Cycling (Biking or Bicycling) (cont.)
How many calories do I burn when I bike?
You can burn as many as 750 to 1,000
calories per hour if the biking is hard and continuous. Most people don't work
that hard, and so 500-600 calories is more likely. But your calorie expenditure
will vary greatly depending on whether you're on a stationary or outdoor bike,
how hard you work, how efficient your bike is, and other factors. In comparison
to running, biking burns about 25% fewer calories if you equal out the workload.
However, as I said, your calorie expenditure while biking is going to vary, and
it's entirely possible to burn more calories on a bike than running in the same
period of time.
Why should I bike?
10 reasons to bike:
- It's an inexpensive form of transportation...no taxes, no fuel, no insurance, no tolls, no parking fees.
- A bike lasts for
years, if not decades (have a dusty bike sitting in your garage?).
- It's easy to
- It beats sitting in traffic.
- It's an activity you can do with the
- It's good for the environment!
- It's a great way to get
around and see new things.
- It's good for you. In the Shanghai Women's Health
Study, more than 67,000 women were followed from 1997 to 2004 to investigate
the relationship between their exercise and bike-riding habits and their risk of
heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It was found that both regular exercise and
cycling for transportation were independently associated with a reduction of
mortality compared with inactive individuals.
In a similar study of 6,954 men and
women who spent an average of three hours per week cycling to work, the risk of
dying prematurely was reduced by 28%, even if they didn't do any other exercise.
In terms of diabetes and insulin resistance, 24 patients with diabetes (average
age 45 years old) who biked for 45 minutes three times a week for eight weeks improved
their insulin sensitivity by 46%, decreased their visceral fat by 48% (visceral
fat is the unhealthy fat located deep in your belly that surrounds and
infiltrates the organs and is associated with heart disease and diabetes), and
increased their oxygen consumption (the measure of aerobic fitness) by 41%!
- It's easy to do, and you can do it for a lifetime.
- It's fun!
Whether you're riding around town for errands, commuting to work, working out
for exercise, or simply enjoying the sensation of moving under your own pedal
power, biking is the right activity for so many reasons. If you haven't been
riding, now might be just the right the time to give it a try!