If you’re trying to get physically fit, cycling is probably the best way to go, especially if you’re a beginner – it’s easy on the joints, and it’s simple to mix it into your regular lifestyle. You can bike when you’re commuting to work, doing some shopping or simply exploring on the weekend.
When getting in shape, it’s very important to find an activity that matches your lifestyle – and something you can manage doing outside of the gym. Going outside and getting fresh air is important when getting exercise and better for your mental health than staying cooped up in the confines of a building. Biking allows you to go out there and enjoy the sunshine.
E-bikes vs. conventional bikes
If you’re just starting out with your biking adventure and in the market for a new ride, then do yourself a favor and consider an e-bike. But isn’t that cheating? Not at all. Studies have shown that it might actually be better for your routine and motivation, not to mention your cardio. Check out this website to see that there are many different types of e-bikes available, from easily foldable commuter bikes to cruisers and city bikes and even more challenging mountain e-bikes.
This is a new choice for people who are looking for a new bike – many think that they won’t get enough exercise when e-biking. But electric bicycles don’t do all the work for you. They just give you more power to succeed in beating that hill without becoming discouraged – and by making difficult trails actually fun, they keep you motivated and excited to do more and go for longer.
If you bike with children, an e-bike might make it easy for them to keep up with the adults, and make it possible to make longer trips together.
One of the biggest myths of exercise is that it has to be super strenuous and intense. Science says otherwise. Did you know that longer, less intense workouts are much better for losing weight and staying healthy? It’s just better cardio math.
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 your friends about your training sessions and invite them to join you in your efforts. Cycling with company gives much more joy and it makes you unwind – it’s much better than going out for a pint or for a bite to eat. Of course, no one said that you can’t go for a social dinner together after a long ride!
Keeping a work out date is also important – if you have problems motivating yourself, it might be easier for you when you know that someone else depends on you to show up! In workout groups, we are each other’s motivation – it’s hard to admit, but it’s easier to do something for others than for ourselves, especially when it comes to self-care.
Another positive, motivational aspect of riding a bike can be the desire to visit places that are difficult to get on foot.
Do not strain yourself!
Remember to start slow – again, this isn’t a competition to see how sweaty you got. A powerful workout that burns fat means elevated cardio for a longer period of time. You can start small and work up to a longer distance over time.
Your respiratory system needs some time to adjust. Ever notice how hen you first begin to exercise you’re more likely to be out of breath? It’s almost like your body needs to learn how to breathe again. Don’t let that discourage you. This process doesn’t take too long, but it does take consistent training.
Your muscles also need a slow but steady approach. A lot of people who just start out tend to overdo it and then need a long recovery time. By the time you feel like getting up and picking up your routine again, your motivation might have gone out the window. Although you should expect some discomfort at first, aim for slower, longer and less strenuous workouts, especially in the beginning.
What matters the most at the start is getting your brain trained for a new routine – and a completely new lifestyle.
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. Remember to take water along with you and drink after your workout.
When it comes to weight loss, remember that it’s important to calculate your calorie deficiency. Sports like bike riding help you burn calories, but by getting you in shape they also help your body burn more calories when you aren’t active. More muscle = more calories burned.
Treat cycling as a pleasure and a lifestyle. Make it a part of your routine, until it doesn’t even feel like exercising. Bike to the store and bike to work. Set up bike dates with your friends – and enjoy yourself. This is the key to long-term well being.