With limited hours in a day and lots to do we are always keen to find those times we can double down on the to-do list. Cardio exercise is something we all need to take seriously and add to our daily routine, not just for weight loss but for healthy hearts and fresh mindset. If you love your time on the bike then you will love these tips for burning off the Christmas calories!
Cycling is a great way to stay fit and lose weight, it also can be a perfect way to commute to work, get to the beach or just spend some quality time outdoors.
One of the great benefits of using cycling as a weight loss exercise is that you get a full leg workout without putting intense strain on your knees and ankles. While running burns more calories than cycling it also has a high impact on your joints.
Cycling works your muscles and really gets the blood pumping while going easy on everything else. Even when you are really putting pressure down you don’t receive that jarring bone crunch. The down side of that is you might not see a difference in your waistline if you just slot a ride into your day. If you are new to cycling this post will help you improve your bike handling and decrease your spare tire with visible results in a matter of weeks.
For those who already cycle regularly you can do more to increase your fat burn, simply by putting some proven tactics in place to make weight loss a primary factor when you’re turning the pedals over.
Here are some techniques to help you get the most out of your cycling fitness and quickly and easily burn fat through cycling.
Short rides is the fat burning answer
When you go for a long ride your body burns carbohydrates, so the best method to get a good result is to load up on carbs and go hard for a few hours to build muscle and increase endurance. To burn fat you need to do the opposite; before breakfast go for a short, easy morning ride.
By cycling on an empty stomach for a short distance you are promoting energy burn from fat stores rather than energy burn from carbs. A cup of black coffee (no sugar) is you start up booster if you need one, then on the bike and ride at low intensity for 30 to 40 minutes max. Even a 20-minute ride will work on a fasting method. This way you can take it easy through the week and really enjoy those big endurance rides on the weekends.
You need to complete this ride as close to getting up as possible, you want to fire up your metabolism, not deplete your body’s systems and cause stress.
To get your weight loss workout, after getting up do some light stretches and get out the door as soon as possible. After your ride have something to eat straight away to get your body firing on all cylinders fast. Skipping breakfast altogether can have an impact on your immune system, energy levels and stress levels so be sure to fuel well and sleep well to see maximum results.
If you can’t get out the door as soon as you wake up than have a small handful of nuts within 20 minutes of rising to help reassure your body you’re not in the middle of a famine.
Aim to do these kinds of fasting rides two to three times a week either by a commute to work or getting up early for a turn around the neighbourhood.
Be sure to hydrate with water (and only water) on these short trips, even if the weather isn’t especially warm.
Be sure to eat
As soon as you get back from your fasting ride make sure you eat something, preferably something wholesome like an omelette with plenty of leafy greens and some colour, like chopped capsicum or tomato and zucchini.
The best way to burn fat is to eat well. Sugar and stress will store fat quickly so avoid high sugar foods and drinks, including alcohol and get plenty of rest.
Want to take it up a notch?
If you are already completing these kinds of rides you might not see a big difference on your waistline straight away. If you need to increase your fat burn then still complete a short ride but do it in speed intervals.
Start with a three-minute low intensity ride then sprint as hard as you can for two or three minutes. Follow your sprint with four-minutes of low intensity. Repeat this six times and end with a five-minute cool down.
Just a quick note that you shouldn’t experience any pain when cycling (apart from the burn in your legs). If you do experience any pain or discomfort during or after your ride check your bike set uplothing and posture to make sure you are sitting correctly and have the best fit for your ride. If the pain is persistent do seek help from an allied health professional, like a physiotherapist, podiatrist or chiropractor.Losing the Christmas kilos and enjoying your time on the open road? That’s freedom!