For all of you who are trying to stay fit and take steps to burn calories, here is something to consider (if you have not done that already) – biking (road, cross-country, or mountain) is a great form of exercise.
What makes me say that – well, based on inputs from various practitioners as well as my own experience, biking is:
- less stressful on your joints – running could be a problem for many of us, but biking provides for a much less stressful way to train
- providing for a escape from a routine – I do not know your methods but just running or swimming laps in a pool is booooring! Riding on your bike gives you the opportunity to experience speed, new places, while still train your body
- practical – while you exercise you could roll down to the corner store, coffee shop or run an errand. Great ! You spent some calories, exercised and got some other tasks accomplished…
Given these aspects above – what are the various ways to add to the biking exercise to increase its impact and efficiency:
- Consider going off the asphalt / city street and hitting the trails and unpaved surfaces – i.e. dirt roads and/or trails in the park or out in the country side are the way to increase your energy spent and calories burnt. As you move to a more varied terrain and hit the mountain biking trails your workout increases significantly. I have noticed that the calories burnt in those conditions may increase in the range of 20-25%
- Don’t stop pedaling – yes, it is easy to cruise along, coast on the speed you gain either from going downhill or from the previous interval of pedaling. But where is the fun in that? and more importantly, you will burn much fewer calories. So, even if you are going downhill keep pedaling – this will be especially easy to do if you are on a mountain bike…and even more so on a 29er. As in the case of item 1 above you will add another 20% to your achieved spent calories by doing this.
- Leverage your bike for errands and getting around town: Think about it this way, are you going to meet a friend for a mourning cup of coffee and chat? You do! I know it. OK, if so then why are you jumping in your vehicle? I have a better idea – leverage your bicycle. I can speak from experience – I do this most Saturdays – get to the local coffee shop using my bike…meet friends and get the best of both;
- If you live in a hilly place of the country, you are in luck. Hills are your friends. If you recall from earlier in this posting, keeping pedaling is good. Same must be said about hill – they add to your exercise and help you built stamina and strength;
All in all, hopefully I have given you some food for thought. None of the items above should be any significant and big revelation for you. They are common sense – it is just that we do not stop and think about them – so hopefully, my list will help you get motivated and urge you to jump on your bike!