May is national bike month; so start cycling or spinning, to help reach your weight loss goals. In fact, cycling is a fun, low-impact and easy way to lose weight. Here are some of the reasons why it is such an effective.
It Won't Wear Your Joints Out
Bicycling is a nonimpact exercise, which means there’s no jarring on your joints, so even the heaviest rider can climb aboard a bike and pedal. With today’s cycling bicycles, anyone from the most out-of-shape beginner to the recreational racer can pedal for miles (and burn loads of calories) hour after hour.
It Strengthens Your Body's Biggest Muscles
Cycling uses all the biggest muscles in your body—your quads, hamstrings, hip muscles, and glutes. As you ride you also build lean muscle tissue in your lower body, especially in your legs and glutes. That's all essential for burning more fat longer.
It Trains Your Muscles to Burn More Fat
Cycling builds hundreds of thousands of capillaries in your legs, which means you can deliver more oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. Thus the fat-burning cells in your muscle cells also get bigger, so they can use the increased influx of oxygen to burn more fat and produce more energy.
It Produces More Ways to Burn Fat
The endurance training you do on a bicycle elevates your levels of fatty-acid-binding proteins and fat-carrying enzymes so your body is more efficient at shuttling fatty acids from storage into your working muscles. Simply put, the fitter you get, the more oxygen you can use, and the more fat you can burn.
It Increases Your Daily Calorie Burn
Cycling also increases your daily calorie burn. It burns calories while you’re biking. Even at a recreational pace of 13 to 15 miles per hour, you burn 500 to 600 calories in one hour. That's about 4,000 per week if you ride just an hour every day. An hour of walking, on the other hand, burns just 150 to 250 calories while jogging only burns between 350 and 450 calories.
It Continues Burning Calories Long After You're Done
Finally, cycling lets your body to continue burning calories at a higher rate after you’ve stopped, because your body is still working to repair and replenish your muscles. Cycling also builds lean muscle tissue and raises your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the calories you burn while you’re just hanging around, not exercising. Studies show that just 30 to 45 minutes of exercise most days a week can boost your BMR and keep it raised all day.