So, you’re thinking that it’s time to lose a few pounds, but you’re not sure how to get started. How about dusting off that bike in the garage and taking it out for a spin? Bicycling is ideal for weight loss because it burns a lot of calories. Riding at a moderate speed (12 – 14 mph) you will burn approximately 235 calories per half hour.
Consider cycling for weight loss in a variety of ways. How about these options?
- Try having a scheduled daily ride of about an hour.
- Could you ride your bike to and from work or school? If you did this most days of the week and ate a healthy diet, you could easily expect to lose one pound a week. (Related article: How to Get Started in Bike Commuting)
- Another option is to plan family or group rides a few times a week. Make this a longer ride of a couple hours. Coupled with a healthy diet this would also bring a weight loss of about one pound a week.
- Plan times throughout your week to fit in a bike ride, such as running errands or visiting a friend.
These activities will all add up to calories burned and pounds shed. Plus, they are also just a lot of fun and surprisingly easy way to fit in exercise.
When losing weight, this rate of sheding a pound a week or so is about right. Long term success is rarely achieved by crazy crash diets. If you lose more than a pound per week, you are essentially starving yourself, and your body responds accordingly. It tries to save calories wherever possible, and your metabolism will slow and you risk losing muscle tissue. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is by exercising regularly and making healthy food choices.
Remember this: food is fuel for your body. To keep your body running at full speed, you need to plan your meals around whole foods with minimal processing. Things like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats and dairy. The fruits, vegetables and grains will provide needed carbohydrates to fuel your activity, while the lean meats and low fat dairy products will encourage weight loss and provide protein for muscle development. If you are new to healthy eating, search the Internet for healthy recipes or invest in a good cookbook.