Pedal Off the Pounds: 8 Reasons Cycling is a Great Way to Lose Weight from Pedal Off the Pounds: 8 Reasons Cycling is a Great Way to Lose Weight

Pedal Off the Pounds: 8 Reasons Cycling is a Great Way to Lose Weight

Losing weight is a challenge. It requires discipline, hard work, and major changes in your lifestyle. So, what if you could make losing weight a bit easier? I’m not talking about a magic pill or anything that comes without effort, but just the simple comfort of exercising in a way you already know how.

It’s safe to say that most people learn to ride a bicycle when they are young. And obtaining a bicycle is not difficult. So why not use those 2 wheels to get out there and shed some pounds. Cycling can burn as much as you want it to. You can start slow, and push yourself harder as time goes on.

To further discuss the ways that cycling can help you lose weight, I chatted with Deborah Orlick Levy, M.S., R.D., Carrington Farms Health and Nutrition Consultant and Maik Wiedenbach, Professor and Personal Trainer. Both are avid cyclists who love the sport, and appreciate the ways it keeps them fit and healthy.

It’s low impact

Flickr/Zachary Long

Cycling is a low impact workout which you can sustain efforts for longer periods of time. Orlick also adds that it is easy on the joints and a great cardiovascular workout.


It burns major calories

Flickr/julie patterson

Cycling can burn a lot of calories. Maik Wiedenbach explains, “Outdoor cycling specifically, will burn off calories to the tune of 500 to 700 per hour. While the overall benefits cannot be underscored enough, at this calorie burn rate - cycling just one hour per day will equate to burning off a pound of fat per week." 

You can ride anytime

Flickr/Tejvan Pettinger

All you need is a bike, and you can get out there and pedal off the pounds anytime.

It increases muscle mass

Flickr/Sean Rowe

Cycling outdoors will increase your legs’ muscle mass. Wiedenbach added that while your muscle automatically increases, it in-turn increases your overall metabolic burn rates.

Air resistance

Flickr/peter mooney

When cycling outside, air resistance can increase a difficulty of a workout by approximately 30% without you even realizing it. And the more difficult a workout, the more calories burned.

Obstacles

flickr/KTesh

Overcoming obstacles such as hills, fast turns, pedestrians, or other encounters are additional movements that add to your workout.

It works different muscles

Flickr/Zachary Long

While cycling may seem to just be working on legs, it actually does much more. “Cycling helps to tone the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves,” explains Orlick. “It also strengthens the core muscles in the abdominals and back. Outdoor cycling tends to blast more calories than indoor and will create a stronger, leaner you."

It’s social

Flickr/Sludge G

Cycling has a strong network of people. Often, a group of like-minded people will get together for long rides. It is a terrific way to motivate yourself to go the distance, when you have a group of people pushing you harder.