Is a Bicycle right for you?
Cycling is a very popular activity for weight
loss. As more and more
bicycle lanes and bike paths are constructed by local governments, and
more and more people try to help the environment by looking for alternatives
to car transport, bicycles are destined to become even more popular as
pieces of fitness equipment.
In this article we discuss the top ten reasons for buying a bicycle if your goal is to lose weight, increase your fitness, improve your health and help the environment.
1. Weight loss and Fitness.
Cycling has helped millions of people to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals and it may be able to help you too.
Cycling at 15 kilometres per hour (9 miles per hour) burns nearly 12 kilojoules / 3 calories per kilo of body weight every half an hour. For a person weighing 100 kilos, that equates to 1200 kilojoules or 300 calories every 30 minutes.
Because cycling is easy on the body, it can be enjoyed for extended periods of time, like an hour or two, so the total kilojoules or calories burned over a workout can be considerable.
Cycling is also great for raising your heart rate into the zones most appropriate for weight loss and fitness.
According to the National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation, regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person ten years younger.
Cycling at least twenty miles (30 kilometres) a week reduces the risk of heart disease to less than half that for non-cyclists who take no other exercise (Source: British Heart Foundation).
Because the speed at which we can cycle is so variable and easily controlled, it is very easy to get into the best heart rate zone for weight loss or improved fitness and stay in that zone for extended periods.
Cycling is a very flexible form of exercise.
As our fitness improves for example, we can increase our speed or try tackling some hills for added intensity.
Because we are in total control, we can start off very slowly and ride up gentle slopes at first but as we get stronger and fitter we can attempt faster speeds and steeper inclines.
3. Good for the environment, no pollution.
We all know that riding a bicycle instead of driving a car, even a small amount of the time and for short trips, can help save the environment.
Here are a few interesting facts you might not have considered:
- Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space taken up by one car.
- To make a bicycle requires only a fraction of the materials and energy needed to make a car.
- Bicycles produce absolutely no pollution, no noise, no stink and no congestion.
- Cars kill and maim thousands of people every year - bicycles don't.
The biggest secret about riding a bicycle is that it's so enjoyable.
Time flies when you're cycling because the scenery changes so often and there's always something interesting going on around you.
Because there's usually plenty of choice when it comes to where to ride, you can choose your scenery to suit your mood and the conditions, so while you're losing weight and getting fit you've also got a great view as well as having a great time.
5. Cycling is economical.
Bicycles are relatively inexpensive to buy and don't require a lot of expensive accessories.
For the price of a year's membership at your local gym or a few months worth of sessions with a personal trainer, you can buy a reasonably good bicycle with all the accessories you need.
In addition, a good bicycle only needs at most about $100 worth of maintenance a year and even less if you're prepared to do some basic stuff yourself.
A good bicycle, well maintained, will last for years, if not decades, which makes the cost of owning and riding a bike very cheap indeed compared to some other exercise options.
6. Cycling can be very sociable.
When you're out cycling on the open road or on a bike path, you often see more groups than individuals cycling.
Cycling is a great way to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
If you don't have any friends who are into cycling or have the same fitness and weight loss goals as you do, there are many organisations and groups around that organise regular social bike rides that anyone can join.
These organised rides usually cater for the beginning cyclists as well as the very experienced.
7. More cycle paths.
There are more and more cycling paths being paved around the country to make cycling increasingly safe and pleasurable.
This means that it is becoming easier for cyclists to exercise away from the fumes and the noise of car and truck traffic, and it's easier to find new scenic routes to cycle on.
8. Cycling is a low impact activity.
Unlike jogging and running, cycling is easy on the hips, knees and ankles.
If you have an existing injury that prevents you from running or jogging, cycling is a great alternative and may even be able to strengthen your thighs, calves and ankles so you can include at least a little jogging or running into your exercise routine.
9. Cycling is a great family activity.
Cycling is a great way for families to get together and stay together while burning a few extra calories.
Every so often you might even consider cycling off together and having a picnic (healthy food of course) in the country.
And so much beautiful scenery, which normally flashes by in a car, can be enjoyed from a bicycle.
10. Age is no barrier.
People of all ages, from small children to the very senior, can take part in cycling.
As we saw at the beginning of this article, cycling can make you feel and look ten years younger than you are, so the sooner you get started cycling, the better.
Bicycles are very popular pieces of fitness equipment for weight loss.
As more and more bicycle lanes and bike paths are constructed by local governments, and more and more people try to help the environment by looking for alternatives to car transport, bicycles are destined to become even more popular.
In this article we discussed the top ten reasons for buying a bicycle if your goal is to lose weight, increase your fitness, improve your health and help the environment.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and buy yourself a bike!
Good luck with your weight loss and thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.
© Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.
This article was written by Scott Haywood.
Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.
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