When I started cycling, some people asked me if I have ever problems getting my jeans. My answer was absolutely no! These types of questions are common because most people want to know about the effect of cycling on body shape.
Cycling is an aerobic exercise that could offer you a lot of benefits and change your body shape. Even if you are doing it just for an intense or casual activity, you would get benefitted in many ways. It is an amazing workout that helps keep you active, form a healthy lifestyle and keeps you fit both mentally and physically. Read on to know how cycling changes your body shape:
1. Weight management
For those who are concerned about their weight, cycling could be a useful exercise no matter if you are doing it on an exercise bike or biking outdoors. It burns calories that would reduce your weight. For losing weight, you should be in a calorie shortage and also look at the nutrition of your body.
If you want to perform better and look better that means losing weight and shaping your muscles, you must follow the combination of burning calories and exercise. Without this combination, you may lose weight as well as the muscle mass.
Cycling could burn calories about 400-1000 per hour depends on rider weight and intensity. But you have to eat nutritious food after cycling to keep your muscles in a good shape. It helps to increase the metabolism of your body and lower the fat levels. Thus, those who want weight loss should immediately start cycling.
Also Read: Medical Benefits of Hot Tubs
2. Leg shape and strength
Cycling strengthens the muscles of your leg and improves whole function in the lower body without stressing them too much. It targets the calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes.
Cycling improves your leg muscles but not all cyclists could gain this. You would find that the leg size of the road cyclist is totally different from the track cyclist. Top level cyclists have lean and slimmer legs and track cyclists have stacked legs. It depends on their training level.
If road cyclists lift heavy loads for raw power and strength and ride in the hills for more time, they may get bigger legs. Moreover, if you want a shape suited to stamina, you would need building up the aerobic base along with many long rides at comparatively low intensity for promoting the production of aerobic cells as well as developing cardiovascular fitness.
Knee pain could begin by the outside courtyard muscles – used heavily when pushing the pedal stroke – develop quicker than the inside part of your thigh.
You should do some workout at home like squats and leg presses to make the legs stronger that could enhance overall cycling performance.
3. Muscle development
Cycling should not only burn fats but it also builds your muscles particularly around hamstrings, calves, quads and glutes. Muscle is not like fat as it is leaner than that and those who have a higher functional muscle, burn more calories than usual.
Invest your time in cycling and develop nice shaped muscles. If you have decided to consider cycling as a workout, you should add a few guilt-free snacks to the daily routine such as a second breakfast after riding about half an hour. Morning rides are useful to burn fat but you have to ride fast!
4. Core workout
Cycling works the core muscles like abdominals and back. It helps to maintain the body upright and it requires much amount of your core strength to keep the cycle in the right position. Strong back and abdominals could support the spine, improve comfort and increase your stability when cycling.
5. Low impact
Cycling isn’t weight bearing but running is and the rates of injuries are higher when running. Runners suffer from muscle damage more like 133-144% and DOMS and inflammation rate is 87% higher than cyclists.
Though cycling doesn’t increase much bone density like other sports, it would get you good results by adding some training in your routine. It is a great choice for those who have overall stiffness or joint concerns especially in their lower body.
A few drawbacks and safety measures
There are some drawbacks that you should consider when cycling. The risk of accidents is the common disadvantage of cycling whether in a rural area or urban area. You should follow the traffic rules especially in the busy roads and wear your protective gear and helmet always when going out for cycling. Avoid wearing loose clothes because it may get stuck in the cycle chain and cause an accident.
Moreover, inclement weather could be a hindrance too. Avoid cycling in muddy areas and always invest in cold and rainy weather gear. Use sunscreen on a sunny and hot day onto the exposed skin.
It’s not a secret that everyone enjoys being out on a bike on a nice day, however, unprotected exposure to the sun can be quite unhealthy. Think twice before choosing your cycling outfit and remember you can improve your performance with prescription sports sunglasses. Also, wear a hat with a peak and apply sunscreen to fully cover your body (it’s recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours in case you are sweating).
Cycling is an amazing and enjoyable way for everyone to stay strong and healthy. You could explore your area and remove boredom from your life. Everyone should appreciate it because it could improve your fitness when having fun.
Salman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, writer and publisher. He is the Founder of Techie Loops