Commuting by bike is healthy and energy efficient.
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Commuting to work on your bike is an effective way to lose weight, while also conserving gas. As you pedal to and from work each day you'll burn calories, and have an opportunity to de-stress and enjoy being outdoors. Before you pursue bike commuting for weight loss, check with your doctor to ensure it's a safe plan for you.
Before You Start
Commuting to work on your bike is an excellent way to lose weight, but it's not the same as going for a leisurely bike ride. Safety is important since you're likely to encounter other traffic, as well as pedestrians. As you commute to work, be sure to follow the same rules of the road you'd obey while driving a car. Wear a bike helmet and appropriate shoes. Depending on what you wear to work, you may also want to consider riding in brightly colored active wear and changing into your work clothes once you arrive. If you carry a briefcase or backpack, consider attaching a basket or small rack behind your seat. Always keep your eyes on the road, and be aware of other drivers around you.
A calorie deficit of 3,500 is needed to lose 1 pound. Since biking burns about 500 calories per hour, you can lose approximately 1 pound for each seven hours you spend commuting to work by bike. If you spend an hour commuting to and from work each day, five days per week, that will add up to a loss of 3 to 4 pounds per month. On your days off, you can spend time engaging in other forms or cardiovascular exercise or give your body a rest.
Once you've spent some time commuting to work by bike, you might want to alter your route or increase the physical challenge. Interval training is an excellent way to boost fat loss and can help you avoid exercise boredom. To perform this type of training, you alternate between short segments of regular-paced pedaling and short spurts of faster-paced pedaling. For instance, you might pedal at your regular pace for four minutes, and then pedal faster for one minute. You can also use distance instead of minutes. Continue alternating between the two until you get close to work and begin riding more slowly for your cooldown. You'll burn as many calories in 45 to 50 minutes of interval training as you will in one hour of regular biking.
Lose weight more quickly by combining your bike commute with a healthy, calorie-reduced diet. Trim 250 to 500 calories from your daily intake without dipping below 1,400 calories per day if you're a man and 1,200 calories daily if you're a woman. Focus on eating fresh produce, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Fuel your body for the commute to work by eating a breakfast consisting of protein, fruit and a whole-grain product. A bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries and Greek yogurt is one type of breakfast you can enjoy. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself feeling full and stay hydrated for your rides.