Bike Riding For Weight Loss and Improved Fitness

Remember how much fun it was riding your bike as a kid? Sometimes as an adult you tend to forget that working out to lose some weight doesn’t have to feel like a chore, you can have fun while improving your health at the same time.

Exercise and weight loss are a powerful combination, and riding a bike is a great way to have fun while doing it and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. Bike riding doesn’t only strengthen the leg muscles, it also helps in elevating the heart rate thus improving cardiovascular health and fitness.

While it’s true that any aerobic fitness machine will raise the heart rate a bike provides an impact free workout that’s perfect if you are prone to impact type of injuries. And it’s just plain fun to ride a bike.

Depending on how fast you go, how hard you’re working, how much you weigh, etc. you’ll burn approximately 300-500 calories per hour. You can work harder by choosing a hilly course, riding against the wind or if your bike has gears you can set the resistence level higher by pedaling in a lower gear.

If you don’t have hills in your area you can vary the intensity of your workouts by doing intervals. Do a few minutes at a faster pace raising your pedaling cadence and thus elevating your heart rate followed by slowing down and letting your heart rate return to normal, and then repeating the process several times . Medical and fitness experts have determined that interval type of workouts burns more calories, sterngthen the cardiovascular system more and helps to lower cholesterol better than trying to have your intensity remain consistent throughout the entire workout.

Riding a bike is an easy simple solution if you only have to lose a few pounds, but what if your weight makes safely riding an issue?

With most bikes there is a maximum weight recommended for the bike, simply because of the weight capacity of the tires a how the bike is designed. The weight limit varies depending on on the model, but most adult bikes can safely support up to 250 pounds, childrens bikes which are smaller and lighter will supprt less. If you exceed the maximum weight limit for a particular model you’ll be glad to know that some bikes are designed to support up to 500 pounds or more. They may cost a bit more, and may be hard to find off the rack at your local sporting goods store, but you can probably special order it or shop online and find a model that suits your needs.

Some other expenses to consider is a good helmet with foam padding that is designed to absorb the shock should you fall. Clothing that’s specially made for biking is also recommended, while you can get away with a t-shirt and shorts bike clothing will keep you cooler and dryer. If you plan to leave your bike outside a lot a bicycle lock comes in very handy. Also if you’re a serious rider consider those strapless pedals.

Lastly you’ll need to find an area that you can ride safely. Ideally you want to stay away from busy steets unless you don’t have any options. No matter how safely you ride there are bad drivers and those who have no consideration for bike riders. If you do have options then a scenic location with little traffic where you can hear cars approaching is perfect, or even roads that have bike paths available. And never ride against traffic, it’s always with the flow of traffic.

If riding outdoors is unsafe or you don’t feel comfortable try riding in large groups as cars will be more aware of you making it safer, plus just having like minded bike riders around you will be more comfortable and relaxing provided that it doesn’t get competitive. Or consider a stationary exercise bike that you can use at home, and possibly just ride outdoors with a group on Sunday mornings when traffic is slower and more riders and joggers are about making it a little bit safer to be riding. The higher end stationary exercise bikes have computer monitors that keeps track of calories burned, workout length, heart rate, speed, etc., some even comes with programs that allow you to customize the workout by setting pre-programmed resistance levels.

Having a hard time trying to take off those extra pounds? An elliptical fitness machine can make working out fun once more. Take a look at a popular “” Schwinn elliptical today.