A lot of people think dieting can only be a strict, disciplined schedule which makes it a mentally daunting task to start and stick to. However, following a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a fun-sapping routine, but can be a more rewarding way to enjoy food and see the benefits. Alongside regular cycling, you’ll feel the benefits of cardio heavy exercise paired with a healthy diet in no time.
Dieting doesn’t even have to be sticking to a certain diet plan, it could just be making yourself more aware of your daily intake of carbs, sugars, etc. or counting your calories on a specialised app. Either way, stock up on fruits, veg, water and cut down the sugars as much as possible; you’ll soon see noticeable improvements in your health and exercise performance. Without some sort of diet, the effort that you put into your cycling could all be for nothing if you don’t treat your diet with the same type of focus. Also being aware of what certain foods do to your body will help with understanding what type of foods you need to eat more of or cut down - high fibre foods, fore example, are brilliant for an exercise heavy schedule.
Exercise is the key to losing weight - without any real exercise routine, you’re going to struggle to lose weight with any success. Sports and gym work are both tried and tested ways to lose weight, but cycling is by far one of the more efficient weight loss strategies due to the fact it works out the whole body and is a fantastic form of cardio that helps with blood and oxygen circulation.
Whether you choose to use an exercise bike or want to try out the great world of outdoor cycling (this is recommended - who wouldn’t want to exercise alongside great scenery?), cycling uses most of the muscles in your legs, burns calories and fat, and can be sustained for long periods at a time. Of course any form of exercise is good for you and is definitely recommended, but if you haven’t already then you’ve got to give cycling a try!
One of the most important things to note when it comes to exercising is to not expect instant results. Turning your body into one that is exercise-familiar will take time as your body adapts to the strain you put your muscles and heart under, so it’s important to stay disciplined and recognise small wins such as any minor weight changes towards your goal, or any personal bests being broken.
When it comes to cycling, start by travelling as far as you feel you comfortably can, make a note of the distance and then keep hitting that goal every session before after a week or so, start adding onto that distance and repeat. You’ll find yourself getting fitter and fitter within a matter of weeks, which goes hand in hand with weight loss and all the other benefits of consistent exercise. If you hit a distance you’re struggling with, then take it back a week and spend more time working on the previous distance until you feel comfortable enough to take on further distance again, and don’t get disheartened - reflect on how far you’ve come and how much your cycling has improved over the weeks.
Setting goals should be a part of everyone’s workout plan - without goals, how do you know what you are trying to achieve?! Whether it’s a desired weight, daily calorie burn or just until you see the results for yourself, everyone needs something to work towards when it comes to staying motivated. As well as keeping discipline, setting goals makes exercising generally a lot more rewarding, especially with small goals like daily calorie burns or distance cycling, as smashing those targets consistently makes exercising seem less strenuous and gives you a mental boost to remove any negative thoughts that could be associated with a consistent workout schedule.
Goals can also introduce a social aspect to exercising. Working out together with a friend can make for a competitively beneficial environment that pushes you to beat your personal bests (and your friend’s!). Not to mention that it’s fun to work out with a friend; you can socialise, have a catchup and generally spend some quality time together while getting fit at the same time - if you have a friend who is keen, give it a go, but if not see about joining a cycling club on Facebook and meeting up in groups.
Keeping to a cycling schedule, or at least regularly cycling, is the best way to ensure you get consistent results. Maintaining discipline and setting time aside in your schedule to add cycling into your routines will ensure your body sees the benefits of exercise as fast as possible with a generally healthy lifestyle.
If you only cycle, and exercise in general, on a sporadic basis then your body cannot fully adapt to working out as efficiently as if your body is used to a regular flow of exercise. Treat exercise like a form of practice - the more you practice anything, the better you become at it; the same applies to exercising with the more you exercise, the better your body becomes at processing it.
Maintaining a routine can also act as a mental and physical detox, as one or two cycling sessions a week can go a long way with helping with stress relief and other mental health issues. Sticking to a regime positively affects not only your physical wellbeing, but also your mental wellbeing.
Exercise is naturally the best way to lose weight, but alongside exercise you need to know what and how to do to boost your efforts to lose weight. Cycling is one of the very best ways to shred weight fast as well as allowing your body to reap the cardiovascular benefits that a full body workout brings. Alongside a disciplined cycling schedule, other aspects such as dieting, goal setting and slowly building on targets will bring you towards a much healthier and happier lifestyle.