Pretty much any kind and form of exercise contributes to getting and being in shape, and that’s a fact. However, some are more efficient when it comes to gaining strength, some increase endurance, some, like golf, are more of a relief to one’s mind than an actual form of exercise. Cycling, which many people happen to be very fond of, can be an awesome path towards getting rid of those couple of kilos you’ve been wanting to lose for years. But that requires a certain mindset, a certain intensity of exercises and other conditions. So let’s see what those are.
Things to Consider
- Your starting weight. If you are obese, forget jogging! A bike is actually one of your best options for getting in shape, because it distributes your bodyweight in a way that does not affect joints too much. Make sure you adjust your bike properly so that your back and knees do not get too much work to do every time you’re on a bike.
- Realistic goals. First, decide how much time you will be able to dedicate towards cycling. It can be quite time consuming, especially if you want your distances to increase over time! Also, depending on where you are right now in terms of weight, google what is the normal weight-loss rate and then take some more away from that. Overachieving always feels a lot better and is a lot more motivating than underachieving!
- Good gear. Nothing beats a good bike saddle and some super comfortable shoes if you want a quality time biking while losing weight in the process. Don’t forget – safety first, so a helmet is a must! Do consider the roads you’ll be hitting, the distances you’ll be covering and how your shape is going to change as you progress through your journey if you are trying to invest into a good bike.
That’s all great, but what is actually so specific about cycling for weight loss as opposed to cycling, let’s say, to beat a personal 200m track record?
The first one you need to remember is pretty general, and it’s that your workout is supposed to be in the moderate range. What that means in terms of heart rate depends on your fitness level, but basically you should aim for anywhere between 68 and 79 percent of your max heart rate. That way, what you are mostly accomplishing with your workout is burning fat.
However, high intensity workouts should not be forgotten. In fact, depending on how quickly you want to achieve your goals, you should implement one to three high intensity workouts into your cycling routine every week. It prevents your body from adjusting completely to your workout pace and gives your cardiovascular system a good push, meaning you will be a more efficient cycler in the long run. Aim for 70–90 percent of your heart rate for most of the session, and make sure that you feel well at all times – the worst thing that can happen is you trying to push your limits too hard and hurting yourself.