average cycling speed for weight loss

Average Cycling Speed for Weight Loss

According to a Harvard Health letter, a 155 pound person can burn nearly 300 calories riding for half an hour and pedaling at an average speed of between 12 to 13.9 miles per hour. People tend to lose more if they weigh more and hence a 185 pound person cycling at the same pace can burn up to 355 calories cycling for half an hour. 

When you increase the average speed to between 14 and 15.9 miles an hour a 155 pounder can burn 372 calories in half an hour of riding. A 185 pound rider could burn up to 444 calories riding for 30 minutes. 

Overall, moderate steady cycling will burn about 300 calories over an hour and this could increase significantly with an increase in the intensity or speed.

average cycling speed for weight loss CHART

Bike Speed125 Pound Cyclist155 Pound Cyclist185 Pound Cyclist
12-13.9 mph240288336
14-15.9 mph300360420
16-19 mph360432504
> 20 mph495594693

How to Burn the Most Calories

One of the hardest things to do while riding is to maintain a steady speed especially if you are riding in the city. To maintain your average speed the experts usually recommend

  1. Cycling at faster speeds for a minute and then slowing down for another minute. This way you can maintain a higher average speed to burn more calories. This can also help build stamina.
  2. Regularly check your heart rate and maintain a rate of at least 110 beats a minute or higher. You can use a heart rate monitor to measure your heart rate at all times during the exercise.
  3. Go on a course that will allow maximum intensity of the exercise. The best course is usually one that will allow you to maintain pedaling cadence without breaking at intersections or stop lights.

Other Ways to Improve Weight Loss While Cycling

There are several ways you can use to enhance your weight loss while cycling and improve your average cycling speed. Some of these include:

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to challenge yourself and lose body weight. HIIT usually involves  short bursts of intense exercise alternating with intervals of low intensity exercises.

If you are riding your bike for weight loss you could do HIIT training in the following way:

  • Cycle as fast as possible at high speeds for between 30 to 60 seconds.
  • You should then do between two to three minutes of easy low intensity riding
  • Repeat for about 20 to 30 minutes

According to a British Journal of Sports Medicine study continuous and HIIT exercise can work well to reduce body fat. However HIIT is more effective at reducing fat mass by up to 28.5%.

Moreover, after you stop pedaling your metabolism will remain high for some time meaning you will continue burning calories at a higher rate until you  return to your normal resting state. 

Try cross-training

If you are not a fan of doing one activity for long, cross training may be a great alternative. This is one of the best ways to add some variety into your workouts. 

For instance, you could get on your bike for some intense riding before hitting the gym to lift some weights. You have to note that to lose weight riding a bike you will have to cycle at an intense pace for at least half an hour. 

According to the American Council on Exercise, combining two activities such as riding a bike for half an hour and then lifting weights for another half an hour will boost weight loss.

How much distance to cover for weight loss

On average you will need to cycle for about 20 to 30 kilometers to lose some weight. The professionals usually suggest that you focus on the duration of the cycling that needs to be an hour or more if you are to see meaningful weight loss.

Endurance training is usually all about going a little further each time as this is what helps burn fat and contributes to sustainable weight loss over time. Ideally you need to start with shorter distances and then increase the distance as your endurance increases.

What is the Best Bike for Weight Loss

If you want to get your average bike speed up so that you can increase weight loss then the choice of bike is very important. It is important to find a bike that fits your body and riding style. The following are some of the bikes you could ride:

Road Bike

If you need the highest average speeds then there is nothing better than a road bike. The sleek frame and thin tires of a road bike coupled with the aerodynamic design  requires less effort.

Moreover, road bikes which are ridden on smooth paved surfaces allow for uninterrupted stretches of riding hence allowing you to achieve higher speeds.

Cruiser, Mountain or Cross Bike

These bikes are not as fast as the road bike given that they are not as aerodynamic. However, they are more comfortable and usually come with cushioning and suspension. As such while they can attain some moderate speed they are better suited for leisure rides.

Electric Bike

Electric bikes are great for commuters or for beginners since they provide a boost to your pedaling when needed. These bikes usually ride like standard bikes but will usually offer assistance from the electric motor when needed. 

For instance the Trek Super Commuter offers a comfortable upright ride and allows you to engage the pedal assist system which can allow one to hit up to 45 km an hour. 

Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikes offer a reclined body position as opposed to the upright position of standard bikes. Since these allow one to ride closer to the ground and have wider saddles they are good for people with back problems However, their low profile may not be the best for attaining high speeds. 

can you lose belly fat by cycling

Yes cycling can be very effective for helping you lose belly fat even if it can take quite some time to work. According to a recent study, regular cycling can promote healthy weight and enhance overall fat loss. To reduce overall belly girth, it is recommended to undertake moderate intensity exercises such as cycling which have been shown to be effective at lowering belly fat.

While spot reduction is not possible some benefits of cycling have been show to reduce overall body fat and in doing so reduce belly fat. These include:

  1. Overall Body Weight Management – Regular cycling is part of many workout plans since it burns a lot of calories as it affects muscle mass and the basal metabolic rate. The resistance from pulling up or pushing down the pedals usually helps to develop muscles.
  2. Increases Good Fat and Lowers Belly Fat – Cycling for 30-60 minutes which is similar to aerobic exercises such as swimming, hiking and jogging is an effective way of increasing high density lipoproteins and lowering belly fat. This can help lower many disease risk and help in the process of weight loss.
  3. Lowers Insulin Resistance – Regular cycling has been show to significantly lower insulin resistance. This means that it will cause the body to absorb glucose better rather than store fat which will result in overall fat loss.
Will losing weight make me faster on the bike?

Losing weight is one of the best ways to improve your average cycling speeds unless you have already attained your optimal riding weight.

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