Can You Lose Belly Fat by Bike Riding?

Wherever you go, your belly leads the way. If you want to transform your figure so your belly is a less prominent feature, hop on your bike and pedal on a daily basis. Whether you’re biking through the neighborhood or watching the tube while working out on your stationary bike, you can reduce your belly fat by pedaling.

Forget the Crunches

You might think the best way to get rid of belly fat is to do exercises that work the abdominal muscles, like crunches or situps. Those exercises aren’t going to hurt you, but they are not the most efficient way to burn belly fat. Exercise that targets the belly builds lean muscle in the abs, but doesn’t directly eliminate belly fat.

Feel the Burn

Riding a bike is a form of aerobic exercise, which makes it an effective way to burn calories. Aerobic exercise, like biking, involves repetitive motions of the large muscles in your lower body. When you bike, you use the largest strongest muscles you have, the glueteal muscles. Using these large muscles increases your respiration and heart rate. Your lungs work harder to collect more oxygen, which is necessary for the catabolic process which burns your fat to fuel your muscles. You heart also needs to pump harder to deliver oxygen and fuel -- glycogen and free fatty acids – to your muscles. When you feel your heart pounding and feel yourself breathing heavily while biking, you know you are burning calories.

Work the Glutes, Lose the Belly

You may wonder how working the glutes burns more belly fat than doing crunches. When your muscles need energy, they first use glucose that is available in your bloodstream and glycogen, which is stored in your liver and muscles. As your blood sugar gets low, your pancreas releases a hormone, glucagon, into your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, glucagon is delivered to tissues throughout your body. Glucagon, along with enzymes, causes your fat cells to release free fatty acids, which are transported to your muscles, where they are taken in and used to produce energy to fuel your exertion. Fat is drawn proportionately from wherever it is stored in your body. If you have a lot of belly fat, then free fatty acids will be tapped from your belly stores. So, to get rid of a big belly, work your big muscles: ride a bike.

Burn More

Several factors determine how many calories you burn while riding a bike, including your weight and the intensity and duration of the ride. If you weigh more, you burn more calories, so the bigger your belly, the more you burn. The longer and harder you ride, the more you burn. You obtain the greatest benefit from aerobic exercise like biking when you sustain a moderately intense pace for at least 30 minutes daily. Depending on your level of fitness and the terrain, riding at 12 to 14 mph is generally considered to be a moderately intense pace. You can increase the burn even more by doing interval training. Every few minutes, increase the pace of your ride for a minute or so, then return back to your low- to moderately-intense pace.

Diet

A 160-lb. person who rides for 30 minutes at 12 to 14 mph burns about 384 calories, estimates the Health Status website. An hour of riding will burn 768 calories. Eat the wrong foods or too much of even OK foods, and you will regain the calories you laboriously pedaled off, and your belly will be hanging out for some time. The most effective way to make that belly fat go for good is to combine exercise with a calorie-wise diet.