How much should you Cycle every week to stay in Shape?
When you are riding a bike to get fit, you need to be consistent and should cover a good amount of distance. But how much should you cycle every week to stay in shape?
Cycling is not only a leisure activity but is an excellent form of aerobic exercise. Whether you want to stay healthy, lose weight or tone muscle, cycling is the perfect option. Riding a bike also boosts your mood and fuels you with energy. Of course, when you are riding a bike to get fit, you need to be consistent and should cover a good amount of distance. But how much should you cycle every week to stay in shape?
Set Your Goal
First things first, set your goal. This will help you stay focused and energetic. Set small and realistic goals. If your goal is just to stay fit, then you don't have to pedal a lot every day. The basic rule is to cycle for short distances, but regularly. Experts suggest that frequent short training sessions are more effective than infrequent long sessions.
Adults between 18 to 64 years should perform moderate intensity physical activity for two and a half hours every week to stay fit. But if you are cycling, then you must do it for at least 30 to 45 minutes every day for shorter sessions or 2 to 3 times a week for longer sessions of a hour or more.
Below are three simple training sessions to choose from, if your goal is to stay fit, then cover all these three rides every week.
Long Ride: 1 to 2 hours
Take a long ride for an hour at a conversational pace. This will help to improve your endurance and aerobic fitness. Ride at a slow pace, so that your breathing is deep, rhythmic and regular. For this session, always stick to flat terrain. Focus on riding and take a break for a few minutes in between for drinking water and eating something.
This ride will train your body to burn fuel efficiently and will help in maintaining good body posture at lower heart rates zones.
Hilly Ride: 30 mins to 1 hour
Riding on hilly terrain can be tough. Pedal at a normal pace for ten-minutes to warm-up and then ride at a fast pace up a hill with a steady gradient for at least 3 to 5 minutes. While performing this session, you should be breathing deeply and only able to say one or two words. Your recovery time should be one-minute long or until you catch your breath and then repeat the same for at least 3 intervals.
On the flat sections of the ride, try to ride your bike at a fast pace for at least 20 minutes. Such rides will help to improve your muscular strength and efficiency.
Hard Ride: 30 mins to 1 hour
Cycling at a fast pace can help you to burn more calories and is even good for your heart. During this session you have to pedal hard, but for a short interval of time. Start with a warm-up session of ten-minute and then ride the bike at a fast pace for five minutes, followed by 30 seconds of recovery timing. Pedal easily for five minutes and then repeat.
This is about intensity and intervals which will improve your anaerobic fitness.