You’ve decided to start biking to work to get in shape for summer and save some money on gas. That’s awesome. But you’re probably wondering how many calories biking really burns so you know if it’s worth the sweat and soreness. The truth is, the number of calories burned biking depends on a lot of factors like your weight, the intensity and speed, and the terrain. The good news is, biking can absolutely be an effective way to blast calories and get fit.
Calorie Burn Depends on the Intensity of Your Ride
The calories you burn biking can vary quite a bit depending on how intense your ride is.
A casual ride around the neighborhood won’t do much for your calorie burn, maybe 200-300 calories for a 30 minute ride. But if you pick up the pace, you can burn 500 calories or more.
For a moderate intensity ride, cycling at a speed of 10-12 miles per hour, you can burn around 500-700 calories per hour. At this pace you should still be able to carry on a conversation, but you’ll definitely feel like you’re exercising.
Once you get into a vigorous cycling workout, riding at 12-16 miles per hour, you can burn around 700-1,000 calories per hour. At this intensity, talking will be difficult and you’ll be sweating and breathing hard.
For high intensity interval or hill training, you can burn 1,000 calories per hour or more. These intense rides involve short periods of cycling at maximum effort followed by recovery periods. This kind of riding provides huge calorie burn and also helps to improve your speed and endurance.
The exact number of calories you burn also depends on factors like your weight, fitness level, and the terrain or difficulty of your ride. But in general, the more vigorously you cycle and the hillier the ride, the more calories you can expect to burn. So stand up and get pedaling – your muscles and metabolism will thank you.
Estimating Calories Burned Per Hour of Cycling
So how many calories can you actually burn while cycling? It depends on a few factors.
The intensity and duration of your ride are huge. A casual 30-minute spin around the neighborhood a couple times a week will burn around 500 calories per hour. Crank up the intensity with interval or hill training and you’re looking at 700-1,000 calories per hour. For a high-intensity 60-90 minute workout 3 times a week, you can burn 1,500 calories or more!
Your body weight also matters. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn while cycling at the same intensity. A 125-pound person cycling at a moderate pace will burn around 400 calories in 30 minutes, while a 155-pound person will burn over 500 calories.
The terrain plays a role too. Riding on hilly courses requires more energy than flat ground, so you can burn up to 30% more calories per hour. If you really want to maximize calorie burn, incorporate intervals by alternating between higher and lower intensities.
Cycling at a vigorous intensity, like in mountain biking or road cycling, you’ll burn the most calories over time. But any cycling is better than none, so ride however and wherever you enjoy. The calories burned will add up and contribute to weight loss and improved fitness. The truth is, while biking may not burn as many calories per minute as running, it’s still a highly effective form of exercise for calorie burn and overall health. So get out and ride.
Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn on Your Bike
To maximize the calories you burn while biking, here are some tips:
The faster you pedal, the more calories you’ll burn. A leisurely 10 mph will burn about 500 calories per hour for a 125-pound person, while 14-16 mph can burn around 700-1000 calories per hour. Interval or high intensity training, where you alternate between faster and slower speeds, can boost your calorie burn to over 1000 per hour.
If your bike has adjustable resistance, crank it up. More resistance means your muscles have to work harder, which increases your calorie burn. For example, biking on flat terrain at a medium resistance may burn around 600 calories per hour for a 150-pound rider, while hilly terrain or a higher resistance level can burn over 800 calories.
Stand while pedaling
For an added challenge, try standing up and pedaling for periods while riding. This engages your core and glutes muscles more, raising your heart rate and calorie burn. Start with just 30 seconds to a minute at a time, building up as your endurance improves.
Another way to burn more calories is to add weight, like a weighted vest or backpack. Start with just 5 to 10 pounds and you’ll feel the difference, especially on hills. The extra weight will make your muscles work harder, increasing your calorie burn by up to 30 percent compared to biking without added weight.
The longer you ride, the more calories you’ll burn. Aim for 45-60 minutes of riding time, 3-4 times a week. An hour of moderate biking can burn 600 calories or more for a 150-pound person. Challenge yourself to ride an extra 15 or 30 minutes to significantly boost your calorie burn. Consistency is key, so try to bike regularly to maximize your results.
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So there you have it the truth about how many calories biking really burns. While the exact number depends on a lot of factors like your weight, speed, and terrain, you can use the estimates provided to get a good sense of the calorie burn for your next ride. The most important thing is just to get out there and start pedaling. Don’t worry too much about the calories just focus on enjoying the thrill of the ride. Biking is a great way to improve your health and fitness in a sustainable way while having fun at the same time. So grab your helmet, hop on your bike, and start burning some calories and making memories. The open road is waiting.