Nowadays, people have become fonder of exercising and working out not solely for the sake of attaining a toner body but more so, for achieving a healthy lifestyle. People of all ages are now doing regular exercises. The most common exercise is cardio.
What Are Cardio Exercises?
From its root word, cardio, these are exercises that work out the cardiovascular muscles the most to increase heart rate and as a result, burn fats and turn it to carbon dioxide or sweat. If your “exercise” doesn’t make you pant, it just means it won’t have any effect on you if you’re trying to lose weight. For your exercise to produce the best weight loss result, you must execute your cardio workout continuously for at least ten minutes, and then slow down (not stop) for a minute, and then back to a faster pace in the next ten minutes.
Cardio exercises should be done for a minimum of fifteen minutes and a maximum of thirty minutes. People often have mistaken cardio workouts to burn more calories if they go on for more extended periods, but the body only burns fats in thirty minutes max. It automatically stops after that period, so any exercises that are done after thirty minutes does not affect the body.
Examples of Cardio Exercises
Cardio exercises are the easiest workouts that can be done by anyone anywhere, with or without equipment. Here are some examples:
- Bike riding/cycling
- Stair Climber
- HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training)
- Circuit Training
In the list above, cycling for cardio will be our focus as our exercise in trying to lose weight.
Cycling for cardio is one of the best exercises for those who aim to burn fat and lose weight fast. Mainly, the equipment needed in cycling for cardio is a bicycle. People might think that cycling can be done by just about anyone since most people have experienced riding a bike for extended hours during their childhood, but cycling for cardio requires proper discipline and endurance. Build your stamina, if you want to produce the best results from your workouts. Also, the activities you think that might still be easy for you to do since you regularly did it during your childhood (example, biking, and jump rope) are more challenging to practice now that you’re an adult with less stamina.
Why Should You Consider Cycling For Cardio?
Cycling may be out of context for people trying to lose weight since the most common cardio exercise is running (whether on treadmills or outdoors). However, one benefit of cycling is it builds up your cardiovascular endurance (you can go more extended hours and distances of running or biking without panting and getting tired easily) and strengthens your legs as well. If you are recovering from an injury, cycling for cardio is also a good option since this is a low-intensity workout.
Cycling For Cardio Can Be Done In Two Ways And In Two Locations:
Nowadays, cycling for cardio can be done indoors with the use of stationary bikes. This is suitable for people who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their homes, or those who live in metro areas where outdoor space for pedestrians isn't available, or those whose work schedules don’t work with gym operating hours. A stationary bike normally costs $180 to $280, depending on the brand.
Outdoor cycling for cardio is best for those who seek more thrill and adventure in strolling through different roads. If you want to build more endurance and resistance in your body, outdoor cycling for cardio is the best practice. Commonly, outdoor cycling is included in the agenda of triathlons. With outdoor cycling, you can learn to increase and decrease speed and resistance depending on the road they are trailing. Uphill and downhill roads will best stretch the biker’s muscles and best cardio practice.
Best cycling routines according to location
Unlike running on treadmills, cycling isn’t an exercise that you can push yourself easily. Cycling alone can be dragging and boring, so the best way to push oneself in doing this cardio exercise is imagining on what terrain you’re on so you can gauge your pace and resistance. Some keywords that you need to master are:
- Easy – imagine pacing in your neighborhood on a flat road
- Moderate – This one needs a slight pull, so you need to increase the resistance of your bike a bit. On a scale of 1 to 100, set it on 30, like you’re climbing a small hill in town.
- Hard – Set resistance on 50 to 70, as if you’re driving through a winding uphill road.
- All-out – set resistance to 100, as if trailing a mountain.
A quick cardio workout you can do only for 30 minutes.
- Five minutes warm up (easy), thirty seconds hard, and thirty seconds moderate. Repeat four times.
- One minute easy, one minute hard, thirty seconds moderate. Repeat four times.
- One minute easy, 45 seconds all-out, fifteen seconds easy, 2 minutes easy. Repeat thrice.
Outdoor cycling for cardio sets the person on a real resistance, pace and endurance since they face the reality of the road ahead of them unlike in indoor cycling. During outdoor cycling, one will learn proper pedaling, gearing and braking. According to experts, the proper pedaling should be the force of the legs starting at the top (12 o’ clock) pushing downwards (6 o’ clock) and releasing pressure upwards.
Cyclers also need to learn how to use and change gears. If you’re going downhill or uphill, you need to adjust the rear cassette to a lower gear.
The use of brakes in outdoor cycling is also essential. New cyclers must be aware that there are two brakes in their bikes: one in front and another at the rear. Front brakes are stronger in stopping your bikes than the rear brakes. However, they must be mindful that using the front brakes in wet roads is risky. If they need to brake while trailing a wet road, one tip is to push themselves back while pressing on the brakes so that the weight will be at the back of the bike.
Cyclers should also consider their posture when biking outdoors. If they want to be free of strains and muscle pains, their heads must be parallel to their backs (which are leaning forward) so as not to put all the tension to their arms and necks.