Cycling as a Workout: 6 Tips to Get Fit and Healthy

Besides being a convenient mode of transport, cycling is also a great form of workout if you’re looking to become healthy. This activity offers many benefits, including strengthening your leg muscles, helping you lose weight, boosting your brainpower, and minimizing the risk of cardiovascular infection.

With many such benefits, it just makes sense to think of how you can improve your cycling workout. If you’re stuck on where to start, here are a few helpful tips that can help you take your cycling to a new level. Let’s get started!

1. Set Challenging, Realistic Goals

It will take some time for you to see the benefits of adding cycling to your daily routine. Don’t expect to shed four kilos within a week of riding a bike. You need to be patient, and it’s best to start by setting challenging, but realistic goals.

Experts at healthedacademy.com and other similar sites will tell you that having such goals in place will help you remain focused and determined, especially during days when you’re less motivated to go for a cycling workout.

With your cycling goals in mind, you’ll be able to create a comprehensive workout plan that’ll guide you toward realizing your goals. A good way to go about this is by having a series of short-term and long-term goals.

For example, your short-term goals could be something like cycling for 10 km, and then gradually increasing this to 20 km after a couple of weeks. You can also set other objectives such as increasing your cycling speed or getting into a cycling group.

Your goals don’t have to be exactly the same because everyone is different, but these suggestions should be a safe start.

2. Create a Weekly Plan

After knowing your desired workout goals and gauging your fitness level, the next thing to do is develop a training plan. Ideally, you should stick to this training plan for at least 1 to 2 months.

This way, you’ll be able to build up your stamina and pacing, as well as increase the distance of your regular cycling routes. When developing the plan, you shouldn’t be excessively demanding on yourself.

Otherwise, you risk failing to achieve your set goals, and this will consequently leave you irritated and demotivated about your cycling workout.

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    While it’s a good idea to ‘copy’ someone else’s cycling plans, you’ll soon find out that your body’s unique fitness needs will have you making enough changes to it. With enough time, you’ll be able to come up with a cycling routine that is unique to you.

    3. Get Enough Rest And Sleep

    Getting fitter and healthier requires you to ride on a consistent basis, but make sure you’re also giving your body enough time to recover between rides. A well-rested body is less likely to get injured while on the road, meaning you can go on bike rides more often.

    Some of the things that you need to incorporate into your recovery routine include;

    • Stretching and getting a massage to reduce any muscle soreness you might be feeling.
    • Having enough sleep every night, at least 8 hours each day.
    • Incorporate meditation into your post-workout relaxation period.

    With your body getting adequate rest, you’ll be fast on track towards realizing your goals of becoming fitter and healthier a lot faster.

    4. Cycling Before Breakfast

    Another way you can work faster towards achieving your workout goals is by scheduling about 30 to 60 minutes of cycling during the morning, ideally before having your breakfast.

    Working out at this time of the day is effective because you haven’t eaten yet, forcing the body to use up its fat reserves as its main source of energy.

    While cycling before breakfast is good, make sure you’re not working out while feeling starved or anemic. If you’re cycling for more than half an hour, you may want to consider bringing in snacks along the ride to replenish your energy.

    5. Avoid Processed and Sweetened Foods

    Because you don’t want your cycling efforts to go to waste, it’s advisable to go easy on processed foods, as doing so could push back your exercise goals. A lot of processed food products don’t have much nutritional value, and some are even rich in sugars that are stored as fat.

    With this in mind, make sure to only take healthy, low-calorie meals that will keep you sufficiently well-nourished.

    6. Optimize Your Cycling Technique

    If you want to get the most out of your cycling workout, you should pay attention to your cycling technique. The better your technique, the faster and further you can go without feeling muscle strain or fatigue, which also means you get to work out more.

    Proper cycling technique is all about maintaining speed and minimizing burnout, especially during long rides.

    Inexperienced cyclists tend to lose a lot of speed when taking a corner because they go into the curve at a high speed. This forces them to brake excessively, slowing them to a crawl, which, in turn, requires more effort to bring back to normal speed.

    A good way to avoid this is by getting used to entering curves at a moderate speed. With a more controllable speed, it’s possible to avoid the risk of applying too much brake and you can maintain your pace more consistently.

    You can also increase your cycling speed by adjusting your riding position. One way to do this is by switching from holding the top of the bars to clasping the drops. Doing so presents a much smaller profile, so you have less wind force pushing against you while you’re riding.

    Takeaway

    While cycling is a great aerobic workout, it needs to be done right if you want to get good results. The tips mentioned above should help you get started, but the rest boils down to how dedicated you will be to sticking to your cycling plans.

    As long as you’re consistent, you’ll be on track to achieving your goals of losing weight, toning your muscles, and staying healthy.

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