The bicycle is one of the best tools to burn calories and lose weight. A 145 pound woman riding 1 hour at approximately 12 MPH will burn about 500 calories, increase speed to 16 MPH, and calorie burn will increase to approximately 835 calories per hour.
You can increase your calorie burn by doing sprints every now and then during the ride.
Since it takes 3,500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat, then about 4 hours of cycling at 16 MPH will burn roughly enough calories to burn 1 pound of fat.
Cycling is very low impact, so it doesn’t affect the joints like running does.
Cycling can be done indoors on a desk bike in bad weather, with little to no change in calorie burn.
Personally, I find indoor cycling on a desk bike boring, but some find it quite satisfying and now there are simulation machines that make it look like you’re going to a course instead of just riding a bike. Some of these work with a trainer and increase resistance when climbing hills and offer a variety of rides to reduce boredom.
You can use the bike to run some errands and at the same time burn some calories that you would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. Using a small bike trailer increases the number of calories burned as well as offering more opportunities to run errands since you can carry a lot more and that allows you to expand the raid you can do.
What I mean by that is that with my trailer I can haul up to 100 pounds. of groceries or tools or whatever. I’ve brought the week’s supplies from the supermarket. Climbing a 100 pound load, even on a small hill, will put a lot of extra resistance on the pedals and improve leg strength.
Most people think of cycling as fully cardiovascular exercise, but that’s not always true. Taking your bike uphill, especially with the added load of a trailer, will definitely increase leg strength and will also be a great way to strengthen your core.
If you ride a BMX or mountain bike, you will also build some upper body strength and burn a lot more calories than if you ride casually.
Depending on the type of bike you plan to make, it may take some preparation and it will depend on the type of bike you want to buy.
You should check with the local store, they are generally very helpful. Yes, they want to sell you a bike, but most stores realize that they want to make you even more happy and if they sell you something that doesn’t fit, you won’t come back. Since they need you to repeat your business to stay in business, they will almost always go out of their way to make the bike you buy is the bike you will use.
Here are some general rules of thumb, but they don’t always fit perfectly as each individual is different.
Buy a road bike if you want to lose weight, get fit, want to ride in a group and enjoy the speed and agility of road cycling in general. If you do, also check with the store how to get into your local bike club or group and have fun. I am a member of Pecan City Pedalers in Albany Georgia and I also have contacts in clubs throughout the United States. I really enjoy the road bike.
Buy a comfort or hybrid bike if you’re only interested in fitness and you don’t mind riding alone, you don’t care about speed, you just want to burn calories and get going. These will generally have narrower tires so they will go a bit faster. They are a kind of cross between a mountain bike and a road bike.
Buy a mountain bike if you live in an area where there are a lot of back roads that are not paved, road bikes and hybrids don’t do the same with loose gravel and grass as mountain bikes do.
Cruises are fine, although not my choice. That was the main type of bicycle that existed when I was a kid. These are kind of single speed bikes like we had in the 50s and 60s. They would be nice for working with tools in the city, but they can be really tough on the hills.
BMX Cruisers or 20 “for racing. BMX racing can be done at any age and after the first few laps on the track you will either love it or hate it. Most kids love it, adults not so much. Personally, I enjoy it and I love to ride and even compete with my grandchildren, it is a great exercise and after 3 Motorcycles (1 race) I feel that I have done a good exercise.
If you try BMX, rent a bike, or borrow one, most tracks have them on the track and you will rent or loan one for a practice race. Once you have tried it, you will have to decide for yourself if it is for you. BMX Racing is not for everyone, but everyone can try it. I think it’s a lot of fun, but maybe when I’m older (I’m only 57 years old) I’ll think differently.