Commuting by bicycle is a great way to burn calories and increase your BMR.
When you're trying to lose weight, increasing your metabolism gives you a big boost. Your basal metabolic rate -- BMR -- is a measure of how many calories you're burning at rest through normal bodily functions such as breathing and digesting food. Cycling is a great way to increase your BMR, and the additional calories burned while you're cycling ensure you'll be getting to a healthy weight quickly.
No Rest for the Resting
Basal metabolic rate is a measure of all the calories you burn at rest for normal bodily functions. The amount of calories burned might surprise you; most people spend 50 percent to 75 percent of their energy during rest. Even sleep requires a constant supply of energy for basic bodily functions. BMR calculators use your height, weight, age and gender to calculate an approximate caloric need per day, which you can use to stay on track with a healthy diet.
Multiplying Your Metabolism
Your BMR isn't a fixed number. Your metabolism will change throughout your life, and usually decreases as you get older. You can also increase your BMR through regular exercise. Nicola Lowe from the University of -Central Lancashire says that larger muscles increase your basal metabolic rate, since muscle tissue requires constant energy, even at rest. Organs involved in exercise such as your heart and lungs will also strengthen, requiring more calories and increasing your BMR. Your metabolism also increases in other ways; drinking more coffee or turning down your heat can cause your body to increase its energy consumption.
Cycling to Fitness
Cycling is an excellent way to burn calories and increase your basal metabolic rate. The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that a cyclist holding a steady 16 to 19 mph pace will burn up to 850 calories per hour. Cycling is also easier on your joints than other activities like running because your legs aren't bearing your weight. For some, this makes cycling a lot easier than alternative workouts. The muscles in your calves and thighs are some of the largest muscles in your body, and these get a great workout during a ride; as these muscles grow through frequent exercise, they'll require more energy at rest, increasing your BMR.
As your basal metabolic rate increases, you'll see an overall improvement in your health. Your body prioritizes burning fat during aerobic exercise such as cycling, which will slim your waistline over time. Cycling to burn calories also reduces your risk of chronic disease and increases your life span. Even moderate exercise will have a benefit on your health compared to not doing any exercise at all. Commuting to work or running errands by bicycle is a great way to incorporate cycling into your daily routine, and the long-term benefits make it well worth your time.