It has become quite evident that losing weight is a major topic in Western society. Wherever we turn billboards, the internet, magazines, and television are plastered with images of toned fit men and women staring directly at you. You’re more conscious of it when it is lurking in the foreground.
What can you do to lose weight? You ask yourself that every day! Dieting, running and cycling – a combination of exercise and eating well-balanced meals contribute to shedding off the excess weight.
You are almost made to feel guilty for not trying to improve your fitness. At work, your colleagues go to the gym early morning, run to the office or even cycle to work, however ‘’you’’––you take a bus, tube or train to work. You know you could be doing something, but what? You can see it in their faces when you get to work late, things they say to you “why don’t you get up earlier”, “why don’t you cycle to work, you live 30 mins away” and all sorts of things they throw at you.
Ok, running is common except that it has an impact on the joints, knees, feet and ankles. The heavier you are the more painful it can be if you are running on uneven surfaces so it might not be recommended as a good way of starting a fitness program. The last thing you want to do is to call in sick on Monday for having swollen ankles!
Have you considered riding a bike? There is no membership fee or pressure from brawny men weightlifting 30kg with one hand visually challenging to a weight lift contest you know is a battle lost.
In London, and other major cities, people have been encouraged to swap their cars or public transport for a bicycle. While being fun, sociable and a great outdoor activity, cycling has many health benefits. In London, areas consist of zones. The main roads in Zones 1 and 2 have been modified to incorporate cyclist lanes to improve road safety, reduce the speed limit and provide a new government ‘cycle to work scheme’ for employees.
The Benefits Of Cycling
Cycling offers many benefits a gym membership would except it’s significantly cheaper. You get your dose of vitamin D during outdoor exercises, it improves your reflex, helps with concentration and contributes to social responsibility. The planet does not need any more campaign reminders about the devastating effects of CO2 emissions when using your car and draining the earth’s liquid (petrol/diesel) buried in depth for a purpose man has not yet discovered!
Here are just a few more wicked benefits of cycling…
- Improves aerobic fitness
- Reduces cardiovascular diseases
- Lengthens your life expectancy
- Circulates blood flow
- Considerable weight loss
- Tones and builds muscle
- Improves your sex life
- Builds confidence and mental good being
- Improves your stamina
- Helps maintain focus and concentration
How Can You Lose Weight?
In prolonged and endurance exercise, fat is the preferred source of energy used by the body. The fat stored in a typical young male is enough energy to perform 25 to 40 marathon runs. That is an average of 60000 to 100000 kcal.
The less intense and short distance exercises use carbohydrates as a quick source of energy, it is quick and readily available to allow the body to function at its optimum.
The number of calories you burn is very dependant on your age, weight, height, basic metabolic rate, and type of exercise. Generally, you burn 5 calories per minute whilst cycling but again will vary if you are doing long distance exercise and high-intensity interval training. A study conducted by the University of East Anglia has proven that up to 7kg/1st can be lost over a year through pedaling this two-wheeled transporter.
Where to start
Firstly pick a Santander bike available near most tube stations in Zone 1 and Zone 2. It is stress-free and easy to hire making your cycling routine easy to get started if you don’t already have a bike. Just remember those work colleagues who won’t stop revving about cycling and show them one day when you arrive at work with your cycling gear on – see their reactions. Embark on a trip during the weekends around town to get a feel of being active and discover London’s iconic landmarks and new builds.
Devise A Plan
For all beginners aiming to set yourself a personal target is key – a distance you would like to cover and how much weight you want to lose (be realistic).
Take this moment to ascertain how you plan to fit this way of commuting on a daily basis before or to and from work. Ideally, you should use this time to help build your confidence and get a practice run before you are pressured by those flaring dragon nostrils from cyclists behind you and intimidated by those overtaking you like Japanese bullet trains –– just cycle at your own pace!
Final progression after impressing yourself and your work colleagues you might want to introduce High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT into your cycling schedule. You must pick a good spot to cycle somewhere with hardly any traffic lights to break your intensive workout. The aim is to pedal as fast as you can for a couple minutes with a three-minute interval in between where you cycle at your average pace and repeat this over again for three to four times. While it might look like someone poured a bucket of water over you, the results are phenomenal. It is the perfect way to building muscles, toning and certainly burning calories.
Don’t Forget To Incorporate Nutrition
Short distance not longer than an hour of cycling does a huge breakfast. Learn to cycle on a tea or cup of coffee will train your body to burn fat as fuel. However, when you arrive at your destination please eat something like porridge with berries, a fruit smoothie or banana with yogurt. For beginners, I recommend some fruits and water when starting your journey.
For long distance, hydrate yourself good for 24 hours and eat at least two hours before you start your travels with something like eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast, poached eggs and avocado on toast, pancakes or porridge with nuts and honey.
Cycling Success Tips
- Have a good eight hours sleep
- Hydrate your body
- Eat a good breakfast
- Focus on your overall objective
- Use Bike Hub app (designed to assist cyclist with quickest routes to their destination and helps locate nearest bike shop)
- Set a time to arrive at your destination
- Bike check ensure it is safe (if you decide to buy a bike instead of hiring)
- Wear a high visibility jacket and helmet (always think of safety)
- Look over your shoulder before switching lanes or turning left or right
- Adhere to the Highway code
- Set your weekly challenge for the following week (longer distance, beating your time and attempting hill starts)
These are key things to consider in your cycling program to help achieve a winning workout and notice some toning on your thighs and legs after several weeks.
londoncyclist.co.uk is a great place to meet a new pal daily, join a cycling club or discover a different destination to cycle together. Your motivation soars when you have a buddy to support you and chat as you cycle at your own pace. Going through small hills and bendy roads, these ‘fat burning rides’ will get you off your seat. You’ll soon unearth a euphoric feeling and notice a sense of abundance and joy as you reflect on your weight loss progress and positive changes in your body.
Where To Shop
There are plenty of bicycle shops available if you choose to purchase a commuting bike, high road bike, mountain bike or hybrid. I would recommend test ride the bike you think you want and see if there are other similar bikes at an affordable price. If you purchase a second-hand bike make sure you get it serviced and inspected by someone with bike knowledge.
Cycling Is Meant To Be Fun
Life cannot be just about sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. It should also be about discovering, conquering, and experiencing new things oadventures.com
If the city gets boring why not change scenery and go to a place where the sunshine greets you. You can head over to oadventures.com, a great cycling holiday website which offers fun adventure retreats providing accommodation, fresh quality cooked meals and cycling tours with breathtaking picturesque landscapes whilst meeting likeminded cyclists with amazing stories to share.
In order to lose weight through cycling, you must retain a healthy lifestyle. Incorporate a natural and organic well-balanced diet and remember that eating fast food whilst nobody is watching will not go unnoticed physically when you have to get on that bike and pedal.