Is Outdoor Cycling Good for Weight Loss?


When it comes to weight loss, calories out must exceed calories in. calories need to get burnt more than you consume to lose weight. Cycling is one activity that burns calories, between 400 and 1000 an hour, depending on the intensity and rider’s weight. Although other activities help lose weight, the big question is: Is bike riding good for weight loss?

Absolutely! Outdoor cycling can be an essential part of your weight loss journey. The bonuses to cycling are as numerous as the road you can find. Whether you are cycling on the local bike trails or strolling around town to tick off your to-do, you are getting the benefits of a healthy heart and metabolism reviving workout that helps lose weight.

Is cycling a good exercise?

Yes, cycling is a good cardio workout in which one usually burns fat only after the first 20 minutes. To be fit and healthy, you need to be physically active. Bike cycling Is a top-notch cardio workout that causes less strain and injuries, unlike other forms of exercise. It is a healthy, fun, and low-impact form of exercise for all ages, whether indoors or outdoors. Aerobic activities can benefit the lungs, heart, skeleton, muscles, and mind. Although it can be done at low intensity if you are recovering from an injury or illness, it can be built to become a demanding physical workout. Health and physical benefits are attached to cycling, either as a beginner or a professional, once you know how to cycle right.

How to cycle

Cycling is essentially done by sitting on the cycle seat and pedaling with your legs. It can help with the toning of the calf muscles and thighs. For outdoor cycling, try to begin on a flat surface. Once your body adapts to cycling on a flat surface,  you can take uphill routes using higher gears on your bicycle. Do some stretching before and after cycling. These stretches are important for cyclists who strain their backs while cycling on bumpy roads.

If you are a beginner, begin cycling for not more than 20 or 30 minutes and then slowly increase your speed and intensity. Extend your arms, back, ankles and legs while cycling. Some lower back and spine exercises will help your cycling process. Remember that the faster you cycle, the more calories you burn. Research has shown that endurance training might help burn fat which helps with weight reduction – traveling to work while cycling is a great way to burn calories while staying productive. If you have a health condition, make sure to check in with your health professional to know if cycling is safe for you.

Is there a difference between indoor cycling and outdoor cycling?

Indoor cycling (spinning)

Are you wondering whether to stay indoors and exercise using hamstrings or hit the sidewalks or road trails, cycling? Research has shown that a typical cycling class keeps you at around 75 to 95 percent at your maximum heart rate, which is good enough. However, indoor cycling bikes tend to use hamstring muscles which means more help from the bike and fewer burnt calories. The cycling type is the closest you can get to meditating. While some stationary bikes have a weighted flywheel on the front to mimic what you’d feel outdoors, the weight builds momentum.

 If you can’t find or use a stationary bike, a handcycle might be just the ticket for some calorie-burning exercise. The machine powers arms and hands, not the legs. Indoor cycling allows you to take control by seeing your markers and independently changing your settings. On the downside, indoor cycling can get tiring fast because it uses the same muscles repeatedly. The atmosphere can be lifted with pounding music, a group atmosphere, and an instructor’s motivation. Indoor cycling is convenient because you only need to get to a gym.

Outdoor cycling (cycling)

Serious cyclists can get their heartbeat higher than those indoor cycling. In contrast to an indoor bike, you use your hamstrings along with your glutes, quadriceps, shins, and calves. If you want to take your cycling to the next level with lots of space, outdoor cycling feels more accessible from an effort standpoint. When biking outdoors consistently, your body makes adjustments during each bike ride which engages your core for stability. Several options that are associated include road biking, trail biking, or mountain biking. Outdoor cycling cannot be a one-time thing. It has to be a regular exercise to maximize fat burn and lose weight. To bike safely outdoors, below are precautions to follow.

  1. Dress appropriately by wearing a helmet: A helmet protects the body’s head, skull, and brain. In case of a collision or fall, ensure your helmet fits your head perfectly. According to statistics, bicycle helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injuries by 50 percent.
  2. Ride on a single file: If you are riding with others, it is crucial to follow a single file to avoid collisions and accidents. The cycling followers follow suit with the leader in front. 
  3. Ride on the right side of the road: This is important, so you pedal in the same direction the car traffic flows
  4. Use hand signals: While cycling, alert drivers and other riders on the road of your intentions, including making a turn or slowing down.
  5. Keep an eye out for road hazards: Bad roads have caused a lot of havoc due to ignorance. Watch out for potholes and possible road hazards to avoid loss or damage.
  6. Make sure your electric bicycle is in its best shape: This option is vital for safety purposes. Make sure to keep your motorcycle by performing regular checks on the wheels, chains, brakes, and other bike parts.
  7. Carry water: Regardless of the weather’s condition, biking requires frequent hydration because it consumes energy and strength.

Meanwhile, outdoor cycling can get messy without these accurate preparations. To avoid unfavorable conditions, you must follow through with the precautions for an excellent outdoor cycling experience. Both cycling modes promise a great workout regardless of the preferred choice but spinning 20 miles on a stationary bike is not the same as riding 20 miles on the road.

How many calories do you burn cycling outside?

Research has shown that riding outside or to work is associated with less weight and a lower BMI. What dictates a person’s weight loss doesn’t necessarily depend on the cycling type but a person’s weight and the cycle’s intensity. “On an average, a moderate pace outdoors for an average adult for 30 minutes would burn around 300 calories,” says Sara Fruendt, a certified personal trainer and diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES), Chicago. 

For a 125-pound individual, stationary biking burns 210-315 calories in 30 minutes depending on the intensity, while outdoor cycling boasts 240-495 calories burned in 30 minutes based on speed. Weigh 155 pounds? Stationary biking reduces your fat by 260-391 calories, while outdoor cycling burns 298-614 in 30 minutes if you cycle at 12-13.9 mph.

Cycling is a suitable way to perform a high-cardio exercise. It can help you stay fit in 30 minutes of exercise a day, primarily if you use a bicycle. More reason why the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you would like to take up cargo bike riding for weight loss, consider hitting the goal of 150 minutes in multiple electric bike riding sessions a week.

Is outdoor cycling good for weight loss?

Yes! It is. Cycling has emerged as a fitness trend, a combined package of cardio and strength. While getting cardio, you can build muscle strength. Outdoor cycling has been proven to be more effective than indoor cycling. It poses more exposure and expands your capacity. Although speed varies due to the traffic on the roads, one is likely to either go faster or slower. You can ride farther and longer with more people to preserve energy when tackling long distances.

In addition, the outdoor adventure poses a platform to explore new areas while keeping fit. There is nothing like riding out of doors with the wind in your face while burning calories. While indoor cycling is a prerequisite to outdoor cycling, outdoor cycling ensures a fit body. The health benefits associated with outdoor cycling are endless.

  • It decreases body fat levels
  • It increases cardiovascular fitness
  • It increases muscle strength and flexibility 
  • It improves joint mobility
  • It improves posture and coordination
  • It strengthens bones
  • It prevents and manages diseases such as cancer, diabetes, etc.
  • It encourages active commuting.

Are there any other benefits of cycling?

Aside from the health benefits, some significant mental and psychological benefits are that it helps you sleep better and manage stress. It reduces anxiety and depression. Good sleep helps to regulate hunger hormones, and there is no perfect exercise with a balanced diet and accurate rest.

If you feel lazy or restless, get yourself on a bike and hit the road for at least 10 minutes. Focusing on the road while cycling outdoors develops your concentration and awareness. Exercise releases endorphins which help you lower your stress levels while keeping your immune system fit.

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.

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