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Losing weight is never easy. It can be difficult to adjust to a new exercise routine, especially if you haven’t done too much exercise in the past. Running is not for everyone, and neither is the gym, but how about riding a bike? Riding a bike is a great way to transport yourself from point A and to point B, but did you know that it’s also great exercise? For someone who wants a fun and motivating way to shed those extra pounds, a bike could be the solution you’ve been waiting for!
Despite what you might think, riding a bike isn’t just good exercise for your legs, but it exercises your whole body. Who says losing weight has to be boring or overly difficult? It doesn’t, not when you can do it by riding your bike.
A Bike Ride for a Healthier Lifestyle
We all remember that feeling of freedom we would get as kids when we rode our bikes to the store down the road or when we biked around with our friends before dinner. Being on wheels has always fascinated humanity. The bike is a means of transportation that has continued to be popular for hundreds of years, despite not being motor-driven!
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean a drastic change in everything you’re used to doing, and sometimes it’s the small things that count. Perhaps start taking the bike to work instead of the car or the bus, or why not buy a basket for your bike and use it for light grocery shopping? Making these subtle changes can be more than enough to make a real difference to your health, and it doesn’t have to change your whole daily routine. Start small and work your way up—bike at your own pace without pressuring yourself too hard in the beginning.
Benefits of Riding Bikes
If you are still not convinced that your bike can help you lose weight, then perhaps one of the other benefits could be enough to get you to hop up on the saddle! See, biking can do so much more for you than just helping you lose weight, and we will try to cover some of these incredible benefits below.
We will start with what this article is about, and that is the weight loss cycling is likely to lead to. When you ride a bike, you activate muscles in your whole body. While you might feel like the bike is doing most of the work, you are constantly pedaling and moving both your legs and your upper body. Choosing the bike instead of the car for short errands or when going to work will burn a lot of calories, and it will quickly start to show.
In the era of Instagram fitness models, strong and exercised bodies have become the ultimate trend. Many of us find ourselves wishing we could be just a little bit more muscular than we are. The gym isn’t an option for everyone, though, and the good news is that riding a bike can also tone your body! You might not become a bodybuilder from riding a bike, as this requires dedication and time, but biking will for sure start to tone your thighs and your behind, depending on where you choose to ride your bike and how intensively (uphill, etc. etc.) – you might even start noticing new muscles in your arms and back!
Better Lung Capacity
It’s normal to be out of breath even after a short bike ride in the beginning because riding a bike is a lot more physically challenging than you might think! It’s a great feeling, though, to see how this becomes less of an issue, the more you ride. Your lung capacity improves little by little with every bike ride. This will help improve your overall physical condition.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
When we move our bodies, it aids blood circulation and promotes the heart to pump blood more efficiently, and this is exercising your heart! A strong heart is extremely beneficial as we get older, and having that improved blood circulation can also reduce the risk of blood clots, varicose veins, and a lot more. Keeping our heart healthy is the key to everything, as the human body cannot live without a heart, and that alone should be motivation enough to get out and enjoy a ride on the bike.
Improved Mental Health
Everyone needs a break sometimes, and it’s good for the mind to unwind after a long day at work, to cool off after a silly argument, or just to collect your thoughts for a few minutes. Physical exercise can help with this, and especially cycling, since it doesn’t have to be that physically challenging. Taking time for ourselves can do wonders for our mental health, and that will, in turn, have a positive effect on our relationships, our parenting skills, work performance, and general well-being. If you are struggling to justify taking yourself the time to go on a daily bike ride, justify it with this.
How to Get Started
Now that we’ve gone over why you should use a bike when trying to lose weight, it’s time to get started! There are a few things to consider before you start rolling around the neighborhood, such as safety and having the proper gear, so here is a list of what you need before you can start biking.
This should go without saying, but you need a bike before you can start losing weight riding one. It doesn’t have to be a fancy or expensive bike (if you are not in the mood for purchasing a brand new one), and you can easily start out with grandma’s old two-wheeler that has been standing in her garage for years! Bring it to a bike shop to have the tires pumped, and the bike properly serviced, or do it yourself if you have a little extra time on your hands!
Safety should always be a top priority, because, while you might trust yourself completely riding a bike, you can never fully trust other bikers, drivers and pedestrians, and accidents do happen. If you get a properly fitted helmet, you will look twice as cool as you would have looked without one, because safety is an attractive look. Most children wear helmets when riding their bikes, so why do we stop wearing them as we grow older? Helmets are something you usually want to try and purchase new instead of used, as one can be weakened after a few blows, and might not protect as well as it should.
For those planning to ride their bikes after dark, it is very important to invest in front and backlights for your bike. They should be a white light in front and a red light in the back, to help other people on the road see where you are. You can usually find kits with bike lights and everything you need to stay safe out there on the roads.
What shoes you wear when riding a bike may seem insignificant because, after all, you won’t be using them for walking. However, proper footwear will keep you from slipping off the pedals, which is important from a safety perspective, and you will be more comfortable riding your bike with shoes that fit you right.
What are you waiting for? Get on your bike and start losing weight right away! It’s fun, relaxing, and convenient to ride a bike whenever you can, and it will help lose weight in just the right places while also toning your body.