If you have chosen a bicycle as a means of becoming more active, fitter and healthier, then you have chosen well. Riding a bike is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, but it’s important to put in some work before you see any progress. But how much effort should one really put in before losing pounds significantly?

Well-planned workouts will help you maximize your time on your two wheels. Cycling harder will make you lose weight faster, but like everyone else, gradual progress is important to consider. Start slowly, and as your health gradually improves, you can gradually intensify your exercises.

Light workouts are the starting point. The intensity levels of physical activities can be measured in other ways, such as oxygen consumption; but heart rate is the most used method. Light or low intensity would mean that your heart is working at about 40% – 54% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) or 200 beats less than your age. His heart rate is 68 to 92 beats per minute (bpm) and other physical signs are no sweating unless it is hot and humid and there is no noticeable change in his breathing pattern. With the light bike, you will burn between 300 and 500 calories per hour, depending on your weight. One pound is lost for every 3,500 calories burned. So with light cycling you will tend to lose a pound in 7-10 hours.

Moderate cycling is when your heart beats between 55 and 69 percent of your MHR, or 93 to 118 bpm. Here, you will notice that you will sweat for about 10 minutes after your workout and your breathing will be deeper and more frequent. This will help you burn around 400 to 600 calories or a pound in about 6 to 8 hours.

For vigorous or high-intensity cycling, your heart will beat 70 to 80 percent of your MHR or more than 119 bpm, you’ll break a sweat after 5 minutes of training, and your breathing will become rapid and deep. With vigorous bicycling, you will lose a pound in about 4 to 6 hours.

Know that whether your bike is light or vigorous, you will still burn energy and this will be helpful to your goal. The more intense and longer your workout, the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose.

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