The energy in the food we eat is measured in calories and that amount varies depending on the food we eat. Carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins provide your body with different amounts of calories. Eating more calories than your body needs may lead to various health problems such as weight gain. Activities such as cycling are among the best exercises that will help you burn more calories. So, how many calories does riding a bike burn? Check out this guide to get a comprehensive answer.
Why burn calories?
The number one reason why you should burn calories is to lose weight. Most of the foods we eat are packed with calories and if you continue adding more than what your body needs, you are likely to gain weight. Exercise like riding a bike is one of the best ways to get rid of these excess calories and lose weight.
How many calories can you burn when cycling outdoors?
Cycling is one of the best activities that allow you to burn calories while having fun. And you are more likely to burn more calories when cycling outdoors than indoors. Cycling at a moderate speed outdoors for 30 minutes will help you burn calories as follows.
If you are using a mountain or BMX bike, you are likely to burn more calories since you will be cycling on hilly and very challenging terrains. Below are the amounts of calories you will burn when riding a mountain bike for 30 minutes.
How many calories does riding a bike burn?
On average, people burn 450- 750 calories per hour when cycling. However, the number of calories burned depends on three factors which include:
Speed – When cycling at a very high speed, you will need more energy which means that you will burn more calories. On the other hand, riding at a moderate and steady speed without resistance uses your aerobic metabolism system. This improves the performance of your lungs and heart which enables your body to use glucose more efficiently.
Weight – Overweight people require more energy when cycling and this means that they burn more calories. For example, a person who weighs 200 pounds will burn 420 more calories than a person who weighs 130lbs even when riding at a high speed. Heavy people exert more energy which enables them to burn more calories.
Duration – The amount of time you spend on the bike also determines the number of calories you burn. Spending long hours on the bike means that you will burn more calories. If your main aim is to burn more calories when cycling, you should aim to cover longer distances.
How many calories can you burn cycling per minute?
When cycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 13.9 mph for about 20 minutes, a person who weighs 180lbs is likely to burn 218 calories. However, the same person can burn 12.5% fewer calories when using a stationary bike. If you are cycling for 2 hours, you can burn 1140-1300 calories which depend on whether you are using a road bike or a stationary bike, respectively.
Calories burned per hour
If you are cycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 13.9mph, a person weighing 180lbs is likely to burn 654 calories. The same person can burn 572 calories in an hour when using a stationary bike. When riding at a very high speed, you can burn 3x more calories on a road bike and 4.17x more calories if you are using a stationary bike.
Is cycling the best activity for burning calories?
There are different activities you can do to burn calories but cycling is the best especially when riding at high speeds. It is a low-impact activity meaning that it is not very tiring as compared to when you are doing other exercises or when you are using fitness equipment. However, it may not help you to build your muscles or strengthen your bones like when running or weightlifting.
If you want to get the best results in your weight loss journey, you should combine it with other activities. You can also try the following things if you want to burn more calories when cycling.
Ride more on hills – Although this is not something most people enjoy, riding on hilly terrains allows you to burn more calories since you will need to use more energy than when riding on flat surfaces. Mountain biking also allows you to engage different muscles which means that you will need to work harder.
Intervals – When doing this, you will need to alternate between very high and low-intensity cycling. This is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. It also has other benefits such as improved fat loss, increased insulin resistance and it also enhances your anaerobic and aerobic fitness. You can try 30 seconds of intense cycling and then take 2 minutes of rest. Keep lowering your rest periods until you achieve 30 to 60 intervals for 15 to 20 minutes. You may also try other interval workouts such as the killer frying 40s. This activity requires you to cycle hard for 40 seconds and then take 20 to 10 seconds to cool down.
Triathlon – For those who are serious about burning calories, it is among the best cycling activities that will give you an incredible outcome.
If you are searching for the perfect way of losing weight, cycling is among the best activities you can do. As compared to other exercises, cycling allows you to burn more calories without straining. It is also easier and more enjoyable than other exercises. We hope that after reading this article, you are now aware of the number of calories you can burn when cycling which is something that will help you achieve your fitness goals.