Recent research has made it clear that weight loss is not an easy equation of calories in versus calories out.
A recent study showed that some of us may be biologically predetermined to gain weight more easily, and then, find it more difficult to lose weight. Fortunately, carrying extra weight doesn’t automatically mean you aren’t healthy or fit. It is far better for your health to become more physically active than it is to lose weight through diet alone.
There’s even better news: If cycling is your jam, it’s a pretty great way to help you lose weight, if that’s your goal. Not only does cycling burn calories and build muscle, but also, the more you enjoy an activity, the more likely you are to stick with it. This is called “hedonic motivation,” which basically means if you like it, you’ll do it. And research shows that long-term weight loss requires a commitment to exercise, so it’s important to find that activity you just love doing.
Here, what you need to know about cycling for weight loss, including why it’s such a great activity. Plus, how to support your efforts with other healthy lifestyle strategies.
Cycling is also gentle on your joints. In fact, it is often recommended as the exercise of choice for people with arthritis and other joint ailments. You need to be sure you have a proper bike fit, of course. Then, combined with a good warmup, you can push the pace without stressing your hips, knees, or ankles.
The low-impact aspect of cycling is one reason Jimmy Weber of Enid, Oklahoma, got on a bike. Now 150 pounds lighter than his max weight of 410 pounds, Weber initially shed weight through bariatric surgery and a lot of walking. However, his usual seven miles a day got boring which meant he was less inclined to go as far as he wanted to meet his exercise goals. Meanwhile, running was out of the question because of health concerns.
What’s most important: If you have fun cycling, stick with it, no matter what the scale says. Also, try to set a few goals in cycling that have nothing to do with weight loss so you can celebrate your wins and use those victories as a driver to keep moving more.