The Right Way to Do Cycling to Lose Weight
Cycling is one of the top physical activities to lose weight. However, some people claim that they gain more weight when cycling.
Here's the thing: they're probably telling the truth.
Just like any physical activity, there's a wrong way to cycle. Doing this may cause fatigue, injuries, and accidents, and it might also make you gain weight. Luckily, it's not hard to understand why some people are gaining weight while cycling.
This blog will teach you the proper cycle to maintain a fit and lean body–just the way you want it.
Why do you gain weight after cycling?
The main reason why people gain weight after cycling is cortisol.
Cortisol is your stress hormone or the body's way of saying it's in danger. This hormone is mainly released when your body undergoes extreme pressure beyond its capacity, such as lifting weights, training hard, becoming angry, and cycling.
When your cortisol levels spike, your body maintains high water to protect itself. This causes bloating, which contributes to the impression of gaining weight. Aside from this, your body also maintains carbohydrates, thinking it needs more energy to match up your activity.
Aside from all this, the body tends to eat and drink more. Say you lost 500 calories while cycling–your body might exceed this by forcing you to intake 600 calories.
How to lose weight through cycling?
Now that you understand why you're gaining weight after cycling, you'll probably know by now that your main enemy is overexertion. Here's how you can pace yourself to lose weight through cycling.
1. Understand your muscle-to-fat ratio.
First, on the list, know that you would gain weight when cycling regularly simply because you would be developing more muscles. But don't worry, the more muscle you have, the easier your body will burn calories.
It's essential to track your progress. To do this, you must weigh yourself weekly and record your riding distance through a smart riding app.
2. Ride moderately and safely.
To lose fat, you should properly pace your training. The best way to do this is to maintain a heart rate of 67-79 bpm. Going beyond this will make your body release cortisol.
Wearing the right cycling outfit is also imperative in losing weight, as it helps you maintain the optimal body temperature. Wear a thermal layer and a jacket when cycling in wintertime, while a well-ventilated jersey is the best option.
Aside from gaining weight, riding moderately also ensures your safety on the road. Speaking of safety, you should also ensure that you have complete safety biking accessories while riding, including your helmet, smart bike light, and a GPS tracker.
3. Aim less; achieve more.
A fit body doesn't happen overnight. To lose weight, it's best to set a low target at first and gradually build up from there. Aside from the possibility of overexerting yourself when you set a high target, rapid weight loss is seldom maintained. Sooner or later, you will be regaining the weight you lost.
For beginners, you can start by aiming 1kg per week. For an average weight of 80kg, this could be an hour of cycling every day. From there, you can do increments of 500 grams a week.
In doing your training, don't forget to keep yourself hydrated. It's best to bring a trusty water bottle in your every ride.
4. Do a HIIT training a week.
High-intensity interval training is one of the trickiest methods for losing weight. Doing HIIT training at the wrong rate and the wrong pace can make you gain weight.
However, HIIT boosts your cardiovascular capacity, essential for burning calories. You can do a 45 HIIT after a moderate ride when you're cycling. Or, you can do a 60-minute HIIT when you aren't riding in a day.
5. Practice proper cooldown.
Lastly, know how to cool down properly. Note that cooling down doesn't just mean rest; it also includes doing an easy ride as part of your full cycling routine. The most common way to do this is 5-6 minutes of easy pedaling before you end your ride.
Aside from this, you should also have a recovery day. The most common way to do this is to have your rest day every 5 days of extreme workout. However, just like any physical activity, recovery day has no one-size-fits-all. Experts said that the best way to know when you need to rest is to listen to your own body or get a professional physical fitness coach to do the scheduling for you.
Losing weight means being safe.
Even though your ultimate goal in losing weight is to look good, know that you should cycle in the healthiest way possible. This includes listening to your body, pacing yourself, and riding safely. This will prevent you from gaining even more weight and reduce your risk of injuries and getting into accidents.