If you're determined to find an exercise regimen that burns calories quickly to help you meet your weight-loss goals, look no further than a cycling workout. In the gym, hop on a stationary bike and burn calories while watching your favorite TV program. At home, pump up the tires on your outdoor bike and hit the road for some fresh air and fitness. Although you'll burn calories at different rates during each exercise, stationary cycling and outdoor cycling are effective ways to burn calories quickly.
According to Harvard Medical School, few gym-based workouts provide a better calorie burn than riding a stationary bike, especially if you're able to sustain an up-tempo workout. A 155-pound person will burn about 260 calories in 30 minutes of pedaling at a moderate pace and approximately 391 calories in 30 minutes of pedaling at a vigorous pace. A 185-pound person will burn about 311 and 466 calories, respectively, during the two workouts.
The number of calories you can expect to burn while riding your bike outdoors depends on your speed, notes Harvard Medical School. A 155-pound person who travels at 14 to 15.9 mph for 30 minutes will burn 372 calories. The same person will burn 446 calories upon maintaining a speed between 16 and 19 mph for 30 minutes. A person who weighs 185 pounds will burn 444 and 533 calories, respectively, during the two 30-minute workouts.
Stationary Bike Considerations
Working out on a solo stationary bike can be convenient -- you don't have to worry about inclement weather and can watch TV or listen to music during your workout, which can prompt you to exercise more frequently. If you enjoy keeping your mind occupied, you can follow the progress of your workout on the bike's display screen. However, the American Council on Exercise notes that when you take part in a group cycling class on a stationary bike at the gym, there's the risk that you could push yourself harder than is safe for your fitness level. ACE warns that in order to take part in a group cycling class, you have to be able to stop pedaling if you don't feel well even if the instructor is still telling the class to move.
Outdoor Bike Considerations
Although you can burn calories quickly through a vigorous workout on your outdoor bicycle, this type of exercise is conducive to taking shortcuts. When descending a hill, for example, you're likely to coast, which means you aren't burning calories rapidly. If you bike in a crowded area, such as a path around a park, you might also have to decrease your speed at times because of stop signs and pedestrians. If you choose to ride in heavy traffic areas, automobiles and red lights can cause you to decrease your pace.
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- American Council on Exercise: What You Need to Know About Group Indoor Cycling
- Fox News: The Better Workout: Indoor Cycling vs. Outdoor Cycling
- Better Health Channel: Cycling -- Health Benefits
- Human Kinetics: Training With Indoor Cycling
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