If you are one of those who made a resolution to start changing their lifestyle to be fit and healthy, you might want to try cycling as an exercise. Unlike weight training and running which usually strains your ankles and other muscles, cycling is a low impact exercise that burns calories as much as, or even twice as much as hitting the gym. Cycling regularly can make your muscles stronger. The stronger the muscles are, the better and faster your legs and hips work allowing your body to burn more calories while cycling.
To get optimum results in your cycling, you may want to complement the exercise with a healthy diet consisting of more vegetables and lean protein. Also, experts advice riders to eat a healthy breakfast before the ride and to never skip a meal. Starving the body of food makes one's metabolic processes to hold on to more fat instead of using and burning them. Experts also suggest that during long rides, it is advisable for the rider to take a short break and take snacks. This does not only provide energy but curbs craving that results to more unhealthy eating after the ride.
You might also find that following a training plan might be helpful for your cycling program to help you be fit and healthy. One experienced rider suggested a bike plan that allows you to ride at different speeds and intensities. For instance, you may plan your bike paths from pleasure cruising at the park on a designated day and cross training on another day.
You may also want to start your bike speed at an easy intensity such as riding at 8-12 mph. This is an almost effortless pedaling with only a light tension in your legs. You, may also experience steady breathing but not the huffing and puffing that one usually experience in a strenuous exercise.
Cycling at a medium speed means that you are riding from 12 to 16 mph. At this rate, there would be more tension in your legs and your breathing would be heavier. Heavy breathing expands the lungs and allows more oxygen in the body that actually helps in burning body fat.
When you feel you are confident enough, you can go faster at a harder intensity form 16 to 20 mph but remember not to stay within this speed for so long as your legs and lungs would be working to their maximum capacity.
Just like any exercise, experienced riders advice cyclists not to forget to do warm up and stretch exercises before going out on the road for a ride. These exercises will prevent muscle injury and conditions the body for the ride.