Whether you ride on the road, hit the trails or prefer to use a stationary bike indoors, cycling is a good calorie-burning workout that can help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals. Increase the number of calories burned when biking by increasing your speed or riding up hills.
If you prefer to cycle indoors, you can still get in a good workout on a stationary bike. Many gyms even offer spinning or cycling classes that guide you through the workout. During a 30-minute session, the estimated number of calories burned in a cycling class or riding a stationary bike at a moderate intensity is:
- 210 calories for a 125-pound individual
- 260 calories for a 155-pound individual
- 311 calories for a 185-pound individual
You can burn even more calories by increasing your effort and cycling at a vigorous intensity. The estimated calorie burn during a 30-minute vigorous session is:
- 315 calories for a 125-pound individual
- 391 calories for a 155-pound individual
- 466 calories for a 185-pound individual
To reduce the risk of injury, be sure to warm up before exercise and cool down after your session by biking at a slower, easier pace. If you're new to biking or any exercise program, be sure to start slow and increase the intensity and length of your workouts gradually over time. Drink plenty of water before your ride and take a bottle with you to stay hydrated.
If you are biking outdoors, whether on the road or the trail, make sure your bike is in an acceptable state for riding. Check that your tires are properly inflated, your chain and gears are in good repair and your brakes are working properly.
Always wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a fall. Make sure it fits properly and the chin strap is secured to keep it on your head. While it's best to avoid riding at night or when you have poor visibility, sometimes it is unavoidable. If you find yourself out during these times, have a front lamp on your bike and a reflector on the back so that you are visible to cars and other cyclists.
Wear appropriate clothing for bicycling, including reflective cycling clothing, especially if you are on the road. Avoid wearing headphones that may prevent you from hearing oncoming cars, other cyclists or pedestrians.
Be aware of your surroundings and the terrain as you ride. While traffic and pedestrians are obvious dangers, be sure to keep an eye out for potholes, drains and train tracks that may catch your tires and cause a fall. Obey the rules of the road and use hand signals to let other vehicles know your intentions.