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Cycling burns calories and tones your lower body.
The bicycle sitting in the corner of your gym can help you lose weight, and it's a weight-loss exercise that offers advantages over jogging the weight off. The biggest advantage is that it's a lower-impact workout that doesn't put as much stress on your joints compared to jogging, so cycling is an ideal choice for nearly everyone. The key to losing weight is correctly balancing your caloric intake with the calories you burn each day. Consistent bicycling workouts can help you achieve just that.
To lose 1 pound of body fat, you must burn and decrease your caloric intake by 3,500 calories. It may sound like a lot, but really it's just 500 calories per day to get on a 1-pound-per-week weight-loss regimen. This is a viable goal if you can exercise on the gym bicycle every day of the week. If your schedule doesn't permit seven workouts per week, lower your weight-loss goal to about a half pound per week. This is the equivalent of needing to burn about 350 calories per workout, five days per week to achieve your weight-loss goal.
Calories Burned Cycling
A 180-pound person burns about 286 calories cycling at a moderate pace for 30 minutes. For an even greater calorie burn, increase your intensity level to a more vigorous pace - in this case the person would burn 464 calories during a 30-minute workout. If you weigh less, you'll burn slightly less -- a 120 pound person will burn about 210 calories during 30 minutes of moderate cycling, while a 150-pound person will burn 260.
Moderate intensity is when you increase your breathing rate but are still able to hold a conversation with someone as you exercise. A vigorous pace is when you can't speak more than a sentence before gasping for breath. Vigorous cycling workouts include spinning - many gyms have spinning classes - or high-intensity interval training of alternating short bouts of moderate exercise with that of vigorous exercise. For instance, one minute of moderate exercise followed by one minute of exercise at a vigorous pace, and repeat the pattern 10 to 15 times to complete the workout.
If you can set aside 30 to 60 minutes every day to exercise on the gym bicycle, you can start losing weight more quickly compared to if you only exercise three to five times per week. However, your busy schedule may not allow for a workout seven days a week, so aim for at least three 60-minute cycling workouts per week. If you're a beginner, stick to a moderately intense pace until your fitness level improves over the course of four to six weeks. At that time, you can incorporate one, and in time two, vigorous workouts per week to truly start losing weight at a noticeable rate.
While a gym bike can help you burn calories, it's all for not if you eat the wrong foods. Avoid sugary drinks and high-calorie snacks while trying to lose weight. A single 20-ounce soda can potentially negate the calories burned in an entire 60-minute cycling workout. Choose filling foods rich in protein, fiber and whole grains. Drink lots of water, along with milk and limited fruit juice. A poor diet can slow down your weight-loss progress, but another potential pitfall is overworking your body. You know your body better than anyone, so if you feel excessively sore or have pain in your joints, take a day off to fully recover before working out again. Without rest your body is unable to completely recover and that can be counterproductive when trying to lose weight.
Use variety in your workouts to keep things from getting boring and to keep your muscles from adapting to the same routine day after day. Some examples of workout variations include varying intensity levels, increasing duration of the workout, interval training and adjusting resistance level of the wheel. It's also a good idea to try other weight-loss exercise machines at the gym to keep your workouts fresh, such as the treadmill and elliptical machine.