Bicycle Riding for Weight Loss Bicycle Riding for Weight Loss
Bicycle riding can be a great activity for pleasure and enjoyment, but it can also be a great exercise for weight loss and to develop greater cardiovascular strength. To enable you to reach your weight loss goal, having the right equipment, clothing, and planning can help you reach your weight loss goal with more satisfying results.
Keeping a Record
Before you begin your bicycle weight loss program, you should use a notebook to record your goals and to track your progress. Your record could include food you eat, your weight, how many miles you cycled, etc. When setting your bicycling goals, consider riding at least four to six days a week. If you find this to be initially too difficult, begin riding fewer days until your strength and stamina increase. Then, increase the number of days you bicycle.
Equipment and Safety
Depending on the distance you will be riding and the terrain you will be traversing, make sure you use the right bike. If you have a 3-speed bike and are having to climb a lot of hills, you may become discouraged. If you are going to purchase a new bike, ask at the bicycling shop which type of bike will best fit your needs. Also, be sure that your bike has adequate accessories, such as tail lights, rack, etc. For the more serious bike rider, a speedometer or odometer might be in order.
Before you begin riding you bike, you should inspect it, or have someone else inspect it, to make sure the tires are properly inflated and that it is in good working order. Also, you should make sure the seat, the handlebars, etc., are all adjusted to your height and to your desired comfort level.
Although you won't need expensive biker’s clothing, you will likely find clothing available that is designed for summer and winter weather conditions. The important thing is that you wear clothing that will allow you to ride comfortably. Most likely, that will include clothing that is not so tight as to hinder your movements. As for temperature, you will most likely not want to be too warm or too cold. Layering your clothing, for that reason, is always a safe bet.
Of course, safety is a big concern when you are cycling. The following are precautions you can take to safeguard yourself from harm or injury.
- Use a helmet
- Wear sunglasses (to protect you from glare and bugs)
- If you are riding for long periods of time, get off about every 25 minutes and move your limbs for better circulation
- Shake your hands downward occasionally to improve circulation in your arms and hands
- Ride your bicycle on the roadway, not on sidewalks
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic
- Carry equipment in a cargo rack
- Take water and drink small amounts at a time
- Use sunscreen
Fitness and Exercising
Bicycling is excellent for your legs and heart, but you may want to consider adding upper body exercises to your weight loss program.