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Cycling And Weight Loss - Pedalling Your Way To A Slimmer Healthier You

Updated on December 28, 2014
CyclingFitness profile image

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

Using Cycling for weight loss and fitness

Cycling is a fantastic activity that allows you to exercise at your own pace while burning calories, improving your cardiovascular health and taking you to places that you might never before have known existed. Cycling is a great exercise to get you out in the fresh air and help your weight loss goals.

The fantastic benefits of cycling

  • · Once you have a working bike it’s an inexpensive way to achieve weight loss goals.
  • · You can cycle at your own rate and burn calories
  • · Most people can cycle for longer than they can run thus burning more calories
  • · Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • · Whole body workout for all your major muscle groups (Abdominals and leg muscles particularly)
  • · Improved muscular strength and endurance
  • · You can explore new places you’ve never been- all you need is a map
  • · Low impact activity is easier on your joints
  • · Its an opportunity to socialise with others
  • · Café culture- cycle to a café. Have a coffee and cycle home. (Why not go on a Bike Date?)

Improving your health through cycling

Cycling is hugely beneficial for your health if done in the correct way

Cycling helps strengthen the muscles of your body, particularly the abdominals and leg muscles and therefore helps to improve your fitness to perform other tasks- whether it be in your work environment or running after children/ grandchildren.

Cycling helps to improve the capacity of an exercisers cardiovascular system. Your heart and lungs can become stronger and more efficient at providing oxygen to your body. This can help towards a decreased resting heart rate and lower blood pressure which can in turn help you to reduce the risk of heart disease and Osteoarthritis. As well as

Cycling can help an exerciser to obtain weight lose goals and therefore fight the health risks that obesity brings with it. Risk factor for Type II Diabetes can be decreased as well as risk for Coronary Heart Disease, endometrial, breast, and colon cancers, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, Hypertension and Gynecological problems such as abnormal menstrual cycle and infertility in females.[1]

Exercise has also been proven to help fight depression and anxiety problems by boosting self esteem as well as helping your body to produce endorphins- feel good chemicals which can greatly alter mood state.

Cycling in heavy traffic

You might encounter heavy traffic like this on your bike rides for weight loss.
You might encounter heavy traffic like this on your bike rides for weight loss. | Source

How many calories can you burn while cycling?

The calories you burn are dependant on the activity you do, how long and how hard you push yourself. Professional Cyclists in the Tour De France can burn upwards of 6000 calories in a single day of riding.

The below table is adapted from Nutristrategy.com on Calories Burnt while Cycling

Calories burnt cycling (Kcal)

Activity (60 minutes)
Bodyweight 130lb/ 59kg
Bodyweight 155lb/ 70 kg
Bodyweight 180lb/ 82kg
Bodyweight 205lb/ 93kg
Cycling, less than 10 mph, (leisure bicycling)
236
281
327
372
Cycling, 10-11.9 mph, light
354
422
490
558
Cycling, 12-13.9 mph, moderate pace
472
563
654
745
Cycling, 14-15.9 mph, fast pace
590
704
817
931
Cycling, 16-19 mph, very fast pace
708
844
981
1117
Cycling, >20 mph, racing pace
944
1126
1308
1489

Cycling- get out in the countryside

The beautiful countryside- a cyclist's playground.
The beautiful countryside- a cyclist's playground. | Source

What you can enjoy about cycling for weight loss

Cycling is a fantastic way to get around town and travel short distances which you might usually consider using the car for as they're too long to walk. You can travel great distances within a short space of time and it doesn't have to feel like you're doing it to lose weight.

If you have a sense of adventure bicycling can help you to see new places and have new experiences. To keep you motivated you could keep a list of places you would really like to go to.

Cycling is a great way to socialize with family and friends. If you take it easy you can talk and open up lines of communication. If you have young children it allows you an insight into their world of adventure.

The great motivating factor of cycling to lose weight is that you're in control. Take it easy and take in the beautiful scenery that you don't truly notice while driving.

Cycling to work- save money and lose weight

If you live a sensible distance away from work then you might want to consider cycling to work?

It will require no petrol, no car tax and you won't need to pay for parking. It will also be a great way to fit a cycle ride into your day to keep a positive effect on your weight loss goals. You also won't have the extra stress of sitting in traffic on the way home too!

Simple cycling safety tips

If you follow the below you should arrive at your destination safely

  • Always wear a helmet for protection
  • Ensure you wear bright clothing which is reflective
  • Be prepared with cycle lights for if visibility is poor
  • Always follow the Highway Code or rules of the road for your country
  • Carry a mobile phone whenever you go cycling
  • Have a spare inner tube/s handy in case of a flat tyre


Good luck with your weight loss and cycling adventures. If you've been inspired to cycle or have a weight story to tell please use the comments tab below.

CyclingFitness

References

1. Obesity and Overweight For Professionals- Causes and Consequences. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/causes/health.html

Comments

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    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      6 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks INFJay!

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 

      6 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      Excellent Hub! Not many people realize the benefits of cycling. Thanks for pointing them out.

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