Biking For Exercise

people riding bikes along the beach
Biking for exercise is a great way to get fit, get active and get outside. 

As the weather breaks and you begin to get cabin fever, take a bit of time to get your bike out of the rafters and dust it off. 

You may not always have time to run to the local gym and just don’t feel like working out indoors, so as an alternative try cycling for fitness. 

Biking can get you the exercise you want and enjoy the clean fresh air.  A good weekly exercise routine will help you lose weight, reduce health risks and give you more energy.

Benefits of Biking for Exercise

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

As with many other forms of aerobic exercises, when cycling for fitness at a level that gets your blood pumping and your circulation moving you are lowering your risk of heart disease. 

Aerobic exercises are the best form of workout for strengthening your heart.
In addition to reducing your risk of heart disease, cycling can help lower your blood pressure and/or cholesterol and minimize your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Improves Bone and Muscle Strength

As we age, we naturally begin to lose muscle mass and bone density. 

Biking for exercise can help stave off the loss of muscles and bone strength.

Another advantage of cycling is the low impact it has on your joints. 

Unlike jogging or walking, biking allows you to get a great aerobic workout without putting undue pressure on your knees.

Promotes Weight Loss 

As with any activity, biking for exercise helps you lose weight. This type of workout is a great form of aerobics as it really engages your lower body muscles. 

The lower body muscles are some of the larger muscles which means it requires more oxygen.  The more oxygen your body needs while exercising the more fat you will burn.

When you exercise, you feel more energized and relaxed. This helps you stay stress free and more active during the day, burning more calories.

With biking, you get the benefits of feeling relaxed and more energized all while enjoying the outdoors.

Environmentally Friendly

With the prices of gas going up yet again, looking for alternatives to make quick errands is high on many people’s list. 

Biking allows you to cover a greater distance in a shorter amount of time than walking.  So put the car keys away and use your bike to run down to the corner store for your small shopping needs.

Adjusting Your Bike

When biking for exercise you want to make sure you have the right size bike and it is adjusted for your height.  To determine if the size is correct, straddle the bike with your feet on the ground. 

You should have about 3 to 6 inches between the bar and your crotch (for mountain bikes) and 1 to 2 inches for road or hybrid bikes. 

Now check to see if the seat is adjusted to the right height.  While sitting on the bike, place your heal on the pedal and fully extend your leg. 

Your leg should be able to extend fully (no bend at the knee).  However, you should have a slight bend in your knee when placing the ball of your foot on the pedal. 

If you do not already have a bike but are considering purchasing one for your exercise, there are 3 basic types you should look at; mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrid bikes. 

Mountain bikes have a wider tire and the ability to go “off road”.  Road bikes are designed for road travel with a thinner wheel and easier travel on pavement. 

A hybrid is a combination of both of these with a slighter thinner wheel than the mountain bike and larger than the road bike.  The hybrids will allow you to go on some off road tracks without any problems.

Safety Concerns

When cycling, you want to use common sense and some simple safety tips.  There are some risks involved with biking for exercise so take the necessary precautions to minimize injury and ensure your safety. 

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and get your exercise in without incident.

Always wear a helmet
.  Although the laws vary on this from area to area, studies and statistics indicate that by wearing a helmet you are drastically reducing your risk of head injury and potential death related to head trauma.

Follow the traffic rules.  Make sure when biking on the road you are aware of the traffic around you and follow the appropriate rules. 

Remember a car is much bigger and stronger than you are so don’t just assume they see you or even know the proper biking rules.  Bike defensively and keep a safe distance from traffic.

Don’t over do it if you are a beginner at cycling.  As with any new exercise start out slow and see how it goes.  You don’t want to over do it and have sore muscles the next day. 

As you get used to this form of exercise go ahead and increase the distance.

In addition to adding biking for exercise, check out these other weight loss workouts to keep your routines varied.

Additional Articles

Walking for Exercise
Mix up your aerobic workouts by adding walking to your weekly routine. Walking for exercise has so many health benefits. Walk with a friend and catch up on the latest news.

Calories Burned During Exercise
Ever wonder how many calories you burn while working out? Check out this article to see how the exercise calories are calculated.

Exercise Calorie Calculator
If you want a quick and easier way to find out how many calories you burned, then check out this free online calculator.