Most people consider cycling and weight loss to be at odds with one another, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to the growing field of functional cycling, which explores the benefits of incorporating movement and exercise into your day, you now have the opportunity to achieve your goals while on the bike.
Here’s a guide to help you transition to a healthier, fitter lifestyle through cycling and what you should eat, drink, and avoid to attain those goals.
Transition To A Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re new to biking or feel like you’ve been putting off making changes for too long, now might be the right time to rekindle your relationship with exercise. You don’t have to go overboard and ditch your vehicle just yet, as there are plenty of other ways for you to get around without hurting your waistline. You can start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving, and switching off the WiFi on your phone so you don’t have to keep checking social media.
By doing these little things, you’re sure to notice a change for the better. When the going gets tough, it’s often the little things that get tougher to do, but ignoring them will only make them harder to overcome. This is why it’s important to focus on what you can control, which in this case is your diet and how you cycle. By eating the right food while biking, you will soon see the pounds drop off and feel that extra bit better about yourself.
Eat To Fuel Your Cycling
When biking, you must consume enough calories to keep your body functioning at its optimum capacity. If you’re unfamiliar, the human body requires a regular supply of calories to function properly. We call these calories the “fuel” for your body. You can obtain fuel from food or drink, but the most efficient and healthiest way to fuel your body is through a proper meal.
When you eat healthy, natural foods, the nutrients within those foods are able to be transported directly to your body’s cells and tissues, where they are needed. Eating junk foods, on the other hand, often leads to those foods being stored as fat in your body, making you heavier and less energy efficient. This excess weight negatively impacts your health.
Get On A Routine
Every day, whether you’ve been on a bike for a few hours or a few days, your body requires consistent nutrition and hydration to function at its best. When you start a new routine, such as a new diet or exercise regimen, it’s always important to build a base line of how you’re supposed to feel and perform, and then gradually increase your activity level and dietary intake to reach your full potential. By doing this, you ensure you don’t struggle with a sudden drop in performance due to inadequate nutrition or hydration.
To ensure you’re getting the most from your routine, make sure you’re eating foods that will fuel your exercise and the nutrients your body needs to function at their optimum capacity. From there, you can begin to add more rigorous workouts and longer rides to your regimen as your body allows. In this way, you can ensure you don’t harm your body with overuse and promote health and regeneration instead.
Drink To Optimise Your Hydration
When you’re biking, your body is more at risk of dehydration than usual. This is because your digestive system doesn’t work as efficiently while you’re in motion, meaning you lose more fluid than usual. In order to combat this, you must stay hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water each day. If you over-hydration, however, your body can’t function at its optimum level, which could lead to health problems. This is why it’s important to find the right balance between hydration and nutrition when biking.
To ensure you’re getting the proper amount of hydration, consume water before, during, and after your ride. Try to drink a little bit every hour while you’re biking, and make sure to stay well hydrated. If you find that you’re becoming increasingly thirsty while biking, then this could mean your body is not getting enough fluid. If this happens frequently, then you may need to take a break from biking or consume more water than usual. Some people prefer to carry a water bottle with them while biking, which is another option you have.
Avoid Bad Habits
Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you have to give up all bad habits, especially if they’re related to your weight loss goals. Cut back on the caffeine intake, for instance, as too much caffeine can cause blood vessel damage in your stomach, resulting in a bloated feeling. This will help you avoid some of the common mistakes that often lead to added weight gain. Cut back on the sugar intake, as too much sugar can cause your body to store large amounts of fat. Consuming too much salt will also raise your blood pressure, which again, can lead to health problems. Cutting back on the salt will also help you avoid these health woes. All these bad habits, added together, can result in serious weight gain and eventual heart disease. This is why you need to break all these bad habits before you begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Focus On What You Can Control
Instead of trying to change everything about your life all at once, focus on what you can control. This is how change will happen. Taking a step at a time, adding one bit of positive reinforcement to your life every single day, will help you to rekindle that spark that’s been missing. Once you’ve got your health back, you can then decide what you want to change about your life and work your way towards it gradually. Worrying about what you can’t control will only frustrate you and hold you back. You must learn to trust and believe in yourself. If you want to lose weight, you have the perfect opportunity to do so while rekindling your love for life through cycling. Make the most of it.