Nowadays we hear more and more about the salutary influence of sport on our silhouette and health. Physical activity, next to a diet, guards our well-being and proper weight. One of the most popular sports, just after running, is cycling. How does it affect our silhouette? Is it possible to lose weight while cycling? And is it really a healthy sport?
Cycling is becoming more and more popular. By practicing cycling, you can nicely sculpt your figure and lose weight. Cycling protects against many diseases, among others it regulates blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol.
CYCLING – WHAT MUSCLES DOES IT INVOLVE?
As soon as awareness began to grow in the society, many people beginning their adventure with sport understood that it is not only calories burned that count, but also the muscles involved during training. These are the muscles that make the burning process still active a few hours after the workout.
What muscles are used during cycling? First of all leg muscles, that is: quadriceps, gluteus muscles, hamstring muscles, biceps, triceps and tibialis anterior muscle. That is why training on a bicycle is recommended in particular to those people who would like to slim down or strengthen their legs.
However, not only the lower part of the body is involved during cycling training. Also the upper limbs get a good workout. Hand work during handlebar manoeuvring engages the flexor muscles of the elbow joint, triceps brachii, pectoralis major and shoulder muscles, as well as the finger flexor muscle.
Cycling also requires work from the abdominal muscles, the muscles of the back, including primarily the lumbar muscles, obliques, transverse and rectus abdominis muscles. The effort also does not bypass the diaphragm, which increases the volume of the chest, and the heart, which is designed to distribute blood throughout the body. So if anyone is worried that cycling won’t give them a sufficient and engaging workout, you can be sure that they will pour out hectoliters of sweat.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOSE WEIGHT WHILE CYCLING?
Working your muscles is one thing, but there’s no denying that the most interesting topic for anyone starting out on a bike and looking to lose weight fast is how many calories you can burn during a single workout.
A few important things need to be established. You will often hear that someone, despite the fact that they started cycling, did not lose weight. What could have influenced this? First of all, the diet. Unfortunately, even the most grueling workouts will not help if you go to a hamburger stand right after them.
The silhouette is first made in the kitchen – this is the truth. Therefore, if in addition to recreational cycling you also plan to get the perfect figure, you need to change your eating habits. No more French fries, fries and colas. Instead, buy fresh vegetables, poultry meat and mineral water for your refrigerator.
The second issue to address is regular workouts. You won’t see results (or you’ll see them much slower) if you don’t workout at least 3 times a week. There’s no way around it – as in every area of life, here too it’s all about regularity. How long should the training last? Ideally, devote at least an hour to it. Personal trainers argue about the time after which fat tissue starts to burn, but approximately we can assume that after 30 minutes.
Therefore one hour training seems to be optimal when it comes to losing weight. It allows you to lose 300-400 calories. Of course, interval training will increase your ability to burn calories. What does it consist in? It consists in changing the speed of pedaling – once you go faster, once slower. Thanks to this, your muscles are forced to work constantly at the highest speed – they need more energy to do so, which means they burn more calories, and thanks to this you lose kilograms faster.
WHAT EFFECT DOES CYCLING HAVE ON MY HEALTH?
Of course we can’t forget about the beneficial influence of cycling on our health. Apart from the fact that it stimulates muscles to work and helps to lose excessive kilograms, it also normalizes blood sugar level. That is why people who are struggling with diabetes, should make friends with bicycle as soon as possible. The physical effort of doing sports increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin, so you can later, after consulting your doctor, use smaller doses of the drug.
Cycling also helps to reduce the level of cholesterol, which significantly reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. We can also add to this the increase in efficiency, immunity and endurance of the body. We should also mention the good mood, which accompanies all athletes. It is influenced by endorphins, the so-called happiness hormones, which are produced during physical effort.