Benefits of cycling for overweight women and men

Megan Smith
 min read

Getting physically and mentally fit is one of the greatest benefits of cycling for overweight women and men.

benefits of cycling for overweight women and menCycling works the biggest muscles in your lower body and means you’re burning a lot of calories.

You’re toning and cutting your quads, hamstrings, calves, and of course, your glutes!

Cycling provides many unique health benefits for men and women who are plus-size or obese too.

Benefits of cycling: Unique overview

Healthier brain

Neuroscientists consider a cycling workout essential for the brain since it is a powerful stimulant that works exceptionally quickly.

Exercise promotes the creation of new brain cells, known in medical terms as neurogenesis.

A workout (such as cycling) that raises your heart rate significantly increases nitric oxide production, which in turn dilates the blood vessels (vasodilation).

It also promotes the production of neurotrophins (growth factors) and a protein aptly named noggin? This supports stem cell division and new brain cell formation.

Neuroscientists analyzed the brains of previously inactive people who embarked on a moderate aerobic exercise program.

After just 3 months of regular activity, they had the brain volume of people who were 3 years younger and boasted a much better cognitive efficiency.

Other research showed that healthy subjects had larger hippocampi (a major factor in learning and memory function).

And these healthier subjects obtained an average 40% better mark in memory tests when compared to their less active peers.

Conclusion: cycling improves mental ability, promotes sharper memory, better concentration, coherence of thought and enhanced analytical capabilities.

This leads to a high level of protection from age-related, cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Good for your heart

Biking is a cardiovascular activity, meaning it is an excellent exercise for your heart.

It also allows your body to control your blood sugar levels.

Researchers have concluded that this sort of cardiovascular activity is vital for healthy arteries and general well-being.

Other research reports that cycling a mere 20 miles a week slashes the risk of coronary heart problems in half, compared to those with a more sedentary lifestyle.

Sleep better at night

We cannot over-emphasize the importance of sleep. It’s the time your body, muscles and brain recover.

Without sufficient sleep, your hormonal levels are all over the place and you’re more likely to gain weight.

And that’s even without mentioning annoying mood swings and lowered immunity.

In one of the most extensive studies on the subject, the sleep routines and body-weight patterns of more than 60,000 females were studied over a period of more than 15 years.

Researchers discovered that more than 30% of people who slept an average of 5 hours a night or less were more likely to gain at least 33 pounds or more when compared to those that slept 7 hours a night.

Want a better rest? Try regular biking (as well as other aerobic workouts).

People who suffer from insomnia often report an improved sleep quality when physically active.

Inactive individuals with sleeping disorders can enhance their sleep quality simply by cycling for just 30 minutes each two days.

People who cycle 3 or 4 times a week manage to sleep for an hour more and take half the time to fall asleep compared to those who do not cycle regularly.

Stable, sustainable weight loss

If you’re trying to find a quick weight-loss fix, we hate to tell you that you’re not going to find one.

Our tips will help you lose weight and improve your health but only at a constant, if somewhat slower, rate than you may wish.

The results, however, will definitely be longer-lasting.

You’ll probably be surprised to learn that cycling at a leisurely pace of about 13 miles an hour will burn circa multiple hundreds of calories an hour.

This in turn can quickly translate into 3,500 or more burned calories a week.

In other words, you will be able to burn more than a pound a week if you cycle a few hours per week with one of the best bikes for overweight guys and adopt a healthy diet.

Cycling triggers physiological and metabolic changes that turn you into a highly effective fat and carb burner, all day long.

Your legs are the starting point to burn belly fat and calories with your bike.

Cycling builds a massive web of hundreds of thousands of capillaries throughout your legs, which means more oxygen is transported to your muscles.

At the same time, your mitochondria (energy-producers) grow. They use the oxygen influx to burn more fat and thus produce more energy.

When people start riding a bike for just 25 minutes daily, 4 times a week for 3 months, the following happens:

  • Their mitochondria become 14% denser
  • The amount of oxygen used during exercise increases by 16%
  • Their capillary per fiber ratio (i.e., the variety of blood vessels per muscle fiber) in their quads increases by an additional 30 percent

Fat burning benefits after the cycling session

Cycling also induces fat burning for hours after you’ve put your bike away.

During a ride, your LPL (lipoprotein lipase, a fat-shifting enzyme) activity enters high gear.

More importantly, your LPL activity remains high for +/- 24 hours after you’ve finished your cycling session! This is one of the greatest biking advantages!

After a biking trip, your body and your metabolic process are still working hard to replenish and repair your muscles.

As you become fitter and stronger, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) (the calories burned by your day-to-day activities) increases.

Working out for 30 to 45 minutes almost daily can improve your BMR and improve it permanently. And you’ll be delighted with the fat loss that comes with it.

Even better, the first places where you’ll lose fat tissue are those which bother you the most: Your belly for example.

Excess fat in this area causes heart problems, diabetes and other dangerous illnesses.

Regular cycling can reduce your visceral fat (stubborn belly fat) by a staggering 40 percent!

Are you interested in buying a bike in order to lose weight while cycling?! Then read our tips and advice concerning how to buy a plus size bike.

Cyclists who vary their rides with some fast-paced intervals burn 3 to 4 times more calories than those who stick to a steady speed (and they have more fun, too).

Improved state of mind and better mood: Benefits of cycling

You rarely see someone who is in a bad temper after a ride.

Instead, you’ll see cyclists sporting a grin from ear to ear. Cycling lifts your spirits instantly.

Scientists discovered that as little as 10 minutes of biking produces a better state of mind when compared to peers who simply sought to unwind without cycling.

Such great mood changes are undoubtedly due to the stress reducing results of cardiovascular exercise (such as cycling).

The tension built up during the day at work and the effort to simply keep up with daily activities is simply pedaled away thanks to cycling.

Even more importantly, cycling slows down the production of cortisol, a hormone produced by stress that has been intrinsically linked to weight gain.

Biking also boosts the production of serotonin and dopamine, hormones that produce a post-workout feel-good factor.

That is why exercise and cycling training is often recommended to people suffering from depression and anxiety.

People who suffer from an anxiety disorder also experience a significant reduction in anxiety levels simply by engaging in 30-minute workout sessions 3 or 4 times a week.

Regular and vigorous exercise such helps to prevent stress and anxiety.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More