Bike Riding For Cardio - Benefits of Cycling To
Burn Fat and Calories
is never any shortage of cardio machines available to help you burn
calories. Every year these machines keep getting bigger, better
and fancier. All of these new toys are fun but you can keep your
elliptical, your stair machine and your treadmills. You can even
spare me the rowing machine and really whatever the heck that thing
is that looks like a stairmaster, bench pressing time machine. When
it comes time for me to burn some serious calories, I will always
reach for my trusty bicycle. This is largely because even the most
dusty and rusty bike has massive advantages over the newest cardio
equipment in any gym.
You Can Go The Distance
Its simple math. The more you do a select activity, the more fat
and calories you burn. Because the bike carries your own weight
and the pedal motion is low impact, you have a workout that doesn't
beat up your body. This means that you can ride with both high volume
and high frequency to burn massive amounts of flab. It's not even
out of the reach for many people to ride every day and not suffer
any form of overtraining.
You Can Go Super Hard
Even though biking may not beat you up, that does not mean it doesnt
have the potential to work you pretty hard. Simply racing a clock
or a best friend will quickly motivate you to push yourself harder
than you've ever pushed before. As an added bonus, this sort of
intensity is also very effective towards building all of the muscles
in your lower body. Everything from your hips to the muscles in
your feet can potentially perform thousands of reps per hour. That's
a lot better than counting reps on a machine.
You Work a Lot of Muscle
Aside from the time you put in, the more muscle you work the more
calories you stand to burn. Kind of like how a bigger engine will
burn more gas, when you use bigger muscles, you're able to torch
more fat. This is why no one ever created a fat loss program based
around one of those stress balls you squeeze with your hand. Riding
a bike works all of the large muscles in the lower body. However,
the work load doesnt just end at your waist. Biking is actually
a pretty good full body workout.
pedal stroke requires your core and upper body to work in powerful
isometric contractions to ensure balance and control. This is especially
true if you ride standing up or while going up hills. Sometimes
Ill even feel a hard ride more in my arms and abs the next
You Don't Have To Spend a Lot of Money
Yes, you do need to have a bike and preferably a comfortable helmet.
Ideally, you'll also have some apparel as well but its not
essential. Beyond that however, it's all bells and whistles.
Your fat burning abilities rest entirely on your use of the bike
rather than the bike itself. This means that the old 10 speed that's
gathering dust in the basement is every bit as effective at torching
fat as the latest bikes the professionals ride. The most you can
ask from your bike is that it's safe, comfortable and reliable.
If you have all 3 of those then your bike will deliver every fat
burning advantage it possibly can.
Plus once you're all outfitted, you will be in the clear. Unlike
golf of skiing, you don't have to pay to play. No more membership
fees and no high maintenance costs. A simple tune up each spring
is about all you'll need.
Hills Don't Give You Any Slack
If you're fortunate enough to live somewhere that's not flat as
a pancake then you're in luck. Riding up hills works you in a way
no cardio machine at the gym can no matter how high you crank that
resistance. A big reason for this is because a hill is not adjustable.
You can't make it shorter nor can you decrease the grade. It doesn't
matter if youre tired or having an off day, that hill is going
to challenge you all the same. Its like a drill sergeant without
an ounce of mercy towards your fat stores.
You Have To Get Back Home
Just as you can't make a hill any easier, you always have to ride
back to where you started. At the gym you can always just hop off
the machine and hit the shower. On a bike ride you always have to
get yourself back home. If you ride 10 miles out, you have to ride
10 miles back. You might be able to find a short cut, but in most
cases you're not going to be able to duck out very easily. You're
going to ride those last few miles whether you want to or not.
You Can Commute
Unlike walking or running, the bike is a pretty practical means
of transportation. We all need to get somewhere every day, thus
you also have the opportunity to workout everyday. Think about it
this way, if you workout in the gym 3 times a week for 45 minutes
that adds up to about 2.25 hours of cardio a week. But if you have
a 30 minute pedal commute to work or school then that's over an
hour each day or 5-7 hours a week. That's about 3 times the cardio
than the average gym routine!
By the end of a few months you'll have racked up more calorie burning
time than most people achieve in a year. Plus you'll still be going
on a commute so you'll save yourself from the extra time needed
to workout as well as a lot of money on gas.
Riding Is Fun
Who doesn't love the feeling of wind in their face and sun on their
skin? Riding a bike is a one of the simple joys in life that gives
back far more than you invest in it. These days, cardio machines
have all sorts of entertainment options like TVs and MP3 hook ups.
They have these features for the same reason you can find those
features on airline flights. That reason is because even though
the body may be working, the mind is bored stiff.
There is no need for a magazine rack on a bicycle. The natural
terrain and the changing scenery keeps both body and mind engaged
for a complete holistic experience. So as the weather gets nice
and warm, I hope you'll give your trusty bicycle a shot. It's just
too much to ignore the fat and calorie burning benefits it can bring,
let alone the fun you will have doing it!