- Cycling has emerged as a raging fitness trend
- It can help you with weight loss and can also benefit your mental health
- Do cycling for one hour or more for fat loss
Weight loss: Cycling, as we all know, is a recreational exercise. It is a form of cardio workout, which can help you with both weight loss and fat loss. You need to do it for a certain amount of time, at a certain amount of speed, on a regular basis, to reap weight loss benefits from cycling. We speak to celebrity fitness trainer Vinod Channa, about the basics one needs to follow when doing cycling, and how can one lose weight by doing it regularly.
Cycling for weight loss: Know the do's and don'ts you need to follow
According to Channa, one must cycle for at an hour or more, for fat loss. "Cycling is a cardio workout, in which one usually begins to burn fat only after the first 20 minutes. If you are walking, the fat burn will begin after that amount of time. So make sure that you do cycling for at least 30 minutes," he says.
Start with a flat surface
For outdoor cycling, try to begin on a flat surface. Once your body adapts to cycling on a flat surface, then you can take uphill routes, using higher gears on your bicycle. "If you are beginner, begin with cycling for no more than 20 or 30 minutes, and increase your speed gradually," says Channa.
Do some stretching before and after cycling
This is especially important for people who do outdoor cycling. In your route, you may have to cycling on a bumpy rode with pot holes, etc. "It may put a strain on your back and may increase the risk of injury. In order to reduce this risk, you must do dynamic stretches before and after you go for cycling," Channa tells DoctorNDTV.
Extend your arms, back, ankles, legs, etc. You should also do some lower back and spine exercises.
How much distance to cover for weight loss
On an average, one must do cycling for around 20 to 30 kms. But Channa suggests that instead of focusing on the distance, one must focus on the duration of cycling, which should be for one hour or more.
Cycling for weight loss: What speed should be maintained?
For outdoor cycling, the speed will vary as per the traffic on the roads. So, one is likely to go faster and then slower, and then again faster, if s/he is cycling on busy city roads. Channa recommends that you can try cycling at a faster pace for one minute, and then at a slower pace for the next minute. This speed can be maintained throughout your journey.
Here another thing that you can do: "Make sure you check your heartbeat regularly throughout your ride. It should hit somewhere around 110 beats per minute, and then increase to 130 beats per minute (for example), then wait for 10 seconds, and then it should be maintained at 110 beats per minute. This is the way of training your heart during a cardio workout," says Channa.
If you find this too difficult to follow, you can simply follow the one minute fast pace and second minute slow pace rule mentioned above. Cycling in this way can also help in building your stamina.
Do some weight training before cycling
Cycling, essentially is done by sitting on the cycle seat, pedalling with your legs. It can definitely help toning of your calf muscles and thighs. But, if you want to lose weight progressively, you need to do some weight training before going for cycling. It is important to do weight training before, because if you opt for doing it after cycling, a lot of your energy will already be invested.
"The weight training that you do before cycling will depend on your target. Spend somewhere around 15 to 30 minutes on it. If you do weight training before cycling, then you can also reduce the duration of cycling to 45 or 30 minutes," explains Channa.
(Vinod Channa is a celebrity fitness trainer based in Mumbai)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.