Of course yes! Riding a bike is one of the best possible exercises to burn calories. Whether on a stationary bike in a gym, at home, or outdoors, riding a bike burns more calories than almost any other exercise in a given period of time. Besides that, riding a bike is a lot more fun than most other exercises.
Riding a bike is also much easier to use than most forms of exercise. It is not a high-impact sport that wears down on joints like running or a lot of aerobics. It is even an exercise that can be enjoyed after a hip or knee replacement.
The longer you do it, the more calories you burn. The amount of calories burned by cycling or any other exercise depends on the time you spend exercising along with its intensity. This is a great advantage for cycling because it is very easy to keep cycling for an hour or more. The longer you do it, the more calories you burn.
Most of the cyclists I know can easily ride for two hours or more. Some of my wonderful fan friends are randonneures. His rides are 60 to 750 miles at a time. These people travel day and night to achieve their goals.
Speaking of long trips, I recently met a very nice young woman on the University of Texas, Austin bike team, and they just completed a trip from Austin, TX to Anchorage Alaska and back in eighty days. They raised more than $ 250,000 for cancer research.
Then there is the Ride Across America (RAAM) from Oceanside, CA to Atlantic City, New Jersey every year. This is a really amazing race. The 8-man men’s team completed it in 5 days and 16 minutes with an incredible average speed of 22.42 mph. The men’s solo race was won in 8 days and 20 minutes with an also incredible average speed of 14.38 mph.
Those riders are amazing! I bet they can tell you about the calories burned on the bike.
Join a bike club
Join a bike club and you will meet some very interesting people. Or join the CelebrateCycling.com community to meet other cyclists who live near you. Don’t worry about that little bike seat, you’ll get used to it soon. We all did.
Most of the cyclists started with short rides and increased slowly, so that now cycling has become a part of their lives. Many of them join clubs or groups where they enjoy weekend walks with their friends on quiet country roads. When I started, I thought 10 miles was a big deal, but today my norm is a 30-mile walk after work twice a week. I also try to take a longer trip on the weekend.
As they do so, they burn a lot of calories. Let’s look at a list of the number of calories a 200-pound person burns in various activities in one hour to see how cycling compares:
- Biking for an hour at 12 mph = 725 calories
- Running for one hour at 6 mph (10 min mile) = 908 calories
- Basketball game for one hour = 725 calories
- Rowing (moderate) for one hour = 862 calories
- Jumping rope (moderate) for one hour = 908 calories
- Aerobics (general) for one hour = 544 calories
- Weightlifting (moderate) for one hour = 275 calories
As you can see, biking falls short of the rest and this list doesn’t take into account headwinds and hills. They can easily increase the calories you burn riding a bike. The real reason biking is a great way to burn calories is that biking outdoors is so enjoyable that it invites you to return. There is always a new landscape to look at and a new hill to conquer. There are friends to chat with and new routes to explore. Riding a bike is just plain fun.
Riding a bike is great, but you also have to do something else. Riding a bike is a great exercise for your lower back and all the muscles in your legs, heart, and circulation, but it doesn’t do much for your abs, chest, arms, and upper back.
Spending a little time with the rest of your body will do wonders. If you have already conditioned your body to the discipline of cycling, you are ready to work your upper body.
Cycling groups and clubs have members who are of all shapes and sizes, but it is easy to recognize those who combine cycling, along with some weights and body exercises such as palate or yoga. They look great and have the full sculpted bodies that we all wish we had.
Lose weight while gaining strength and shape
We all know that exercise is important if we want to lose weight in the right way. Burning those calories on a bike is a great way to start, but we need a little more. We need to burn fat while building lean muscle mass to lower our body mass index (BMI). It would seem that eating less and exercising more is the correct formula, but it may not be.
Depending on what we currently eat, we may need exercise more and eat more. Our bodies are very complex machines. If we exercise even at a moderate intensity for more than an hour, we need to eat while exercising.
Even if we load carbohydrates for two days before our exercise, our blood and liver only store an hour and a half of energy for a trained athlete. Once we spend more than an hour, our tank begins to dry out and we need to refill it. Spending an hour and a half, we begin to enter a state of hypoglycemia where the runners hit the wall and the cyclists jump. Neither one is fun.
Riding a bike for more than an hour and a half without additional food is counterproductive. Not only are we out of energy and wobbly, but we could be burning some of that new lean muscle mass we’ve worked so hard to build.
10,000 calories a month! Follow it! The calories you burn on a bike can easily add up to 10,000 a month or more. Wouldn’t that be great?
If we continue like this, we will all be triathletes before we know it.