Benefits Of Cycling For Weight Loss

Cycling entails pedaling a bicycle either inside or outside. It's one of the best exercises you can do because it's low-impact and easy on the joints for people of all ages. When you cycle, your feet must continuously and quickly move the pedals on the bicycle. Cycling can be done for recreation, fitness, or as a mode of transportation. No matter your age, everybody can complete this basic routine.1

Cycling is a good cardiovascular workout and should be included in your fitness routine if you are thinking about losing weight. It also helps build bone density, increases muscle mass, improves heart health, protects against diabetes, prevents arthritis, and burns calories.

Bike riding can be done in two ways: indoors or outside. When doing indoor cycling, you are always in a static position, using an indoor cycling bike that monitors your heart rate, cycling intensity, timing, and many other factors. Outdoor cycling is the use of bicycles outside, and it is enjoyable. You can ride with your friends and family while still burning calories.

Cycling can help you improve your cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular systems.

This article will go over the health benefits of cycling, calories burned, and weight loss tips.

Why use cycling to lose weight?

Cycling can be fun, but it can also be physically challenging, especially if you've never done it before. Cycling is one of the finest exercises I suggest if you want to lose weight or get in shape because it is simple and can fit into your hectic schedule.

Cycling is a wonderful aerobic workout that you should incorporate into your daily routine because it requires more energy from you, which increases calorie burn, lowers blood pressure, and immediately promotes weight loss.2 Another category of aerobic activity is cycling. For those between the ages of 18 and 69, it is advised that they engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, at least 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity per week, or a combination of moderate and high-intensity aerobic activity.3

What are the benefits of cycling?

Aerobics and cardiovascular activities are beneficial to your overall health regardless of your age or work schedule. It aids in the prevention of heart disease, mental illness, and physical ailments.

In this article, we will look at some of the advantages of cycling.

List of benefits 

Cycling is one of the recommended activities you can engage in if you want to get fit, lose weight, improve your heart health, and increase your muscle mass. Cycling has several health benefits, which include the following:

  1. Lower Cholesterol

There are numerous health advantages to exercising, and cycling is one of them. It's a type of workout that can either raise or lower your cholesterol.4 A study involving 33 cyclists was conducted, some of them were professionals, while others were amateurs. When compared to professional cyclists, who had lower cholesterol levels and engaged in high-intensity riding, it was found that amateur cyclists had slightly higher cholesterol levels because their cycling intensity was lower.5 So, one strategy to monitor your cholesterol level and have a healthy life is to go cycling.

  1. It boosts your mental health: 

Exercise that enhances cognitive function includes cycling. It enhances cerebral blood flow, which supports cognitive function. Your mood and attention are improved as a result of the reduced stress.6 Cycling is recommended as a high-intensity exercise to help repair damaged brain tissues since older persons typically encounter failing brain tissue that can impair the entire functionality of the brain.7

  1. Strengthens your leg: 

A study indicated that a significant proportion of seniors 65 and older experience frequent falls every year. The majority of the time, these slips and falls are caused by balance issues or leg weakness. Additionally, it was discovered that a significant portion of those who exercised over time improved their stamina and experienced fewer falls.8 Cycling will therefore help you balance better, as well as strengthen your legs and quadriceps and those of any elderly family members who may be experiencing physical problems. Cycling is incredibly simple to do and enjoyable for people of all ages.

  1. Prevents you from certain cancers:

You have an increased risk of developing obesity-related cancers such as ovarian, thyroid, liver, kidney, or breast cancer if you are obese or overweight. Cycling can help you lose excess weight and get healthy again, so it's not the end of the world. Cycling not only aids in the speedy recovery of cancer patients but also aids in the prevention of cancers linked to obesity. The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) advises elderly adults to maintain their level of activity and exercise at varying intensities as directed by their doctor.9

  1. It helps to prevent or manage medical conditions like type 2 diabetes: 

Regular exercise is necessary for managing or preventing all health issues. Cycling can help young people who are at risk for heart conditions like stroke or high blood pressure.10

Additionally, a study confirms how exercise enhances blood glucose regulation, can fend off or delay type 2 diabetes, and has good effects on blood lipid levels, blood pressure, and general well-being.11 Consider joining a cycling group that will enable you to benefit from cycling if you have type 2 diabetes.

  1. It boosts your immune system: 

Participating in regular exercise slows down the aging process. Your immune system will benefit from regular exercise by supporting immune cells in their efforts to function properly by improving blood flow, lowering stress and inflammation, and fortifying antibodies. Physical activity boosts the immune system, but it's best to exercise moderately.12 To find out what kind and how much physical activity you can engage in, speak with your doctor.

  1. Helps you to sleep well: 

Insomniacs frequently have trouble falling asleep or getting enough rest. The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for a sufficient amount of time is known as insomnia. Physical illnesses, especially those with painful symptoms, or physiological diseases like depression, anxiety, or stress may be linked to insomnia.

Patients who suffer from insomnia should exercise, and cycling is a good non-pharmacological option.13 It is inexpensive and easily accessible compared to other insomnia remedies.

  1. It helps speed up your cell metabolism: 

Cell metabolism is a chemical process that accelerates and converts the energy in food into the energy the body requires. Your age, gender, and gene all influence how fast or slow your metabolism is. Cycling is a moderate to high-intensity workout that can help you speed up your metabolism.14

How many calories will cycling burn?

Cycling is a good exercise to burn calories because it is a cardiovascular activity that not only helps your heart health but also burns calories, which helps you lose weight. The amount of calories burned depends on the type of bike, the resistance level, and the speed at which you ride.

According to Harvard Medical school, a 125-pound person will burn 210 calories while cycling at a moderate intensity on a stationary bike, whereas the same person will burn 315 calories at a robust intensity. Cycling can help you burn up to 200–250 calories each hour, and depending on how hard you pedal, this number may be higher.15

Besides being a calorie-burner, cycling has other benefits for those who are interested in weight loss.

How will cycling improve my health?

Exercise of any kind is always helpful to one's health in a variety of ways. Even if it appears simple, cycling is good for your health if you do it. For instance, when cycling, your upper body is used to maintain balance while your lower body is used to pedal the bike. Your body balance and stamina get better over time while doing this.

Cycling has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight. It has numerous physical and mental health benefits, which I will discuss in the following two paragraphs.

Cycling is a cardiac workout, as you are aware, and any exercise that improves your cardiovascular system benefits your physical health.16 Cycling helps your heart pump blood more effectively to other parts of your body, prevents heart disease, lowers cholesterol, increases energy, helps you burn calories that help you lose weight, protects you from chronic diseases, increases stamina and endurance, and reduces joint pain and stiffness. Elderly ones or those with osteoporosis(brittle or weak in the bone).17

Additionally, cycling enhances brain function by increasing brain oxygen levels, which can aid with memory and other cognitive abilities. Additionally, cycling promotes stress reduction, which enhances concentration. Therefore, it would be wise to get on your bike and cycle your way to better health the next time you find yourself having trouble focusing or feeling stressed.

Tips to Lose Weight by Cycling 

Obesity is a pandemic that is currently ravaging the world. Obesity affects more than one billion people worldwide, according to World Health Organization data.18 As a result, medical professionals recommend intermittent fasting as one method for losing weight and improving cardiovascular health.

Intermittent fasting is a long-term habit. Fasting was practiced for religious, cultural, and health reasons. If you've been cycling for a while, you've probably heard of training on an empty stomach.

Did you know that exercising during a fast stimulates the fat around your waist to break down, increasing lipolysis in adipose tissue, which results in weight loss?

According to research conducted on some cyclists who used time-restricted eating (TRE), body weight and body fat mass were reduced. This implies that combining cycling and intermittent fasting is another way to lose weight. Because of its negative effects, it is advised against engaging in prolonged fasting. 

If you must fast, kindly check with your physician to make sure you are well enough to do so. To help your body adjust and perform as it should, you can alternate fasting days or cut back to twice or thrice a week. Leave days between your fasting days rather than embarking on a complete stretch of fasting.

There are different types of intermittent fasting methods you must know. Below are the popular ones:

  • The 5:2 diet: 

The 5:2 diet is an intermittent fasting plan that allows you to eat normally for the other five days while restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 calories for two days each week.

  • Eat Stop Eat:

The eat-stop-eat intermittent fasting method entails you eating whatever you want for the remaining 5-6 days of the week while fasting for 24 hours a day on 1 or 2 occasions each week. Keep in mind that you shouldn't fast on consecutive days. 

  • Warrior diet:

The warrior diet is a style of fasting that promotes light meals during the day and heavy meals at night. Please note that this diet plan could cause an eating disorder. Eating disorders involve eating too small or eating large amounts of food every time. 

  • Alternate day fasting: 

Alternate day fasting implies that you fast one day while using this intermittent fasting technique, then eat anything you want the next day. You are permitted to consume as many calories as you like on days when you are not fasting.

  • Time-restricted eating method: 

This entails eating less frequently and fasting for a longer period each day. You may, for instance, follow the 16:8 diet, in which you consume all of your food between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm and fast for the remaining 16 hours (7 pm - 10 am).

Adding calorie restriction to cycling is another method you can adopt to achieve your weight loss goals. The caloric restriction diet, sometimes referred to as calorie restriction, emphasizes lowering daily caloric intake without skipping necessary nutrients. Less calorie intake promotes good health and increases lifespan. You can reduce calories while exercising, which will aid in weight loss or maintenance.19

Setting realistic weight reduction goals is the final piece of advice for losing body weight while cycling. Divide your objectives into manageable chunks that you must complete over time. When you start accomplishing these objectives, you stay inspired and desire to work more, which can eventually lead to weight loss. 


Cycling is an excellent way to shed pounds. It's enjoyable and simple to participate in for people of all ages. To get the most out of cycling, you should have a structured training session, a balanced diet, and track your progress regularly to achieve your weight loss goals.


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  3. CDC. Move more; sit less [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
  4. High cholesterol [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from: 
  5. Aguiló A, Tauler P, Pilar Guix M, Villa G, Córdova A, Tur JA, et al. Effect of exercise intensity and training on antioxidants and cholesterol profile in cyclists. J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Jun;14(6):319–25. Available from:
  6. Erickson KI, Kramer AF. Aerobic exercise effects on cognitive and neural plasticity in older adults. Br J Sports Med [Internet]. 2009 Jan [cited 2023 Jan 13];43(1):22–4. Available from:
  7. Exercise guidelines for cancer patients | Cancer Research UK | Coping physically [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from: 
  8. Lord SR, Ward JA, Williams P, Anstey KJ. An epidemiological study of falls in older community-dwelling women: the Randwick falls and fractures study. Aust J Public Health. 1993 Sep;17(3):240–5. Available from:
  9. Obesity and cancer | cdc [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from: 
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  11. Rasmussen MG, Grøntved A, Blond K, Overvad K, Tjønneland A, Jensen MK, et al. Associations between recreational and commuter cycling, changes in cycling, and type 2 diabetes risk: a cohort study of danish men and women. PLoS Med [Internet]. 2016 Jul 12 [cited 2023 Jan 13];13(7):e1002076. Available from:
  12. da Silveira MP, da Silva Fagundes KK, Bizuti MR, Starck É, Rossi RC, de Resende e Silva DT. Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature. Clin Exp Med [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Jan 13];21(1):15–28. Available from:
  13. Banno M, Harada Y, Taniguchi M, Tobita R, Tsujimoto H, Tsujimoto Y, et al. Exercise can improve sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PeerJ [Internet]. 2018 Jul 11 [cited 2023 Jan 13];6:e5172. Available from:
  14. Moghetti P, Bacchi E, Brangani C, Donà S, Negri C. Metabolic effects of exercise. Front Horm Res. 2016;47:44–57. Available from:
  15. Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from: 
  16. Nordengen S, Andersen LB, Solbraa AK, Riiser A. Cycling is associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases and death: Part 1 - systematic review of cohort studies with meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2019 Jul;53(14):870–8. Available from:
  17. Olmedillas H, González-Agüero A, Moreno LA, Casajus JA, Vicente-Rodríguez G. Cycling and bone health: a systematic review. BMC Med [Internet]. 2012 Dec 20 [cited 2023 Jan 13];10:168. Available from:
  18. World Obesity Day 2022 – Accelerating action to stop obesity [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
  19. Calorie restriction and fasting diets: What do we know? [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Oluwasola Samuel

Bs.c, Economics, Osun state University

Hello, I'm Oluwasola Samuel,a medical writer. Aside from that, I work as an Insurance Sales Associate. My work in the insurance industry has made me more aware of the careless and dismissive attitudes that some people have toward health issues.
As a health advocate and writer, I use thoroughly researched data to help my audience make informed health decisions that will enhance their quality of life.
I am creative and have strong research, communication, time management, and qualitative abilities. All of these assist me in creating excellent health content that not only connects with my audience but also captivates them and establishes effective communication.

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