How long should I cycle a day to lose weight?
To maximize your weight loss, you should aim to ride for a minimum of five hours (that’s 300 minutes) weekly.
It may sound daunting, but it is easy to do because it is only one hour daily, five days a week.
If you want to increase your calories burn, go for longer rides or increase the intensity by going for hills.
Just how much weight you lose is determined by how long and hard your workouts are, not forgetting your eating plan.
Cycling to lose weight: Facts and figures
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a weight loss of one to two pounds weekly, which is a sustainable and healthy rate of weight loss for your body.
To lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you ingest.
The amount of calories burnt during cycling depends on the intensity of your workout and your body weight.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, in one hour of cycling, a 125-pound person will burn:
- 480 calories biking at a speed of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour
- 600 calories biking at a rate of 14 to 15.9 miles per hour
- 720 calories cycling at a rate of 16 to 19 miles per hour
- 990 calories biking at a rate of 20 miles per hour or more
In the same hour, a 185-pound individual would burn:
- 710 calories cycling at a speed of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour
- 888 calories cycling at a speed of 14 to 15.9 miles per hour
- 1,066 calories cycling at a speed of 16 to 19 miles per hour
- 1,466 calories biking at a speed of 20 miles per hour or more
If you maintain the appropriate calorie consumption, a weight loss of at least one pound per week is quickly accomplished.
People who wish to jump-start their weight loss or cannot work out for five or more hours weekly can still reach their weight goals by adjusting their diet accordingly.
Advantages of cycling for body and mind
Weight loss is not the only advantage that comes with cycling. The health benefits of cycling, for example, are absolutely not to be underestimated.
Cycling is a fun activity that you can do outdoors while exploring your community or routes around your home.
You can bike to work or school and get in a workout while at the same time using an environmentally-conscious way to travel.
And for those readers who don’t want to miss out in bad weather or a potentially unsafe environment: You could also invest in a stationary bicycle.
You could find a model that will allow you to change the intensity of your workout to imitate hills.
Cycling is also a low-impact cardio activity, so this exercise is the right one for you if you suffer from arthritis or other joint discomforts.
It is less likely to trigger joint pain or injury than a high-impact activity such as running.
Tip for plus-size (male) readers: Check our buying guide that discusses the best bikes for big and tall guys if you are looking for a solid, heavy-duty bicycle.
How long should I cycle a day to lose weight? Warning
Some cyclists experience knee discomfort due to an absence of strong muscle strength in your legs, which goes to support your joints.
We think it wise to consult your physician to rule out injury and change your exercises to slowly increase intensity as your strength improves.
Tip: Read Will losing weight make me cycle faster? in order to discover more about the relationship between weight and cycling speed.