We can’t forget that diet is important in your weight loss efforts, but even the best one – if not supported by physical effort – will be wasted. Therefore, the option to get fit while cycling is the basis of a healthy body.
It is essential to find an activity that is right for you and, ideally, to perform outdoors while breathing fresh air and getting some much-needed sunlight.
Cycling is one of the most enjoyable activities; all you need is a decent bike. Check out the wide range of bikes on this website and choose the best model for you.
So what’s the best way to get in shape with your bike?
Bicycle training doesn’t have to be intense. Only long riding sessions allow the body to burn fat reserves. Biochemical changes that occur during long-term muscle work differ from those that happen during short training sessions. In the first few minutes of cycling, energy is provided by the amino acid phosphocreatine and glucose. If the work of muscles lasts longer, then the body reaches reserves in the form of glycogen (in muscles and liver) and fats (in fat tissue).
The use of energy reserves by the oxidation of fatty acids takes place after about 30 minutes of training. Therefore, let’s prepare ourselves for longer trips than a ride to a nearby store.
Tell friends about your training sessions and invite them to join you in your efforts. Cycling with the company gives much more joy. It will be easier for you to start riding a bike if your other obligation will be to keep the word to the person with whom you are planning a trip. Most likely, you will ride longer distances together than you would on your own.
Another positive, motivational aspect of riding a bike can be the desire to visit places that are difficult to get on foot. You can also start cycling to work!
Do not strain yourself!
Remember to start with short routes and gradually increase the number of covered kilometers. Try to ride regularly, two or three times a week, so that you can build up to a good shape and improved condition. People who didn’t exercise regularly before can have less efficient respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In this case, it is difficult for an organism to supply the working muscles with the right amount of oxygen. Then, the so-called oxygen debt occurs, which disrupts muscle fibers’ functioning and leads to painful stiffness. There is nothing worse than to be discouraged at the very beginning. Aim slowly and consistently.
You can burn a lot of calories on your bike. Driving on asphalt, with an average speed of 13 mph, allows you to burn about 700 calories per hour.
Solid training can include intervals to get fit while cycling. That implies speed and driving intensity changes. Interval training is based on intense effort interspersed with resting time. In what relation? It depends on how long you ride a bike and what skills you have, but at the beginning, a minute of intensive effort and a minute of resting is enough. Plan the route so that you have conditions to increase the intensity, e.g., using the uphill ramp to press harder on the pedals and rest at the downhill. Such training will bring you quick results.
To preserve energy, systematically replenish water and electrolytes before you even feel thirsty. Water helps transport nutrients with the blood. It also purifies cells from unnecessary metabolites, such as lactic acid. Plain water is excellent for drinking over short distances, but driving for more than two hours requires topping up electrolytes with an isotonic drink. Electrolyte imbalances can cause decreased performance, cramps, and heat stroke, especially in hot weather.
You can refill them by drinking isotonic beverages, eating fruits or vegetables. It’s best to get hydrated an hour before intensive pedaling and take a solid sip every 15 minutes during the training. No matter how much you drink while driving, you need to rehydrate yourself after a workout.
What about electric bikes?
A lot of people seem to believe that getting an eBike is like cheating, and it’s not actually possible to get proper exercise if you ride with electrical support. But if you have an electric bike or you’ve been considering getting yourself one, you will be happy to hear that no, eBikes are not cheating, and they can still provide you with much-needed physical activity.
An eBike will allow you to ride longer distances. For example, you can travel to more enjoyable sites and do your workout there, calmly and safely. Then, if you get tired and you’re still quite far from your home (maybe you have a worse day, you overestimated your capabilities, or the route turns out to be more demanding than you have though), electric support can help you get there without you hurting yourself.
With an electric bike, you can still get your heartbeat crazily up, sweat, and work on your condition, but you are more in control as to when you want to do it, and when you need more support.
Let’s remember that the most important is the balance obtained at the end of the day. Calories burned during the training cannot be eaten up later, because we won’t get any of the desired effects.
Treat cycling as a pleasure. You do not necessarily need to always go with the plan to get fit while cycling. Just stick to regularity and track your progress. Day by day, watch how your average speed increases, how you could barely catch your breath a month ago on the hill that you drive up easily now. Observe your body and your increasing abilities. And losing weight itself will become a nice side effect of this pleasure.