Riding a bicycle is one of the most attractive sports that can exist, in addition to being one of the healthiest and most effective to maintain our body. The benefits that we can find when riding a bicycle are multiple. On the one hand, it is an excellent sport to strengthen our muscles, forearms, legs and backs, but on the other hand it also gives us mental benefits, since it allows us to relax by giving us the opportunity to do sports outdoors.
However, there are many people whose main goal when riding a bicycle is to lose fat. Find out what health benefits you can get from practicing this sport and how many calories you can burn depending on the type of bike you choose.
What are the health benefits of riding a bicycle?
In addition to burning calories, riding a bike helps you work your major muscles, from your legs to your shoulders. Cycling can help you relieve back pain. In addition, with the pedaling movement you will strengthen the lower back and the vertebrae, which reduces the chances of suffering from herniated discs and other back problems. Also great for people with weak knees or hips.
What types of bicycle are there?
You have multiple options when it comes to cycling. In addition to the standard road bike or the exercise bike at the gym, you can find other options for example:
- The mountain bike.
- The BMX bike.
- The recumbent bicycle.
- The tandem bicycle.
In general, mountain bikes have incorporated more damping for bumps and jumps, while BMX bikes have smaller frames and more convenient for jumps and tricks.
Recumbent bikes offer a more relaxed position and are less wind resistant compared to standard road bikes. Instead, tandem bikes give you the opportunity to do team cycling rather than a solo activity.
How many calories can I burn depending on the type of bike?
1. Exercise bike
Your starting weight and intensity of exercise will determine the number of calories you burn on an exercise bike. In one study, it was calculated how many calories 3 subjects could burn while riding a bicycle based on their body weight. The weight of these people was 56.7, 70.3 and 84 kg.
In one hour of moderate activity it is estimated that these subjects would burn 420 calories, 520 calories and 622 calories respectively. If they increased their intensity level they would burn up to 630 calories, 782 calories and 923 calories based on their weight.
2. Road bike
Riding a leisurely bike at 12 to 14 miles per hour can burn 480 calories, 596 calories, and 710 calories per hour respectively. If you increased the pace to a range of 25.7 km to 30.5 km per hour, you would burn 720 calories, 892 calories and 1,066 calories respectively, always depending on the weight around your body.
What does it take to burn more calories with cycling?
No matter what type of bike you use, they all help you burn calories and have a healthy life, as well as strengthen your muscles. If you ride a bike on the street you can choose routes that take you uphill, in this way you will demand more of yourself and your resistance will increase. On the other hand, ignore the gears normally used for easy pedaling, choose a single speed option.
Lastly, if you’re riding on flat terrain, you can take timed rides and pedal faster, increasing your goals as you build strength and endurance.
- Jenni Wiltz, Cycling And Calories Burned Per Hour. For Livestrong [Revised December 2015]