It’s a new year and everyone you come across these day are talking about getting fitter or healthier in other words everyone wants to slim down for a special event, or the holidays, I can you from now that exercise needs to be part of the weight-loss equation. Exercise will help you preserve muscle mass, which is healthier for your body and better for your appearance.
Plus, maintaining muscle will make your weight loss easier to sustain for the long haul. While a leisurely bike ride outside isn’t likely to help you shave off pounds, indoor cycling can definitely do the trick, if you are a member of a gym I would suggest you try one of their spin class, believe when I say it will rock your world, even if you are a gym junkie, you will still feel the heat when you try spin classes.
To get the most out of an indoor cycling routine, you’ll want to heed some basic rules of nutrition and training, here is six steps you should follow when getting started with cycling.
Eat before you ride. Contrary to what you may have heard about the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach, it’s smart to provide your body with the energy it needs to ride hard and get maximal benefits from the workout. Even if you take an early morning class, eat something small 30 minutes before you ride. This could be a small banana, a slice of toast with jam, or a handful of whole-grain cereal. Do the same an hour or two before afternoon or evening cycling sessions by having a combination of protein and carbs (perhaps a small apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or a few tablespoons of trail mix). Besides helping you fuel up for the workout, eating beforehand can help you burn extra calories, thanks to the thermic effect of food. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the ride; your body needs a sufficient water intake to keep your metabolism humming and burning calories efficiently.
Vary the pace and difficulty. With most forms of exercise, interval training can pump up your metabolism more than exercising at a steady-state—and the same is true of indoor cycling. Think of it as a way of tricking your body into burning calories faster. By alternating bursts of harder pedalling (meaning, a faster cadence against heavier resistance) with a more comfortable pace, you’ll burn more calories during the workout than you would have at a steady, moderate pace. This will also trigger greater exercise post oxygen consumption (the after-burn effect), causing you to continue to burn more calories for a few hours after cycling
Split your workouts. If you don’t have time for a 45-minute cycling class, do two 25-minute solo sessions and you’ll burn just as many calories between the two as you would with one longer class. You might even push yourself harder during a shorter session, torching more calories. Either way, you’ll reap the after-burn effect twice in a day instead of once, allowing you to burn more calories in 24 hours
Do resistance training. The leaner muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) will be and the more calories you’ll burn 24/7. To build muscle outside the cycling studio, perform at least one set of strength-training exercises for each major muscle group two or three times per week, advises Wayne Westcott, Ph.D, director of exercise science at Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts, and author of "Get Stronger, Feel Younger." This way, you’ll add muscle mass and crank up your RMR in the process. Whether you use weight machines or free weights, resistance bands or kettlebells are up to you.
Replenish your muscles properly. Within an hour after your workout, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein (such as 12 ounces of plant-based milk or a small handful of walnuts with a pear) to replenish your muscle glycogen stores and provide amino acids for muscle repair and building. This will keep your muscles and your metabolism operating smoothly and prepare your body for your next workout.
Keep moving. If you’re exhausted after a hardcore cycling session, don’t give yourself permission to become a sofa spud for the rest of the day. Do this and you’ll end up compromising the calorie-burning effects of your cycling workout and your progress toward your weight-loss goal. A better approach is to move more to lose more.
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