Perhaps you feel that your waistline is just a tad excessive, and according to research, on average for men, a waistline reaching over 40 inches, and 35 inches for women, places you at risk for heart disease. The problem is that you may be otherwise a healthy individual and are not technically even considered overweight; however, that belly fat needs to go. So can cycling lose belly fat?
Cycling is one of many ways to lose belly fat; however, it must be done consistently over an extended period. Recent studies have shown that cycling regularly will aid in overall fat loss. Body fat cannot be targeted, but cycling is an effective, moderately intense aerobic exercise.
Cycling, particularly if it is a regular part of your fitness regime, will ultimately yield great results. It is an effective form of exercise to help you burn that stubborn belly fat and achieve your overall weight loss goals. Now we know that it is effective and will help you sculpt the body you want, but there is more that we need to delve into, so be sure to continue reading.
Will Cycling Help To Reduce Belly Fat?
There are few exercises that people find easy to take up and keep to, ultimately leading to exceptional benefits in the long run. Cycling is an excellent form of exercise if you hope to shed those stubborn extra pounds and keep them off. We will speak about this in greater detail, but it goes without saying that this will need to be taken up in combination with a healthy diet.
Once you have obtained your fitness goals and have lost the belly fat you were so eager to rid yourself of, the best practice is to ensure that you continue to stay physically active. This is because, depending on your general lifestyle and such, you could easily put those pounds back on if you do not stay in a state of maintenance.
Another exceptionally significant aspect of cycling is that apart from the initial investment in a bicycle (which does not have to be the most expensive on the market for your needs), it is one of the far cheaper and easily accessible forms of exercise.
It is highly convenient, and despite days where the weather is not in your favor, it is something that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. For example, if you cannot set aside dedicated time to go for a cycle, you can use it as a means to get to and from work, school, or the shops.
Additionally, besides being effective at aiding in burning calories and being convenient, cycling offers other benefits, such as reducing your likelihood of being susceptible to serious diseases and illnesses such as strokes, heart attacks, obesity, depression, and even certain cancers. And it is a low-impact exercise, meaning people of all ages can partake and reap the benefits.
Ways That Cycling Can Reduce Belly Fat
Cycling, like many similar fitness forms, assists with overall body weight management. The trick, though, is that the practice needs to be done regularly. If you have other workout plans, such as lifting weights at the gym, cycling is an excellent addition to your existing program to burn additional fat stores and calories.
Along with burning calories, cycling affects the basal metabolic rate and encourages muscle growth and toning. This is because cycling combines the effort of pushing down on the pedals and pulling them up as you ride the bicycle.
Suppose you were to engage in between 30-60 minutes of cycling per day or at least regularly throughout the week. In that case, this moderate-intensity aerobic exercise will not only assist in lowering overall body fat (including belly fat), but it will encourage the formation of good fats in the body. To aid this, you ought to consume a healthy protein-rich diet that increases high-density lipoprotein levels.
Another point is that there have been studies conducted that deduced that cycling regularly may very well lower your body’s insulin resistance. In short, this translates to cycling regularly enough, causing cells within the body to absorb glucose in the blood more effectively. This means that you will be less susceptible to diabetes, and those with it can also benefit from cycling.
Reasons That Cycling Can Aid In Burning Belly Fat
We must realize that we cannot target a specific body part regarding fat loss; instead, exercise will (over time) reduce total body fat. Engaging in exercise, such as cycling daily, has proven to allow you to burn away the fat stores in your body.
Resultantly, we will find that our belly fat decreases as well. The first thing that needs to occur for us to burn fat is to get our heart rates elevated. By now, we know that excess fat around the waist and abdominal area is incredibly harmful to one’s health and can lead to various other complications and issues, especially as one ages.
Taking the necessary steps to help lose body fat (engaging in exercise that increases your heart rate) will lead you toward a healthier life. With your heart rate raised, you will burn fat faster, and according to leading health experts, cycling does not merely raise one’s heart rate but also assists us in burning excess calories (a pretty significant amount, we may add).
To burn away that fat that we wish would merely disappear on its own, we, unfortunately, need to be looking to burn about 2,000 calories per week through our chosen exercise. This is the bare minimum, though; the more time and effort you put in, the greater and speedier your results will be.
This will vary for each person, especially regarding what we define “steady cycling” as, but the average person will burn 300 calories per hour of cycling. So this is a benchmark that you can use to help determine what amount of input you need to exert to achieve your ultimate goals. Consequently, this will need to be married to a good eating plan and healthy sleeping patterns.
Ways To Enhance The Reduction Of Belly Fat While Cycling
The key is not to jump on a bicycle, go full steam ahead, and burn yourself out in the first 10-15 minutes of the cycle. Instead, we would recommend a different approach, and that is the 80/20 rule. This means that for 80% of your time spent cycling, keep to moderate intensity, but then for the remaining 20%, kick it up a notch and try to push toward a high intensity.
Another practice you can implement is fasted cycling, but this one needs careful consideration, and you should instead get comfortable cycling with sufficient sustenance before you embark on this. You want to aim to eat 8 hours before your cycle for the best results. You will cycle on an empty stomach, which is an effective way of speeding up the process of burning belly fat and lose weight.
However, this training method should not be practiced for extensive periods as it is hard to maintain and you will become fatigued rather quickly the longer you do it. Thus we do not recommend doing this daily, but rather work in certain fasted cycle days into your overall program. After a 2 hour cycle, do not starve yourself; instead, consume sufficient calories to keep you going.
Another manner of training that is not as taxing and strenuous on the body is to do interval training. This allows one to capitalize on the burning of calories by using short bursts of high-intensity training. The best way to do this is to commence this part of your training following your actual cycle.
Once you are already in a slight state of fatigue from engaging in moderate-intensity training, do 5-8 sets of all-out effort. These sets should last between a minute or two, with a rest period (where you revert to a slower and more moderate pace) of 30 seconds before you go for another big push.
The benefits of this are that you will ultimately burn a large number of calories in a far shorter time, and as an additional bonus, this training form will help keep your metabolism up for many hours to follow. This, in turn, results in extra calories being burned by what is often referred to as the “after-burn” effect.
The Importance Of Diet In Cycling Training To Burn Fat
It is a simple case of putting in fewer calories than you are burning; in theory, the larger the caloric deficit, the greater the fat loss results. But it is not all that simple in real-life application. Many are often tempted to drastically (and sometimes to a dangerous level) reduce their calorie intake.
To function properly and remain healthy, you must ensure you are still acquiring sufficient nutrients to perform well during your exercise sessions and that your body can recover adequately following training. If you are not obtaining enough fuel, you will soon discover that your cycling performance will be negatively affected, and you may start to lose muscle instead of fat.
Another thing that one’s body may do if you starve yourself to become thinner, which your body will consequently do, is what is literally known as going into starvation mode. This is counterproductive to our goals, as your body will go into a state of emergency and slow your metabolism to conserve all the fuel stores it has (including your belly fat).
One highly frustrating thing is that it is effortless to gain unwanted fat on your belly; however, there are remedies to combat this. One of them is via getting onto a bicycle and going for a cycle, either daily or at least on a fairly regular basis each week. Over time you will become fitter and leaner, but you must also remember the importance of diet and sleep/recovery.