Of all the possible exercises to help you lose weight, cycling is one of the best.

If you want to lose weight and are looking for the perfect workout, or if you are looking for a great calorie-burning workout to add to your workout repertoire, this article is for you.

We’ll tell you why cycling is so great and what it can do for you, what you’ll need to get started and offer helpful hints that will help you cycle effectively and safely for the rest of your life.

The benefits of cycling

Cycling has many health benefits, especially for those who want to lose weight. Here are some great aspects of cycling:

o Cycling is one of the easiest aerobic exercises to start with because it offers a very wide range of training intensities, including very low levels of intensity.

o Cycling is a weightless exercise so it is easy on the joints, muscles and tendons.

o Cycling burns a lot of calories (more than 500 per hour at a moderate pace for a person weighing 80 kg).

o Bicycling can be a relatively inexpensive activity to participate in.

o Cycling can be a very social activity that can easily be done in a group or with family and friends.

o Cycling can be done indoors or outdoors.

o Cycling provides aerobic training (for the heart and lungs), resistance training (for the leg muscles) and isometric (static) resistance (for the arm and other muscles of the upper body).

o Bicycling can be done relatively safely at almost any age.

o Cycling is an ideal exercise for overall training for running, swimming, skating, etc. and can add variety to any exercise program.

o Cycling is becoming safer as state governments and local city councils invest in dedicated bike paths and bike lanes on city and country roads.

Why cycle?

If you want to lose weight, there are many reasons why you should consider cycling as part of your daily exercise regimen.

Here are 10 of the amazing things cycling can do for you:

1. Help you burn extra calories and lose weight.

2. Improve cardiovascular fitness and gain more energy.

3. Help you avoid lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

4. Help you increase exercise intensity in a slow and controlled way.

5. Help you combine exercise with spending time with your partner, kids or friends.

6. Helping you meet people (eg by joining a cycling club).

7. Help you add variety to your existing workout routine.

8. Help you combine outdoor exercise with exploring new places and enjoying new scenery.

9. Helps you tone, strengthen and shape the muscles in your legs, lower back and arms.

10. Provide you with exercises that are easy to progress (faster and/or longer rides) and vary the intensity (changing riding speed and distances) within.

What you need to get started

One of the great things about cycling is how easy and relatively cheap it is to get started (assuming you can ride a bike of course and even if you can’t, it’s not an insurmountable problem).

Of course there are those who are already getting into cycling and spending a small fortune on fancy equipment, but for those who just want to get started and lose weight, here’s a list of the absolute basics you’ll need as well as optional extras you should consider to make your ride more enjoyable.

The basics

Here’s what you’ll need to get started with outdoor cycling:

Oh bike!

or a bicycle helmet.

o Spare tubes, tire levers and bike pump.

o A water bottle and a water bottle cage for your bike.

o Sunglasses and sunscreen.

Optional extras

Although they are classified as optional extras, if you can afford them, we highly recommend you:

o Bike shorts (called knee-highs) with a good quality suede planted in the seat.

o Cycling gloves with padded palm trees.

o Speedometer (to monitor distance and speed).

o Heart rate monitor (to help you regulate your intensity).

o Mobile phone (to call for help if you get stuck).

Helpful hints for efficient and safe cycling

Here are some helpful tips to help you get the most out of your cycling:


o A cheap bike with few features is fine to start with, but we recommend as a minimum getting a bike with quick-release wheel hubs so you can easily remove wheels without a wrench when you get that inevitable puncture while riding.

Getting the bike that’s the right size for you is very important, so visit your local bike shop first and ask them which bike is the right size for you.

o There are many types of bikes available from road racing bikes to pure mountain bikes and all types in between. The style of bike that’s best for you depends on where you’re going to ride the bike, whether you want comfort or speed and how much you have to spend.

o For those who want to ride just to lose weight and will do most of their riding on closed roads and bike paths, we recommend a road tire hybrid bike. Hybrid bikes tend to have slightly wider wheels than pure road bikes and have a more comfortable riding position upright.

o Setting the seat height is very important. You know your bike seat is at the correct height when your leg has a slight bend at the knee when the opposite pedal is closer to the ground. If you bought your bike from a bike shop, make sure your seat height is adjusted for you.

o When it comes to bike costs, be prepared to pay more for bikes that are lighter and have better quality gears, levers, etc.


o Ensure that the helmet you are wearing fits your head correctly.

o Of all the possible places to wind down and save money, we recommend that this not be one of them – your helmet is by far the most important piece of cycling gear you’ll own.

– In general, be prepared to pay more money for very light helmets with superior ventilation properties.

o We strongly recommend that you avoid buying a used helmet and buy your helmet from a reputable seller who will make sure your helmet fits properly.

o Modern bicycle helmets are specifically designed to absorb a great deal of impact from accidents and crack or break in the process. If your helmet is subject to a reasonable impact, take it to a reputable dealer for a checkup and possible replacement.

Spare tubes, tire levers and bike pump

o Unless you ride around your block a few times a week, you’ll need some spare tubes, a pair of tire levers, and a bike pump.

o The most important things about spare tubes are that you carry at least two of them and that they are the right size for your bike.

o Tire levers are necessary to assist in the removal and replacement of tires from the wheel rims. Being only small, these slings can be easily carried in a bum bag or a specially designed carry bag that fits over the back of your bike seat.

o Always carry a functional bike pump that has the correct connection to the valves in your pipes. Most bike pumps have racks that allow you to attach the pump to your bike frame for convenience.

Water bottle and water bottle cage for your bike

o Always carry plenty of water with you when riding a bike.

o Most bikes have room for two water bottle cages inside their frame.

For very long rides, consider purchasing a hydration pack which is essentially a backpack specifically designed to carry water. These packages usually hold between 1 and 3 liters of water.

While cycling, drink a small amount of water often and never go more than 15 minutes or so without a drink. Because it makes you sweat, cycling causes your body to use up and lose a great deal of fluid that must be replaced to avoid dehydration.

Sunglasses and sunscreen

o When cycling outside, always wear sunglasses and sunscreen unless it is very early in the morning or late in the evening.

bike shorts (called nex)

While cycling is easy on the body as a whole, it can be hard on your butt at first (but quickly gets a lot better the more you ride – if you don’t consider buying a softer and wider seat for your bike).

o Modern cycling shorts have a suede planted in their seat which provides extra padding between you and the bike seat and helps wick moisture away from your skin keeping you dry and helping you avoid chafing.

Bike gloves with padded palms

Believe it or not, one body part that can do this hard while cycling is the hands. Padded bike gloves can help reduce stress on the hands, especially on long rides and the small amount they cost is worth it.


o Speedometers are great at monitoring speed and distance on each trip, and some even estimate how many calories are burned during each trip.

o By keeping an exercise diary, you can use this valuable information to gradually increase your cycling distances and speeds as well as track your fitness progress.

o Because speedometers use the diameter of your bike’s wheels as the primary unit of measure for calculating speed and distance, we recommend that you have your speedo fitted by a reputable bike dealer to ensure the information you get is accurate.

Heart rate monitor

These are indeed optional extras, but if you can afford one, we highly recommend that you purchase and use a heart rate monitor while cycling.

o While a basic speedometer can help you monitor your speed and distance, it can also be greatly affected by things like strong winds and steep hills. Heart rate monitors help overcome the contradictions of these external influences and are an ideal tool for measuring exercise intensity.

Mobile phone

o Again, these are obviously optional extras but for safety we always carry a mobile phone when cycling – if you or a riding partner ever have an accident or are unable to get home on time as promised, it is very reassuring to know that you can easily contact someone using your mobile phone.


Here are some tips to make your driving safe and efficient:

o Consult your physician before starting cycling or any new exercise program.

o Start slowly and make the distances short at first, then build your distances and then your speeds slowly.

o If you are riding on a shared road, warn pedestrians and other riders when approaching from behind with your bike bell.

o Use hand signals to indicate that you intend to change lanes or turn on your bike.

o Obey all traffic lights when riding on public roads.

o Make the ride fun by joining friends and perhaps stopping for a drink and snack along the way or afterwards.

o Vary your riding route for variety.

o Mix riding distances with riding intensity to maximize weight loss and long-term fitness.

o 70% of your drive should be done at an easy to moderate intensity (60-80% of your maximum heart rate).

o Ride the right size bike and make sure your seat is at the right height.

o Drink regularly when riding.

o Use indoor cycling when it rains or to complement your outdoor riding.

o Stick to designated bike paths or bike lanes where possible.

o Listen to your body. If you need to take a break during your flight, take it.

o Plan your route and communicate your estimated flight time to your partner or someone else so they know where to look if you are delayed for any reason.


Of all the possible exercises to help you lose weight, cycling is one of the best.

If you want to lose weight and are looking for the perfect workout, or if you’re looking for a great calorie-burning exercise to add to your workout repertoire, cycling may be for you.

Now you know why cycling is so great and what it can do for you, and what you’ll need to start and continue cycling effectively and safely for the rest of your life, there’s only one thing you can do. Try it. Cycling is sure to help you become happier and healthier.

good luck.

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