Cycling is one of the best forms of cardio, burning about 400 calories per hour on average, and up to as many as 1000 calories per hour, says William S. White Winnetka. Biking has an entire host of additional benefits for your body as well. Biking is a great way to strengthen your lower body, including your legs, hips and glutes. It’s also very gentle on your back, knees, hips and ankles, which makes it a great choice for people who experience pain in those areas with other forms of exercise.
Biking is Versatile
Biking is extremely versatile as well, and can be done indoors on a stationary bike, or outdoors. Biking outdoors exposes you to a wide variety of possibilities for exercise — from gentle, sloping hills to steep and rugged mountain trails. Mountain biking — or off-road biking — has the added benefit of also engaging your upper body and core muscles, states William S. White Winnetka. Road biking is primarily best for a lower body workout.
As far as cardio goes, the faster you cycle, the more your heart rate increases, which in turn burns more calories. Biking is an ideal form of cardio because of its low-impact nature which yields great results for heart health. Cycling is a great option for beginners because they can adjust the intensity of the activity over time. If the ride is too easy, you can increase your gear and if it is too hard, you can decrease your gear. Because stationary bikes are widely available, biking can be done indoors year-round and in any type of weather.
Cycling is also a great way to gain some variety in your cardio routine. Running isn’t for everyone, and the repetitive stress on your joints caused by running can be painful for some. Cycling provides all the cardiovascular benefits you get from any other cardio exercise, and it is a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular system all while placing less repetitive stress on the body. William S. White Winnetka suggests that if you don’t enjoy doing cardio on your own, most gyms have spinning classes available so that you can get your cardio exercise in a group setting.
Cycling raises your heart rate and helps your blood pump around your body, which aids in weight loss. Some studies conducted have conducted that cycling to work can reduce your risk of developing heart disease or cancer in half.
Cycling burns fat and strengthens muscles at the same time, making it an ideal option for weight loss or maintenance with very minimal effort on your part. Over time, cycling increases your energy levels. The more you cycle, the greater the benefits for your heart and cardiovascular system.
William S. White Winnetka explains that your muscles need energy to function. Cycling accelerates your metabolic resting state, providing your muscles with the fuel they need to build muscle mass and burn more calories.
If you are prone to injury, cycling may be a better option for you. Several common forms of cardio are known for causing injuries. Cycling, however, is a non-weight bearing activity, which makes it less likely you’ll be injured or left feeling sore afterward.
No matter what type of cardio you prefer, you should consider adding cycling — either stationary or outdoors — to your routine to improve your overall fitness levels.