Cycling is a great way to lose weight steadily whilst toning up and having fun too
Why opt for long-distance cycling?
While many types of repetitive exercise cause damage to your joints, cycling does just the opposite. As it is a low impact sport, cycling actually strengthens your hip muscles, hamstrings, glutes and quads rather than weakening them and the stronger these muscles are, the easier it is for your to burn fat, so you will burn much more fat cycling than you would jogging. Your body will also continue to burn calories for a good while after you have locked your bike up for the day so you will burn calories while showering, having dinner or watching TV.
What are the decisions you need to make?
Now that you have decided to lose weight cycling, how do you want to get started? Take a look:
- Do you want to cycle alone, with a buddy or as part of a club? All of these methods can work, you just need to choose which is right for you. Some people are more comfortable cycling on their own at first until they build more confidence in their riding. Others find that riding with a friend or a club gives them the motivation to get out there and stick to their training plan.
- When will you fit cycling in to your busy schedule? The easiest way to incorporate a daily cycle session into your routine is to start commuting to and from work by bicycle. If you can get to work without having to go on a motorway and there are showers in your office then this is a great option. But if this isn’t practical you will need to decide whether you are going to get up early and cycle before work, or if you would prefer to ride in the evenings.
- Are you ready to cycle outdoors or would you prefer to start inside? Generally it’s the best idea to just get straight outside and cycle but if you don’t feel comfortable doing this right away then why not sign up to a spinning class or purchase a bike trainer stand that allows you to use your bike inside until your confidence and fitness levels have increased and you are ready to head outside.
- Do you want a trainer? Sometimes getting a trainer is the only way to ensure that you stick with your cycling routine and ride no matter how you feel or what the weather is like but this can be an expensive option. If you can’t afford a trainer, draw up a training schedule instead and keep a diary of your progress and achievements to see how well you are doing.
Eat breakfast beforehand
Nothing kick-starts your metabolism like a big, healthy breakfast. If you skip breakfast, you not won’t you have the fuel for riding, but you will also make your body hold on to its fat stores instead of burning them. Starving the body of food causes the metabolic process in the body to save what it might need for a later date, and in most cases this means fat—just the thing you want to lose the most.
Go light on the gluten
More and more people are noticing unwanted symptoms from the over consumption of gluten. You don’t have to have a gluten allergy in order to limit how much processed wheat you are eating, and the results may have some benefit. Limiting gluten will naturally decrease how much processed foods, bread and baked goods you consume. On the bike, it will also help you from feeling bloated during hard efforts.
Eat more often on the bike
It is common for new cyclists to skip out on food during a ride because of all the obstacles eating and exercise can present. However, eating while on the bike has proven to improve performance, especially on long rides, and can also help to curb overeating afterwards. By keeping your hunger in check, you will be less hungry when you get home, which might keep you from overeating.
Save the best for the last
Studies have shown that post-exercise oxygen consumption can trigger the burning of fat stores. The key to kick your body into overdrive after a long or easy ride is to do a few hard efforts right before you finish. This keeps your body consuming oxygen even after you are finished with your workout on the bike, and the fat continues to burn.
More vegetables and lean protein
Vegetables and lean protein like chicken or fish should be a staple of any good cyclist’s diet. The absorption rate is better, and by giving your body what it needs through the food you eat you feel better too. This motivates you to ride longer and burn more calories, while controlling unwanted cravings.
So what are you waiting for? Hop on a cycle and get started right away!