as many calories biking if you increased the frequency or duration. It does not take as long to recover from a bike ride. Biking can make you hungry but eating junk food can ruin your progress. I try to eat a healthy snack and drink lots of water.

Muscles

Biking mainly works the leg muscles. My calf muscles are really hard and fairly big. When I wear shorts people notice my leg muscles. Biking once a week was enough to make my calf muscles bigger and harder but I biked long distances. I never notice it while I am biking but it also works my core muscles like my abs and back muscles. My ab muscles became a lot firmer after I started biking a lot.

It is also a good exercise for your heart. Biking made my heart stronger so it beats slower.

My Experience With An Exercise Bike

With the changing weather you can not always go outside. Like most bicyclists I get out from late spring to early fall but that is it. If I do not find something else to do I start to gain fat and lose muscle. Since I am working at getting rid of my extra fat I decided to see what I could do with my old exercise bike.

Before I started I measured the circumference of my stomach where most of the fat is and I weighed myself. I used my exercise bike 20 minutes a day at a fast pace for a week. The displays made it easy to tell how far I was going and how many calories I burned. Keep in mind that I go for long distance bike rides in the summer. If you have not done a lot of biking you may need to increase your endurance before you can burn a lot calories.

Going at a fast pace for 20 minutes was difficult. Even though the room I was exercising in was cold I sweated a lot during the workout and it took a while to cool down afterwards. It was more intense than the other exercises I have been doing recently. I was breathing hard and my heart was beating fast. After a week I lost 1 7/16 inches and my weight decreased by nearly 3 pounds. That is pretty good for 20 minutes of exercise a day. So the hard work paid off.

Recommendations

Using my exercise bike was not as enjoyable as biking outside and doing an intense workout on my exercise bike was not very relaxing. If you have time you might want to bike at a moderate pace and make up the difference by biking for a longer period of time. I recommend getting outside when you can and do it for fun. Make it something to look forward to. In the summer I look forward to biking to provincial parks and relaxing at the beach. The park that I bike to gets a lot of bike traffic because they enjoy what they are doing.

It takes time to change your body. So do not expect a miracle. People have lost over a hundred pounds by riding a bike but they put in the time and effort. A pound or two a week is a good weight loss goal but you should also pay attention to your fat. See how much fat you can grab, measure the circumference of your belly or just see how your pants fit. You will probably gain some muscle weight.

Biking can be very enjoyable but if you push yourself too much it can feel like torture. I prefer long relaxing bike rides outside in a peaceful setting.

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    • Virtual Treasures profile image

      Kacie Turner 6 years ago from Michigan

      Rated up and useful. Just bought a bike--first one I've had since my teens! Can't wait to start using it!

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