For many people, the main reason that they start any form of exercise is because they wish to lose a little bit of weight. Whether you want to shed pounds from your frame or just get rid of those pesky love handles, burning fat is often the main aim.
So how can cycling help? In short, cycling is one of the most complete body workouts, which means that you can burn fat from all over your body if you do it right.
How Does Cycling Burn Fat?
Cycling is a form of cardiovascular exercise, which means that as long as you cycle at a quick enough speed or on a steep enough gradient to get your heart beating faster, you will start to burn fat and lose weight.
Furthermore, because you are engaging so many different areas of your body, you will also find that you burn calories a lot quicker than you would with other cardio activities. After all, your legs, arms and entire core are constantly engaged whenever you head out for a ride, a combination that serves you well to burn more calories and help you get leaner.
How Much Fat Can I Burn?
A lot of it depends on the distance that you ride and the speed that you ride at. Furthermore, you will burn more fat riding uphill than you would on a flat or going downhill.
However, assuming a 185 pound rider riding at moderate pace for an hour the rider can burn approximately 654 calories. Upping the speed also ups the lost calorie count, so if that same rider starts to ride faster it is entirely possible to burn as much as 1,000 calories every single hour or higher. That’s not a bad rate for something that’s fun as well as healthy.
Calories Burned Biking and How It Compares To Other Forms of Exercise
Of course, there are many different forms of cardio out there, so if you are looking to lose weight quickly it’s only natural that you would attempt to search out the most efficient one. Here we’ll take a look at some other forms or cardiovascular exercise and how they compare against cycling.
Running – Assuming you are a male of about an average weight of 185lbs, you should be able to burn about 800 calories if you run at a constant speed of 6mph for a full hour. Of course, maintaining that kind of speed over such a long distance is taxing, plus those who are carrying a little extra weight may have to be wary about the effect that running can have on their knees in the long term.
Swimming – Heading off for a dip in the pool is often a great idea, as swimming is another form of cardio that requires your whole body to properly execute. If you swim for an hour with a moderately-paced free style stroke, you will find you lose somewhere in the region of 650 calories, with the numbers going up the harder the stroke. Interestingly enough, the temperature of the water will have a lot to do with how many calories you burn, the colder the water the harder your body is going to have to work to stay warm, meaning that you will burn more calories.
So What is Better Cycling, Running or Swimming for Burning Fat?
At the end of the day the best way to burn fat is doing whichever sport is the most fun and the one you are going to do the most! A good mix of the three, taking into account your own current health, is possibly the best recommendation. It is a good idea to mix things up and keep your body guessing.
Does Biking Burn Belly Fat?
Biking does burn belly fat, in fact, it burns fat from your thighs, your butt or anywhere you have it for that matter. As long as you have a calorie deficit fat is going to melt off! Aim to expend 500 more calories than you consume each day, this is a healthy weight loss plan and works out to approximately 1 pound each week. Hopefully that is 1 pound of fat, but remember you may not lose it that fast as you are simultaneously building muscle. But, muscle burns fat faster, so really it is a vicious win/win cycle when you bike to burn fat!
Want to learn even more about losing weight while cycling? Check out our e-book below.