If cycling to lose weight is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you are not alone! Losing weight is one of the most popular resolutions made by millions each year. Cycling is an ideal exercise for losing weight because it is easy, nearly everyone can do it, and it burns a lot of calories.
Cycling to Lose Weight – How Does It Work?
Losing weight is really pretty simple: it’s all a matter of calories in versus calories burned. The problem is, most people try to lose weight by eating less, and that can be difficult. Eating is closely intertwined with socialization in our culture. Whether you face an office luncheon, date night at a restaurant, or even dinner around the table, cutting calories can be an uphill battle. That is why adopting an exercise program can be an excellent start.
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Here are 10 Tips for Cycling to Lose Weight:
- Choose a bicycle that fits you comfortably. If you aren’t comfortable, you are far less likely to ride. Fortunately, there are bikes for every size individual. If you are of average height and weight, you may be able to get away with purchasing a stock bike and making a few adjustments yourself. If you are smaller or larger than average, however, it pays to get a good bike for your frame. Fortunately, bikes are now crafted to fit nearly every individual, and many adjustments can be easily made at your local bike shop.
- Do not go too far, too fast. It’s easy to want to make great strides right away, but if you have been sedentary, it’s best to start slow and stay close to home. Begin by taking a short ride each day, and slowly increase your distance. Do not worry about speed initially. Focus instead on enjoying your ride.
- One of the key factors in continuing with any exercise program is to find a way to make in fun! Fortunately, biking can be incredibly fun and interesting. Take your bike to a local park and enjoy all the beauty of the natural surroundings. If you are a data geek, you can have a great time playing with different biking apps. Or take a camera with you to take photos of the great things you see. Incorporate some of your favorite activities to make biking FUN!
- You don’t have to wear lycra! Wear whatever feels comfortable. If jeans and a t-shirt is more your thing, go for it! I would suggest that you at least wear clothing that allows for ample flexibility, but really go for comfort.
- Make sure you are fueled! I remember the first time I biked in the morning on an empty stomach. About thirty minutes into my ride I began to feel lightheaded, nauseous, and sweaty. I had to stop and rest, and felt horrible. Fortunately, I had an old granola bar in my pack, and I within minutes of eating it, I was feeling much better. Even if you are trying to lose weight, remember that your body needs fuel! Water is important as well.
- You must burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. That may seem like a lot, but the average cyclist of 180 pounds burns 650 calories each hour cycling. This means that if you cycle 22 hours in a month, you will burn four pounds! Over the course of the year, this adds up to a whopping 48 pounds!
- Stretch before and after cycling for best results and to reduce the risk of muscle strain. Take five minutes before and after your ride to stretch. You can find some fantastic and easy stretches here. Muscle strain is common in beginning bikers, and stretching will reduce your risk. Also, it will enhance flexibility and allow you to perform better.
- Do not take diet pills or supplements. Many diet pills are diuretics or contain chemicals that can alter your heart rate. When cycling to lose weight, it is important to steer clear of these pills. They can dehydrate your body and cause undue stress on your cardiovascular system. Instead, focus on eating fresh foods, and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
- Do not eat back the calories you have burned. It’s easy to reward yourself with food after a grueling ride, but steer clear of sweets and empty calories. Although it is important to fuel your body, remember that food is there to keep you active. Try to focus on this each time you select a food to eat: Will eating this help me feel alive, or will it make me feel sluggish? Eat the foods that FEED your body!
- Reward your successes in a positive manner. Losing weight is difficult! Remember to regularly reward your successes. Create a wish list of items that you want. Each time you lose 5 pounds or reach a new goal on your bike, reward yourself.
Cycling to lose weight is effective, fun, and easy! Make a positive choice for the new year and incorporate biking into your life. Remember to ride safely, follow proper guidelines and laws within your locale, and enjoy biking!
At Kass & Moses, our team of experienced bicycle accident attorneys are dedicated to improving the lives of bikers and promoting biking in the community. We encourage any biker to contact us any time with your questions or concerns.
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