For the skilled cyclist looking to lose weight, it might be time for you to venture off the beaten path and try out mountain biking.
Mountain biking doesn’t literally have to be done on a mountain, just off-road, but the additional effort it takes to pedal over an unpaved surface will make you work harder and burn more calories per bike ride. Mountain biking gives you a whole-body workout, as powering over roots, rocks, and logs will work your arms, back, chest, and core in addition to your legs. Trails often have much more variety in incline as well, so you will be getting a nice mix of hills thrown in to your workout. Here are some pointers for how to get started on mountain biking to lose weight.
How to Mountain Bike to Lose Weight
- Plan a route: Finding a safe trail to cycle on is key, and you should always plan a route to avoid getting lost. You can use local resources to find trails in your area, or check out the Adventure Cycling Association‘s vast database of routes and maps.
- Materials: Always wear a helmet, bring water, and maybe even invest in knee-pads or bike gloves if you are nervous about falling. Wearing a stopwatch is also a good idea, as it will allow you to track your progress. Ideally, you will begin to complete your route faster with each workout, so timing yourself will help you gauge how your strength and skill level are improving. And make sure that you are riding a bike with fat, off-road tires.
- Timing and frequency: Plan for each mountain bike ride to be around one hour long. If you do six bike rides a week, with each one-hour ride burning 600 calories, you will lose around one pound a week.
- Get a biking buddy: Mountain biking with a partner is definitely preferable, due to safety reasons. There is much more risk of getting lost, or falling and hurting yourself, when mountain biking, so try to always bike with a buddy.