The way we live today – with access to plenty of ways to work out, and not enough time or patience to do so – most of us carry at least some weight we could afford to lose. Extra weight, an inadequate diet and a sedentary lifestyle can cause many health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and back problems. That’s more than enough to starting working on yourself straight away. Even if you don’t have any overt health troubles, once you lose those extra pounds you will be surprised at how much more energetic you will feel.
One of the main impediments many people face when trying to lose weight is boredom and lack of patience. Because physical activity requires us to invest energy, we often feel lazy and unwilling to even start. When we finally decide to do something about it, we expect instant results because of our effort. Unfortunately, things don’t really work that way. While some exercise is certainly always better than none, this still doesn’t mean that the results will be visible immediately. And because we need to put in long term effort to see long term results, it’s crucial that we choose something we truly enjoy, such as cycling. Cycling can also be done with a friend or an exercise partner – it’s a great way to do something good for your health and enjoy someone’s company at the same time.
What Are the Benefits of Cycling?
Health benefits of cycling are numerous. It is an excellent cardio exercise, which is essential, because the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week. It’s also great for your muscles, bowels, and overall health. On the practical side of things, cycling beats just about any other form of exercise. Why? Because it doubles as a means of transport. The easiest and most practical way to start losing that extra weight is to drive your bike to work and use it to run errands. You will be getting fit while at the same time saving fuel money and doing your share for the environment – sounds like an overall brilliant plan, right? And when the weather is bad, there’s always indoor cycling.
How to Get Started
Your first step, naturally, is to choose a bike that will suit your needs. New models, such as the Bosch ebike, can be the right choice for beginners, as they have adjustable levels of pedal assistance. That way, you can start out with more help from the electric motor, and tone it down as your fitness levels increase. Choose flatter, but interesting routes to begin with. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, you might also need to modify your diet. The most difficult part is calibrating your calorie intake and finding the balance, so that you lose weight but retain muscles. The first things you should cut from your diet are alcohol, fat, and unhealthy, processed foods. Protein is essential for gaining muscles, so your intake of it shouldn’t be reduced. Be careful with carb reductions too – while you can lower your carb intake to some extent, remember that they are your main source of energy, and you need them to have strength for the intense trainings.
Cycling is one of the most fun and satisfying ways to lose weight and get in shape. Once you invest in a quality bike, it won’t cost you much, and there’s also the added benefit of spending time in the fresh air. Just slather on some sunscreen, choose a scenic route, and you’re off on your path to excellent health and a killer body.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.