Doing moderate to vigorous cardiovascular exercise for a prolonged period on a daily basis burns belly fat. Riding a bike qualifies as cardiovascular exercise, as long as you ride quickly enough or climb steep enough hills to raise your heart rate. You should bicycle vigorously enough to heat up your body and increase your rate of breathing and sweat. You will not target belly fat, but will burn excess body fat wherever you have it.
Keeping a brisk pace during bicycling burns more calories, whittling away body fat. Cycling at less than 10 mph burns only 235 to 370 calories in one hour, depending upon your weight. Add 2 mph to your pace and you burn 350 to 550 calories per hour, enough to lose up to 1 lb. of body fat per week if you exercise daily. Cycle 15 mph and burn between 590 and 930 calories per hour. Race more than 16 mph and you burn 705 to 1,115 calories in one hour.
Adding resistance to your bicycle riding workout burns more calories and also builds lower body muscle strength. As you increase your muscle density, you raise your basal metabolism, burning more body fat around the clock. On a stationary cycle, you can change the settings to increase the challenge level. When cycling outside, choose a route with a steady grade or with some steep hills to climb. Mountain biking burns about 500 to 790 calories per hour.
Cycling at a varied pace burns belly fat faster than cycling at a steady pace. Create your own speed or strength intervals by cycling fast for one minute, cycling slowly for 30 seconds to recover, and then cycling at a moderate to vigorous pace for five minutes. Repeat this cycle throughout your bicycle workout and you keep your heart rate higher longer, burning more calories. As you lose weight and get stronger, lengthen the time you cycle quickly, and shorten the time you cycle slowly to recover.
Engage your core during your bicycle workout. You will not burn belly fat, but you strengthen your stomach muscles and make your abdomen appear more defined. The stronger your midsection, the more likely you will use proper posture, which makes you appear slimmer. Activate your core muscles during the warm up portion of your workout. Inhale and exhale deeply, contracting and releasing your abdominal muscles. As you ride, maintain a moderate abdominal contraction. Avoid leaning too far forward or placing too much pressure on your arms. Use your core to hold proper position and control the movement of your limbs.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.