In life, achieving a great feat entails lots of things. So, also, losing weight and shedding some pounds while mountain biking requires a lot too. It entails things like courage, determination, strength, the right mindset, and even the right skills. All these put together can help you achieve your weight loss goals and develop that body structure of your dream.
What You Should Know About Fat
Before we move deeper into the topic, it is necessary for you to understand in simple terms what fats are and how we get to accumulate them in the first place. Usually, fats are stored to provide the body with the needed energy when we have none readily available in our system. This stored fat helps us carry on when we must have exhausted the amount that was supplied to us from the food we recently ate.
Unfortunately, what happens is that many people end up consuming more energy than they need in the form of food. As usual, this energy is now converted and stored as fats in our bodies for future use.
Now, due to our inactive lifestyles, these stored energies are never used by the body.
This means that they will continue to remain in our system coupled with the addition of extra fats from the things we consume daily. The cycle continues to go on and on until you begin to notice an increase in your body mass and size generally.
Now, the only lasting and healthy solution to this problem will be to engage in a weight loss program to burn that extra weight off and return to your body to shape as soon as possible. The process of getting rid of these excess fats is far more demanding when compared to the process of accumulating it.
First of all, you must work hard to use up the readily available calories before you can even access the stored energy or fat. For most people, this doesn’t take place until you get your heart rate up to a reasonably high level.
Although this has been debated at several quarters of the sporting communities, it is a general notion that for you to build your heart rate to the level where excess calories could be displaced, you would have performed a cardio form of exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Why Mountain Biking Is A Good Option For Weight Loss
To start with, mountain biking is a sport which is you can easily do for over 20 minutes without getting tired, exhausted, or the feeling to stop and rest. In addition, mountain biking helps you to perform enough hard enough work to raise the heart rate to a good level that can support weight loss.
Boredom is one of the reasons many people struggle with weight loss programs and exercise. There is always a tendency to quit especially if what you are doing is extremely repetitive, boring, and also painful for long durations. Unfortunately, most cardiovascular exercise fits into the boring and repetitive kind of sport except for mountain biking which is fun to do kind of exercise.
Now take your mind back to those times when you have suddenly found yourself absolutely drenched in sweat, without even knowing it. Most likely it was because you were doing something entertaining and fun. Be it a game of football with your friends, a game of volleyball on the beach, or while taking a long walk to a new and interesting place in the hot sun.
This is because doing something entertaining while working-out can make it seem like you are not working out at all. Engaging in a mountain biking adventure for weight loss program is a great idea in this regard.
It can be much more fascinating and entertaining than other kinds of sports that aid weight loss. It can even be amazing, especially if you live in or near anywhere with some great features and topography. Or, if you are close to a decent forest trail, the truth is, the variety is much better with mountain biking.
It can seem a lot more interesting and worthwhile slowly cycling up a steep incline when you have a beautiful natural vista waiting for you at the top. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your mountain biking.
How To Lose Weight With Mountain Biking
If you have ever thought of losing some weight, or if you have ever been worried about gaining some unwanted weight and you don’t want to accumulate any additional fat, then mountain biking is exactly the right kind of exercise to help keep your weight in check.
Mountain biking is an aerobic exercise, or cardiovascular-based exercise, rather than anaerobic exercise that promotes short bursts of powerful repetitions such as free-weights, push-ups, or shuttle runs. In order to get the most weight loss effects, there are a few steps that you can take.
Step 1 – Start Small
One good thing about starting small is that it helps you to achieve a big task easily. Try as much as possible to break your target into smaller units. For a start, you might decide to embark on a mountain biking trip that will take you 30 minutes to reach your destination.
The major thing is that you should cycle at a speed that is comfortable for you while aiming for a moderately intense workout. At first, this may mean sticking to well-developed trails, fire roads, or even the streets where you can pedal at a comfortable pace that you do not find strenuous. It is recommended that you aim for at least 100 minutes of biking per week.
Step 2 – Gradually Increase Your Ride Time
As you progress with your weight loss program, gradually increase the length of time of your rides. According to a research report published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, increasing the duration of your workouts is more important and effective than increasing the intensity, especially if you are interested in losing some excess fat.
At this stage, you should aim to get at least a minimum of 150 minutes on your bike per week. You should bear in mind that the result can be better if you could do more. Also, be sure that you stay faithful to mountain biking regularly and do not use the weather as an excuse.
Step 3 – Go For More Difficult Challenges
After increasing your ride time, your next target should be to Increase the intensity of your rides. Consider moving to a higher challenge compared to the one you currently on. You can go for more challenging, less-developed trails, rocky terrains, and also include more hills in your workouts.
Doing this at first might slow down your cycling because pedaling the bike will prove more difficult, but in the long run it will increase the intensity of your body workout and your heart rate. While it is important to increase the intensity of your workout, you should try as much as possible to remain consistent and faithful so as to maintain the duration for your workouts, this will help speed up the burning of more calories.
Step 4 – Monitor the Rate of Your Heart Beat
As a way of tracking your progress and the changes in your body during the weight loss program, monitor your heart rate by taking your pulse either with a monitor of some kind or by checking yourself. In order to check your own pulse, start with your left hand stretched out and then align your middle and index fingers of your right hand so that the tips are on the same level.
Now, place both fingers over the blood vessels directly under the thumb of your left hand, at the wrist level. With the fingers still placed there, count the number of beats you feel within 10 seconds, then to get the pulse in beats per minute simply multiply this number by six.
As mentioned, you can also get this number with the aid of a heart rate monitor. Depending on the individual, a good pulse should be within the target zone of 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate can be estimated by subtracting your age from 220.
For instance, a 40-year-old has a maximum heart rate of 180 beats per minute and a target zone of 90 to 153 beats per minute. For effective tracking of the changes in heartbeat rate, you should measure your heartbeat rate before embarking on the mountain biking weight loss program and then try to take another measure one or two weeks after. Compare the two results and see the difference for yourself.
Step 5 – Track Your Calorie Burn Rate
To serve as a general guide, you can roughly estimate that a person that weighs 190-pound will burn about 649 calories in an hour of mountain biking, while a 133-pound individual will burn about 433 calories. Avoid the mistake of taking these figures as the standards because your actual calorie burn rate will vary based on the intensity of your workout and individual work rate.
For instance, two individuals of the same age and equal weight will likely not burn the same number of calories even if they are subjected to the same weight loss routine within a specific period of time. The difference in results will be due to the different work rates of the individual and some other physical factors.
A piece of very good equipment to help you keep track of your calorie burn rate is a heart rate monitor with a calorie-counting feature that can roughly estimate the calories you burn based on your exercise intensity and your weight.
Step 6 – Reduce Your Calorie Consumption
It is not enough to burn calories. If you can remember, at the beginning of this article, I said something about fat accumulating because we take more calories than what our body needs. While tracking your calorie burn rate, you should aim for a reduction of your level daily calorie intake of let’s say 500 to 1,000 through diet and exercise.
For example, if you burn 400 calories daily when mountain biking, you need to also reduce your intake by 250 calories to help push up your total daily calories loss 650. A calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories every day will yield weight loss in a healthy range of one to two pounds per week.
Exercise Options You Can Combine With Mountain Biking
Remember, the primary aim for you embarking on a mountain biking weight loss program is to shed some unwanted weights and probably tone your body to the desired figure. However, there are certain exercises that are not only good at helping burn calories all by themselves but that can also increase your endurance when you are on the trails.
Just as mountain biking effect is mainly seen on the lower part of the body and the heart, there are other good exercises that when combined with mountain biking will provide tremendous results because of their effects on the upper part of the body.
So, if your weight loss goal is beyond losing some pounds but also seek to develop good muscles on the abs, stronger shoulders and to develop other parts of the body, then you should consider including the following routines or challenges in your mountain biking weight loss program.
Also, sometimes the weather does not always allow you to go on a mountain bike ride, so having a few exercises that you can do at home when you cannot hit the trails is a great idea so that you do not risk backtracking in your program.
Squats: squat is an exercise that strengthens your legs, glutes, and many other muscles, improves your lower body mobility and keeps your bones and joints healthy.
Pushups: Pushups are fast and highly effective when building upper body strength. They work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders. It can also strengthen the lower back and core by engaging the abdominal muscles.
Sit-ups: Sit-ups are abdominal exercises done by lying on your back and lifting your torso. They use your body weight to strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles. In addition to working on your hip flexors, chest, and neck. They also working your lower back and other muscles to promote good posture.
Jumping jacks: Jumping jacks are an efficient total-body workout that you can do almost anywhere. When done correctly, a 150-pound person doing just a single two-minute session (approximately 100 repetitions) of jumping jacks may burn around 19 calories. This type of exercise works your heart, lungs, and muscles at the same time. Specifically, jumping jacks work on your; glutes, quadriceps, and hip flexors. Jumping jacks also works on your abdominal and shoulder muscles.
One thing that all of these have in common is that they don’t require any equipment and can be done virtually anywhere. With a larger range of motion, sit-ups affect more muscles than crunches and static core exercises. This makes it an ideal addition to your mountain biking weight loss program.
When properly done, sit-ups help to strengthen your core strength, improves muscle mass, help you to gain better balance and stability, promotes good posture, increases your body flexibility, and reduces the risk of back pain or injury.
Things You Should Know When Mountain Biking For Weight Loss
Considering that weight loss through mountain biking generally is of low-impact and burns calories at a moderate workout intensity, it has long been considered a top program for anyone looking to lose weight.
But before you hit the road, there is some certain information you will need to have on your fingertips so you can have an effective weight loss program as you bike. Follow these beginner tips for losing weight to stay safe, enjoy your workouts and start shedding pounds while mountain biking.
Make Your Rides Entertaining And Fun
As with anything we do, there is always a chance to ditch it when boredom begins to creep in. Since losing weight is about hard work and consistency, it is very essential to make sure your rides are enjoyable and fun as much as possible.
This is something that you can do by picking routes, trails, or terrains that allow you to relieve stress while enjoying your ride. Riding with friends or family members, joining a team of bikers who are interested in losing weight, or trying indoor rides on a virtual cycling program on occasion are all the available options that can help you have fun on the bike and make your workout routine seem less like a chore. After all, the more you ride the more calories you’ll burn.
Get The Right Bike And The Right Gears
If you plan to make mountain biking a part of your daily lifestyle, choosing the right bike and gears can make you more comfortable on the bike and encourage you to increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Before commencing your weight loss program, you should consider the following:
Getting the right bike: While you can ride any bike and still lose weight, it won’t be comfortable and fun for an extended period of time. For mountain biking, you must choose a bike based on the distance and terrain you intend carrying out your workouts.
Cycling shorts: I must tell you that bike seats can be so uncomfortable, particularly when you are riding for longer than half an hour. You should consider getting a pair of cycling shorts to improve your comfort. I assure you it can make a huge difference in your weight loss program.
A helmet: having a helmet should never be taken for granted. You will agree with me that safety is key even as you work out. The risk of accidents and falls is very high when mountain biking, considering that the terrains are mostly rocky and stone, rough and rugged. A helmet could be your last line of defense when you fall and risk hitting your head on the ground.
Cycling shoes: Clipless shoes and pedals help you improve the efficiency of your pedal stroke, allowing you to ride longer and at a higher speed more comfortably. It can also help to avoid injuries.
Learn Basic Bike Maintenance And Gear Shifting Skills
Losing weight while mountain biking is good, but you might be frustrated when your bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere and spoils your fun. Your effort to lose weight while mountain biking should be complemented by learning some basics about bike maintenance and fixing skills.
This is necessary because there might be no available help when you experience challenges such as a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. You can learn how to do the following:
- Change a flat tire
- Tighten handlebar bolts
- Fix a broken chain
- Clean your bike and drivetrain
In addition, you should also consider learning how to shift the gears of your bike. Make effort to know the number of speeds of your bike and learn how to select the right kind of speed for sloppy and inclined terrains. Knowing how to properly use your gears will go a long way in elongating your bike’s life span and improve your ride comfortability.
Create Intervals During Your Workouts
While any ride is better than no ride, mixing up the intensity of your workout is a key to any good exercise plan which has the primary focus of losing weight. Make plans to incorporate short interval training sessions to increase your metabolism, burn more fat, and boost your overall fitness.
Get a Workout Partner or Join a Workout Group, Club or Program
While you can certainly put in a lot of effort and burn lots of calories Mountain biking alone, having a workout partner or two can help on those days when you’re feeling less motivated to get on the bike. In addition, this makes you accountable on early morning rides and provides encouragement when you need it.
An experienced workout instructor or coach can also help you learn about the program and give you tips and tricks to make your rides more enjoyable. Learning how to draft, make turns, how to shift, getting assistance when in need of help, and learning how to ride in close proximity to others are all benefits of having a partner or joining a mountain biking workout clubs or groups.
Try to find someone who intends to lose weight riding, or you can also inquire at your local bike shop for mountain biking groups that match your goals on the bike. This will take us to the concluding part of this article, and it is about mountain bike weight loss programs you can join.
Mountain Biking Weight Loss Programs You Should Check Out
To help you remain faithful and consistent in your mountain biking weight loss program, there are a handful of forums and programs that you should checkout. In these communities it is easy to find other mountain bikers whose individual goals is to shed some pounds mountain biking.
This bike forum has gained its popularity among the cyclists mainly through their bike reviews. In this forum, there is a section specially dedicated to mountain biking. The forum is also known for its concern for the fitness of its members.
That is the reason why they have a dedicated section for health and fitness-related issues. During holidays and long vacations, you will be informed and reminded about which route an event is going to take place. Also, there is a dedicated section for buying and selling bikes. You can sell your bike on the forum as well as buy from one of the members if you want.
Pinkbike is one of the best kinds of forums so far in mountain biking. There are lots of categories of posting. From the forum, you can know biking experiences exclusively from North America, Europe, Poland, the UK, Australia, and New-Zealand.
You can share your experience with a member over the globe and also meet up with other members around your location. This forum is best known for promoting discussions about new and modern innovations on bikes, such as BMX 20″ wheels, 29ers as well as training and fitness programs. The catch here is that they have a section dedicated to beginners as well.
Singletracks is a general type of mountain bike forum where the members discuss and share their views on various topics related to mountain biking including fitness and weight loss. The beginners will have the opportunity to get mountain bike tips from professionals and experts in the field. Through this forum, you can easily find and join a group of fitness bikers nearest to you.
MTB Project Forums
In the MTB project, everything in this forum is about mountain biking. So, you no longer need to find separate links for MTB. This forum pretty much delivers everything that an MTB rider would need including weight loss and fitness. The members are friendly to the noobs, so feel free to ask anything.
In addition, the forum brings together mountain bike riders from different countries who discuss their bikes and ridings experiences. They share their views with other forum members, provide important suggestions for the help seeker, and advice people before purchasing a bike.
This forum is one of the most popular among mountain bike riders. If you want to learn from the experiences of the experts and keep your motivation alive and be passionate about mountain biking, this forum is counting on you.