Cycling one hour a day is an excellent way for weight loss according to scientific studies. A 180-pound person will usually burn up to 650 calories riding a bike at a moderate intensity. If you ride for six days a week in a year this totals to more than 200,000 calories burned which can be translated to about 58 pounds of body fat lost.
Looking at it from this perspective, that bike ride in the park you have been putting off for months suddenly does look very attractive.
Still, it is important to note that there are more benefits to cycling than just an hour every day. Even cycling for just 30 minutes every day could burn up to 100,000 calories which translates to a weight loss of nearly 30 pounds.
How Much Should you Cycle To lose Weight
While we have asserted that you can lose up to 650 calories riding your bike for an hour, there is usually not a straightforward answer when it comes to these things. How much you stand to lose will usually be impacted by other factors such as current fitness level, intensity of the exercise,. the distance and speed of your bike ride.
In general you should expect to burn between 400-650 calories for an hour’s worth of riding a bike. That means riding your bike every day could result in burning an extra 4,000 calories every week which is about a pound of fat.
As such if you are new to cycling as a fitness regimen you should expect to see results relatively soon. However, once your body starts adapting to cycling training and becomes very efficient you may need to increase the time spent on the bike to keep up the weight loss.
How much Cycling to Lose a KG?
If you are wondering how much it takes to lose 1kg of fat from cycling then you are in the right place.
While there are many factors that go into the calculation of how much cycling is needed for weight loss, there is a basic calculation you can use for computing energy expenditure which is:
Average watts x time in hours x 3.6
The implication is that if you cycle for an hour and average 100 watts you stand to burn about 360 calories. You would burn double that by cycling two hours all other factors held constant.
Still it is critical to note that to lose a kilogram of fat you have to burn about 7,700 calories which is near impossible for a single ride. This means that you can lose about a kilo a week if you cycle for between one and a half to two hours every day.
Unfortunately most people who are just getting into cycling may not have the endurance or time to spend that much time riding. As such beginner riders may expect to lose a kilogram of weight within 2-3 weeks.
As such, a cyclist may expect to lose a kg every fortnight or so once they start developing the endurance and fitness required for the rigorous exercise.
What Does the Science Say?
An increase in cycling activity to just 30 minutes each day as compared to gentle walking or no activity resulted in significant weight loss. This effect is more pronounced in overweight people who benefit a lot more from cycling.
There is usually a lot of correlation between weight loss and the time spent cycling. The more time one spent cycling the more positive results they would have on their weight loss goals. According to the data, even small amounts of time that could amount to minutes on a bike can make a huge difference.
According to the Harvard Study, overweight people can find it difficult to walk briskly as they may suffer from conditions such as arthritis and other related conditions. On the other hand cycling can be a more do-able and appropriate exercise as it reduces pressure and weight on the joints
Why is Cycling a Good Choice for Weight Loss?
To determine the effectiveness of activity as a weight loss strategy requires that the activity be inexpensive, accessible, and ultimately something that can be done without resulting in a lot of discomfort.
Apart from the above reasons some reasons to cycle one hour a day for weight loss include:
It Improves ability to focus, sense of well being and mood – When you ride a bike you will typically feel happier and calmer which means you will be less likely to feel an urge to binge on unhealthy food.
Cycling helps build muscles – In addition to burning calories, cycling for at least an hour every day increases muscle mass making one leaner. Since muscle burns more calories even when one is done with exercise, the body will burn more calories over time.
Cycling is easy to incorporate into daily routines – Since you do not need to head to the gym or use equipment, cycling is easy and convenient to incorporate into a daily routine either after work or even for commuting to work.
Enhances the effectiveness of the immune system – A study by Appalachian State University established that individuals that perform aerobic exercises several days a week are less likely to fall ill by up to 40%. By biking regularly you can make the ranks of people who do not have to deal with regular infections.
Cycling is a sociable sport – When you ride as part of a group it makes for a fun activity that boosts your spirits and makes it more likely that you will keep on doing it as compared to gym activities that oftentimes feel like a chore which robs one of the motivation to exercise.
Cycling for an hour every day is a great way to lose weight even though the benefits of cycling in itself go far beyond weight loss. If you have been thinking of adopting a fitness regimen, you cannot go wrong with cycling especially if you use it for daily routines or group riding activities
Related: Is cycling good for abs