You probably know that biking is an effective cardio workout, but what you may not know is the amount of calories burned biking. The high calorie burn makes it a good way to shed pounds while improving your cardiovascular fitness.
Biking Intensity Determines Calories Burned
Like other exercises, you have some control over the calories burned biking by varying the type and intensity of your workout. The type of bike you use can also play a role in calorie burn. According to MayoClinic.com, you will burn about 300 calories an hour if you are a 160-pound woman biking at a leisurely pace of less than 10 mph. If you were to walk at the same type of pace, you would burn about 183 calories an hour. As you can see, the level of activity with biking makes it a better way to burn calories.
The one thing to remember about physical fitness is exercise intensity. When you ramp up your workout, you lose more weight through calorie burn. For example, if you bike at a more vigorous 12 to 14 mph, you increase your calorie burn to over 600 calories an hour. If you biked even faster up to 16 mph, you will burn over 750 calories.
These figures give you a ballpark estimate about the time you need to invest in exercise in order to lose weight. One pound equals 3,500 calories. At the most intense rate, about 4 ½ hours a week will burn one pound. At the leisurely pace, you will have to bike almost 12 hours.
Additional Factors That Affect Calories Burned
You can also affect the calories burned biking by varying the surface on which you ride. Level asphalt trails are easy to bike because there is little resistance between your bike's tires and the surface. Now, that same ride with a mountain bike increases the burn because you have added the resistance of the wider, knobby mountain bike tires.
If you bike hilly, dirt trails, you will work the muscles of your lower body harder going up and down the trail. If it is windy or the trail is muddy, your workout intensity increases. Wind resistance can also play a role. Likewise, if your tires are low or the brake pads are rubbing against the tires, you will add to your overall resistance.
If you bike to go grocery shopping, that trip home will have a greater calorie burn with the weight of your purchases added to your bike's panniers. As you can see, how you bike is just as important as how long you bike when it comes to calorie burn.
Bike Your Way to Better Health
Biking provides a good aerobic workout which will challenge you as well as give important health benefits. Like any cardio activity, the more often you bike, the greater and more quickly your strength will increase. As an added bonus, biking delivers a greater calorie burn than other less intense cardio workouts.