My Focus on Fitness | Camo Strip (top)
My Focus on Fitness | Camo Strip (bottom)

Taking Your Workout to the Streets

Fall is here! This is a great time of year to move your workout outside and one of my favorite ways to enjoy the cool weather is from my bicycle.   Whether you ride a street or stationary bicycle the benefits to you are the same and include; the potential to burn a lot of calories both during and after workouts, decreased stress on your joints and back, conditioning your heart, toning your legs and behind,  it’s a  great way to target and burn fat cells, and it’s cheap.

The most effective way to lose weight while cycling is to monitor your heart rate to ensure you are in your ideal heart rate range to burn fat.  Your ideal heart rate range threshold can be calculated by taking 220 beats per minute and subtracting your age.  So if you are 55, the calculation would be 220(bpm) minus 55, giving you 165 bpm as your maximum heart rate threshold and the range which you should keep your heart rate in to burn away the fat is 65%-85% of that threshold or 140-107 bpm.    The best way to ensure you are staying within this range is to wear a heart rate monitoring device which you can purchase at your local sporting goods store.  I have found that the best fat burning exercise is always achieved through interval training which can easily be done when using your bicycle.

Before you begin your interval routine it is important to check with your doctor and then start slowly.  Maybe you start with 10 to 20 minutes at a time.  It is important to listen to your medical professional and your body.  Always begin with stretching and warming-up for a few minutes then you can start interval training by using the following routine;

Use intense effort for 12 seconds, recovery for 45 seconds, repeat this cycle 4 times followed by, intense effort again for 30 seconds, then rest and recovery for 2 minutes. I suggest repeating this cycle for 30 to 45 minutes with a complete cool down and stretching.

Once you are acclimated to this routine you can begin to increase your intensity and/or the length of your intervals.  The goal is to keep your body always guessing what is coming next.

Before you dust off your bike and hit the road it is important to make sure you are aware of the laws in your area and that your bike is in good shape to support your workout.  You need a helmet, lights and reflectors on the front and back of your bike, and water to keep you hydrated.

There are many great trails to explore in our area including the Paseo Trail in Chandler, South Mountain Park, and the Desert Classic Trail in Tempe.  You can find more bike trails here www.traillink.com.

I hope you enjoy riding your bike as much as I do and start to see it’s lasting benefits soon.

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