In this article, we’ll not only bust some myths about cycling and cardio, but we’ll also take a look at some enlightening facts about fat loss, and see if cardio is that big of a part of the equation.
You can find links to the scientific research that back up the claims made on this article at the end of it.
Is cycling every day good for you?
When it comes to exercise, some variables can turn a healthy exercise into a dangerous one and the best training program into an ineffective one.
Training volume and frequency are two of the most important factors that you should take into account when programming a training routine. I’m going to briefly explain what do they mean and how can they enhance or ruin your training routine.
-Training frequency: This measurement is meant to indicate how often you train a part of your body or do a certain exercise. Ideally, we’d want to choose a training frequency that lets us recover just enough to exert a little more effort on the next one, this is called progression.
-Training Volume: This is how we measure the amount of effort we made on a training session. Making our training volume higher on each session will allow us to make sure that we’re progressing towards our goal, whether it be muscle growth or fat loss.
These two, in combination, will answer your question. You can cycle every day as long as you’re able to cycle a little bit more on your next session.
If you want to keep on making progress in the long run, the most intelligent way to do it is to NOT force yourself to the point of failure on every session, but rather leaving some room to be able to exert more effort on the next one.
Few important Key Benefits of Cycling to Remember
As for any kind of cardiovascular training, cycling offers a wide variety of benefits for your overall health.
-Low impact: As you know or should know, cycling in its nature is a very low impact exercise and is great for people with joint problems. Because of this, it is a preferred workout over say running on the treadmill or outdoors.
–Easy: Most people learned how to ride a bike at a young age so, unlike other disciplines, you most probably don’t need to acquire any new skills to be able to perform it.
-Good for strength and stamina: Depending on the location you choose for your cycling session, everything can turn quite challenging fast. Doing it on an irregular surface will demand you a lot more core strength, and the inclination of the path you choose will also imply different degrees of leg strength involvement in your session. Don’t be afraid of facing new challenges when it comes to cycling, as, if done safely, it will most probably pay off.
-As intense as you want: Cycling can be done at very low intensity, to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
-A fun way to get fit: The adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors mean you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
-Time-efficient: As a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains, or buses with healthy exercise.
Check out Benefits of Riding Bike
How long should I bike for a good workout?
Well first off what are your goals? To burn calories and lose fat?
Cycling in general is an excellent exercise to burn calories and lose weight. The average person will burn between 450 to 750 calories per hour cycling. The number of calories depends on your weight, speed, and time spent biking. The same goes for just about any bodyweight exercise.
Running, for example, trying to figure out how much time you should spend running on a treadmill will vary based on your body and the amount of force it takes to keep your body moving. The amount of time on a treadmill will vary widely if you are overweight vs if you are underweight.
If fat loss is your goal, your calorie ingestion needs to be measured and taken into account as well, not only the amount of time you spend on the bike. The only way of losing weight is by expending more calories than you ingest.
Cardio can help by making you spend a substantial amount of extra calories, and that way, providing you some extra room for calorie ingestion while staying on a caloric deficit, or by making your deficit bigger (more weight loss).
On the internet, you’ll find a lot of calculators that will allow you to get an approximation of the number of calories you expend every day depending on your level of physical activity, body composition, and some other factors that vary from each calculator. Though, the most accurate way to get this data is by partaking in a DEXA exam.
Is stationary biking as good as outdoor cycling for burning calories?
Stationary biking does have the benefit of letting you achieve a complete exercise session without even leaving your house if you own one. Or it can be more time-efficient if you do it after your strength training at the gym.
On the other hand, outdoor cycling is extremely beneficial for many reasons and can provide you with more challenging events that, in the long run, will probably make you expend more energy during your sessions.
So, from a pure numbers standpoint, outdoor cycling may be more calorie consumption in the long run, while stationary biking will offer you a more controlled setting. Some stationary bikes will even calculate the calorie expenditure for you.
Can you lose belly fat by cycling?
Of course, you can! But it’s not you that’s going to decide how fast or how much. Several studies demonstrate that you can’t burn fat from a specific body part, it’s your own body that will decide where the fat loss will come from. Most evidence indicates that this is a matter of body composition, that is, your fat loss will mainly come from the parts of your body in which you have accumulated it the most.
What I think and Important Things to Remember about Cycling Workouts
Cycling, as any form of exercise, is beneficial for our physical and mental health when done smartly.
The amount of body fat you burn while riding your bike will change depending on external factors like body composition, training environment, calorie consumption, training volume, and frequency.
While this can sound a little overwhelming, these concepts are some of the most basic ones that every trainee should be familiarized with, as getting a grasp of them, will translate into a more effective workout program.