Anyone keen to lose some unwanted weight and tone up and the same time should consider jumping on a bike and get cracking. Not only are you going to burn calories, you get outdoors and into the fresh air.
Now, you don’t have to be one of the Lycra wearing enthusiasts riding at a hundred miles a day to get any results. Just starting out slow and building up your speed and distance with each ride will have you looking better sooner than you think. Let’s look at some of the key benefits of cycling:
- It’s a relatively cheap form of exercise. After your initial bike, helmet and water bottle purchase, that’s all you really need to buy. Perhaps a puncture repair kit as well, but they won’t break the bank. Bicycles don’t need a lot of maintenance.
- Cycling is a great activity to do with your partner. It’s a social sport, you can ride alongside each other, pushing your partner to help stay on track, keeping each other honest. Taking the whole family for a leisurely bike ride certainly won’t hurt either!
- Bike riding is also a terrific form of aerobic exercise. Helping improve your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs). This is very important for anyone who has a sedentary lifestyle – especially office workers.
- You can switch up the intensity of the workout by using interval training – this is where you ride close to your max speed for two 2 mins, then drop down to 1 min at 1/4 pace, then repeat for a few sets. This has proven to be a very effective form of weight loss exercise.
- If you’re worried about a few troublesome wobbly bits around your bum and thighs, get on your bike. It’s a terrific form of resistance exercise for your legs and glutes. Your arms get a workout too, don’t forget. You’ll be trim, taught and toned in no time.
- The great thing about cycling is you can do it outdoors or in the privacy of your own home or gym. Nothing beats the feeling you get after a great bike ride, you’ll feel great for the rest of the day.
Exercise Bike Tips
- Always take plenty of water. A standard drink bottle will suffice and if you’re riding around a park, there’ll usually be a tap or bubbler for you to refill. The minute you feel thirsty, that means you’re already dehydrated. Keep those fluids up!
- Cycle with a partner to help keep you motivated, it’ll also mean you’re more inclined to show up for your exercise session.
- Try different riding tracks to mix things up a bit.
- Wear brighter clothing, especially if riding at night. Also ensure your bike has reflectors front and back. Although many councils are doing their best to build safer bike tracks, it pays to be visible on the roads.
- Try pushing a little bit further with each ride. The human body gets used to a routine very quickly and it’s important to progressively overload with each session. It only has to be an extra few hundred metres, just as long as you’re working harder each time.