Cycling Body Transformation – Introduction
What are the benefits of cycling for body transformation?
Fitness experts are an opinionated bunch!
Why so many differences of opinion?
The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all workout solution.
We all have different fitness wants, likes, and needs, and, as such, what’s perfect for one person won’t be right for another.
Because of this, when it comes to choosing your own workout, it pays to spread a wide net and consider all the workout options available.
So, for some exercisers, strength training with free weights like deadlifts, squats, and bench presses is the best choice, while for others, running or swimming may be better.
Ultimately, you need to choose the workout that a) you enjoy and b) you can do frequently and long enough for it to work its magic.
Even the best workout won’t do much for you if you only do it once a week.
This article discusses the health benefits and effects of cycling, so you can decide if it deserves a place in your workout schedule.
Top Benefits of Cycling for Body Transformation
Not sure if cycling is the right workout for you?
Consider these advantages and then decide:
#1. Low impact
Cycling is the perfect workout for anyone with lower back, hip, knee pain, or any other type of joint discomfort.
Unlike running and some group aerobic exercise classes, it’s 100% low-impact, so it’s easy on your joints.
With less joint pain to worry about, you should have no problem cycling several times per week and even every day if you wish.
#2. Lots of different types of cycling to choose from
You don’t have to commit to just one type of cycling.
In fact, there are several types of bike riding to choose from.
You may find one more appealing than another or decide to keep your workouts varied by enjoying a couple of different bike-based workouts.
Your options include:
- Indoor cycling, i.e., an exercise bike
- Air bike
- Mountain biking
- Road cycling
- Cycle touring
- Gravel biking
- Time trialing
- Triathlon (cycling is an integral part of this endurance sport)
- E-biking (a pedal bike with an electric booster motor)
- Commuter biking
#3. An eco-friendly form of transport
If you choose to cycle outside, there is nothing to stop you from using your bike as a form of eco-friendly transport.
You may even find that you can get from A to B faster on your bike than in your car, as you’re less likely to get snarled up in traffic jams.
Plus, cycling is very economical, and, with rising gas prices, you are sure to appreciate the money you’ll save by leaving your car at home.
#4. A sociable activity
While cycling on your own can be very enjoyable, it’s often even more fun when you head out for a ride with friends or family members.
Providing you choose your route carefully, you can even go for a bike ride with your kids.
There are also social cycling groups in most cities that organize regular group rides.
This is a great way to explore new areas, get advice, and meet like-minded people.
#5. An accessible workout
You can cycle almost anywhere and anytime.
All you need is a good bike.
Many cities have bike lanes and routes to encourage safe cycling, and you can take your bike out of town for a traffic-free ride.
Alternatively, you can get an exercise bike or join a group cycling class at your local gym.
Most people learn to ride a bike when they’re young, and while you may be a bit rusty, it’s a skill that’s easy to relearn.
Long story short, cycling is a very accessible workout, which means you’ve got fewer excuses for not doing it regularly.
#6. A recreational sport
While there is nothing wrong with cycling for fitness and enjoyment, some people also want to test themselves in competition.
With lots of different cycling disciplines to try and levels of competition from novice to the Olympics, cycling is the perfect activity for anyone who wants to try their hand at racing.
That said, you can also compete against yourself by simply keeping track of your cycling distances and speeds using a GPS app on your phone or a dedicated cycling computer.
How Cycling Changes Your Body
So how does cycling affect your body?
Let’s count the ways…!
#1. Improved cardiovascular fitness
Cardiovascular fitness is your body’s ability to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen.
Expressed as your VO2 maximum, the more oxygen your body can use, the harder and longer you’ll be able to work out.
Longer, more challenging workouts mean burning more calories per bike ride, which will help you reach your target weight faster.
#2. Improved heart health
Improved cardiovascular fitness is inextricably linked to better cardiovascular health.
The fitter you are, the less likely you are to suffer from heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases and illnesses.
#3. Build stronger, shapelier legs
Regular cyclists often have very toned, strong, shapely legs, despite doing little or no additional weight training.
Cycling, especially uphill, provides a great muscle toning and building workout.
Riding a bike works all your major leg muscle groups, especially your quadriceps (thighs) and calf muscles.
#4. Burn fat, get a lean body
Cycling burns anywhere between 400-600+ calories per hour.
Many of these calories come from stored body fat.
As such, when combined with a sensible, sustainable diet, cycling can help you lose weight and transform your body from soft and fat to slim and toned.
#5. Improved brain function
Most people cycle for physical benefits, but cycling affects your brain fitness, too.
For example, cycling regularly can:
- Decrease stress levels
- Improve concentration
- Boost cognition
- Increase creativity
- Improve memory
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve self-confidence
As the old adage goes, a healthy body means a healthy mind.
Cycling is good for both your physical AND mental health.
#6. A stronger upper body and core strength
New cyclists are often surprised to learn that what they thought was a lower body workout also involves their arms, shoulders, back, and abs.
While cycling won’t build bodybuilder-like upper body muscle mass, riding uphill and doing sprints strongly involves your upper body and will tone and strengthen your biceps, triceps, deltoids, abs, and back muscles.
However, if you are serious about building impressive-looking, muscular strength in your upper body, you’ll need to supplement your bike workouts with push-ups, pull-ups, dips, or bench presses, a couple of times a week.
#7. Better sleep
Regular cycling, or any workout for that matter, will help you sleep better.
Many people find it hard to get to sleep or wake up frequently during the night.
Poor quality sleep can leave you feeling tired during the day, reduce mental and physical performance, and even lead to hunger, cravings, and weight gain.
Cycling fatigues your body and relaxes your mind, creating the ideal environment for a good night’s sleep.
There is no denying it: cycling is good for your health, weight loss, and appearance.
However, before you head out for a bike ride, make sure you consider these drawbacks too.
I list these not to put you off cycling but to make sure that cycling really is the best workout for your wants and needs.
You need a bike!
Regardless of what type of cycling you do, you’re going to need a good bike.
You may be able to hire a bike, and most gyms have exercise bikes to use.
But, regardless, it’s a given that you’ll need regular access to a bike to enjoy all the benefits of cycling.
Indoor cycling is a very safe fitness activity.
But, riding a bike outside is a different matter.
You’ll have to contend with other road users, the weather, the condition of the roads, and other potential hazards.
While you should have no problem on a short bike ride, long rides may leave you feeling saddle sore.
You’ll probably get used to sitting on a bike saddle in time, but, initially, at least, it can be very uncomfortable.
The best bike shorts have padded seat inserts.
Long bike rides can leave you with sore, bruised palms and fingers.
That’s especially true for racing bikes, where more of your weight rests on your arms.
Padded cycling gloves can help reduce any discomfort and ensure that your hands won’t inadvertently slip off the handlebars.
Punctures and bike maintenance
Punctures are an unfortunate fact of life for outdoor cyclists.
Good quality tires and inner tubes can make them less likely, but every cyclist still needs to know how to repair a puncture.
Carry a bike tool kit to make sure you don’t end up stranded far from home.
And while you can pay a mechanic to stay on top of your bike maintenance, it’s cheaper and more convenient to do routine servicing and repairs yourself.
Keeping your bike in good working order means more time on the trails and less time in the shop!
Not sure where to start?
Cycling Body Transformation – Wrapping Up
Cycling is a great workout, whether you use a home or gym exercise bike or head out on the roads or trails.
It’ll tone, shape, and strengthen your leg muscles while improving your overall fitness and health.
It’s also a good fat burner, so cycling can help you reach and maintain your ideal body weight and composition.
Outdoor cycling is also a very environmentally-friendly form of transport and is ideal for commuting.
So long as you keep your bike in good working order and pay attention to the other road users, you should find that you can complete many journeys faster on your bike than in your car.
Cycling is also a fantastic way to explore your neighborhood, and you’ll be able to go further than walking or running.
And while cycling isn’t the best workout for your upper body, a few sets of push-ups and pull-ups are all you need to fix this discrepancy.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get on your bike and go for a ride!
You now know that cycling is a great way to get your heart rate up and work up a sweat.
But, is it considered a total-body workout?
The answer is you bet!
And that is because as mentioned above, cycling works your legs, your core, and even your arms to a degree.
Plus, if you cycle outdoors, you’ll also get some fresh air and vitamin D.
So if you’re looking for a good all-around workout, cycling is a great option.
It’s a full-body workout that is easy to learn, accessible for older adults, relatively affordable, and can be done just about anywhere.
However, cycling for body transformation is not the only way to change your body from overweight to fit.
For example, if you want to change your body and build muscular strength simultaneously, give weight training a try in this Ultimate 12-Week Body Transformation Workout Plan
And some different strategies to change your body from fat to fit include:
- How Deadlifts Change Your Body in 27 Powerful Ways
- 12 Sensational Ways How Running Changes Your Body and Life
- How Swimming Changes Your Body In 7 Spectacular Ways
- 13 Remarkable Ways How Rowing Changes Your Body & Life