Bike ride for diabetes

There’s many reasons for riding a bike. Are you bike riding for weight loss? Just casual riding? Both? I love bike riding. And I ride for pleasure and to be healthier and lose weight. I’ve been on a bike since I was a kid, and who hasn’t, right? From the first tricycle, to training wheels, and then on to multiple speed bikes. And you can lose weight and lower your blood sugar too.

Bicycles have changes so much over the years. But for me, it’s a FUN exercise. I don’t even know how many bikes I’ve had, but they really aren’t expensive unless you’re into cross country cycling or bike racing. It’s a great leisure activity. When I’m riding, I don’t even feel like it’s exercise, at least not exercise that some people dislike. I think it’s important to exercise and lose weight, which also helps keep pressure off my back, but to also engage in one that you enjoy and try and relieve stress too.

It’s important to have a bike that you’re comfortable with. The only real problem I’ve ever had is the bicycle seat. I could never find a bicycle seat that didn’t hurt my sit bones. If it wasn’t for the previous seats I had, I could have ridden a lot longer. I finally found the best seat thanks to the mechanic at my local bike shop. Now I just have to go back and have the handle bars raised as he said I might have to and he was right. Enjoying riding is all about comfort too.

Tips for buying your bike

Bikes in a bicycle store

  • Road biking: For road biking on highways and roads, a road bike is your choice. With slim tires and lighter frames, you won’t need any suspension to absorb the shocks of riding over mountain terrain. These are a good choice for you if you have a strong back for leaning over to grip the handlebars.
  • Mountain biking: For mountain biking or trail riding, this would be your pick. You need wider, thicker tires for this type of riding and being that the frames are heavier than a road bike, it gives you better surface grab that will help going uphill. Mountain bikes have suspension systems which will absorb shock which you need. The handlebars are not curved downward like road bikes and because they are straight, it makes it a more comfortable ride than on paved roads.
  • Hybrid bikes: Looking for an in between bike? This is the one to pick. Hybrid bikes are a combination of a mountain bike but with low gearing and a road bike. Hybrids generally have a position that’s upright for riding. To handle some off road riding, hybrid tires come with double walled rims. Most of these styles bikes can be adjusted for either type of riding, road or mountain.
  • Skill level: You want to buy a bike to match your current skill level or a step up for your future increased levels, if you choose to increase or not. Otherwise, I would just get a bike that fits you perfectly.
  • Cost: Know how much you want to spend and keep this in mind when you go to your bicycle shop. Asking a friend where they bought their bike would help, but I go to one bike shop not far from me for any accessories, repairs, etc. since I moved to Florida since I moved here from New York. The mechanic knows me now and it’s a big plus. I would suggest going to a bike shop near you and not buying online or at a big box retailer because the bike shop will be able to help you better and will service your bike.
  • Test drive: It’s the same as buying a car. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, right? Make sure the salesperson is knowledgeable. They should point out how you feel when you’re sitting on the bike, adjusting the seat, handlebars, what size frame you need. These are all important. When you sit and extend your leg to the bottom, your knee should be slightly bent. For me? The most important part of the bicycle is the SEAT! I never ever had a bike seat that didn’t hurt my sit bones until just recently.
  • Tires: Where the rubber meets the road! Slimmer tire is better for faster riding. Check to see if tires that have built in flat protection are available.

If you already have a bike, bring it in to your shop and have it checked and serviced. Get a water bottle and let’s get to riding!

Bike riding and burning calories

So, we want to lose weight and ride. It’s perfect because you can set your own pace. Ride comfortably and burn calories, or take it up a notch or two to burn more calories and lose more weight. It’s entirely up to you. I like to ride for pleasure but as the pounds come off, I’ll be riding more and faster too.

You can lose one pound of fat a week by reducing your caloric intake by 250 a day, and burning 250 calories a day bicycle riding. You don’t want your blood pressure to be too high so this will also help keep your blood pressure down. Of course this is based on eating a healthy diet and that you’re consuming the right amount of calories for you personally to maintain your current weight and supplements can help along with apple cider vinegar. You can change the numbers somewhat to burn more calories riding and taking in less, but you don’t want to be riding just to lose weight and then eating more to burn off the extra calories. See your doctor regularly and have your cholesterol checked as well.

The average female can eat 1,000 calories per day to lose 1 pound a week and the average male can eat 2,000 calories a day to lose 1 pound a week. Make your own personal goals and adjustments.

Now, if the average person consumed 500 more calories each day, they would basically maintain their current weight. You may want to check with your doctor or a nutritionist to better help you and take your vitamins too. Cycling does burn fat because it’s an aerobic exercise and any exercise will help you.

You just have to be moving and not stationary. The faster you ride, the faster your heart rate is. The more you burn. I would aim for three times a week for one to two hours each day if you want to burn calories at a steady pace. For diabetics, you want to know if your blood sugar is high or low. It’s crucial to keep under control.

The goal about losing weight and diabetes

Your goal may be the same as mine, to lose belly fat. You can’t really zero in on just one area, but you’ll lose total body fat, not just in the abdomen. The time it takes depends on whether you’re male or female, how much you want to lose, and how much biking you do and at what rate.

If you go to a gym or engage in any other exercise, that will add to the weight loss and quicker. My feelings are to do enough exercise and bike riding that is comfortable for me. Your goals may be totally different so don’t be concerned.

Type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. You should have a testing kit and check your numbers and look into supplements that can help with lowering your blood sugar. It’s believed that lack of exercise and fatigue or physical activity is blamed for this. Research reveals that people have a 40% less risk of developing diabetes by bicycling for half an hour a day. Sleep is crucial for your health. You don’t need trouble sleeping and you want to eat right for better health.

Where to bike ride and riding tips to follow

To lose weight, you’ll want to be pedal constantly without interruptions such as street corners and traffic lights. It may be worth it to drive to a park or safer roads for you to ride. I used to ride to a park where I lived but now I have access to roads with bike lanes and no traffic so that works for me. Short stops from traffic congestion aren’t good because you want to ride without stopping to get your heart rate up. Of course if you choose to mountain bike ride, traffic and stopping shouldn’t be a concern.

Bring your cell phone but do NOT use your cell phone while riding. I only mean that you should not be on the phone or texting when you’re riding! Your safety is important! Don’t do this!

Safety

Biker wearing a helmet

  • First and foremost: Wear a helmet! Bicycle riding is fun and beneficial for your health, but you won’t have one if something happens and you’re not wearing a helmet. More than 80% of bike fatalities are related to no helmets. Some states have laws, but do you really need a LAW to tell you to protect your head and your life? C’mon, I’m sure you’re smarter than that. If you think that by riding where there are no cars and you don’t need a helmet? Guess again because approximately 70% of bicycle accidents do not involve any type of motor vehicle. Wear a helmet, please! That’s an order!
  • Obey traffic laws: You must adhere to all traffic laws that motor vehicles do. Cars have protection, you don’t. Wear the proper shoes, bright colored clothing (to obviously be seen easily) and ride with respect to others. Stay to the right of the road and use hand signals. (If someone cuts you off, I don’t mean THAT signal)
  • Watch for car doors opening! This is dangerous! Try and ride where there’s a park or no traffic. Keep your eyes wide open!

Accessories

  • Bike computer: I has this installed so I know how fast I’m going and how many miles I travel.

Bicycle computer

  • Headphones: I don’t like ear buds. I prefer headphones. I love music while I’m riding but ONLY if I keep the volume low and I’m riding where there is NO traffic because it’s to dangerous to be distracted while you’re cycling.
  • Saddle case: To carry a few things such as my cell phone. I use it ONLY when I stop riding. I keep an air pressure gauge and a few tools too.
  • Bike computer: I has this installed so I know how fast I’m going and how many miles I travel.
  • Water bottle: I like cold water and never go without my water bottle. You shouldn’t either.
  • Glasses and/or sunglasses: Cycling glasses to protect you from bugs and rocks and such and sunglasses for the sun.
  • Carry some form of ID: Just in case something happens for first aid responders to know who you are.
  • Cycling shoes: Some clip to the pedals. I don’t prefer that, maybe you do. Wear something comfortable

Summary

I’m happy that I shared this article with you because bike riding is one of my favorite things to do and it helps with losing weight too. Whether you already have your own bike or are just getting started and buying your new bicycle, have fun, enjoy, be happy, and be safe! If you want to ride indoors this is for you!

I hoped you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions about bike riding and weight loss, please leave a comment below. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Thank you!

 

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10 Comments

James Harvey · April 22, 2017 at 5:31 am

I haven’t rode a bike in ages it feels like. I’m not sure if I still even remember how to. But I do like this article and it is written so well that it’s like a blueprint to losing weight. I never thought riding a back could benefit your health so much. I will share and bookmark your site for sure.

    Rob Sciubba · April 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    So many people don’t like exercise. Biking is fun and you choose how easy or hard you want to ride. But it helps with weight loss and for anyone with health issues such as diabetes, it’s a huge benefit.

Jojo · April 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Bike riding is great. I do not ride that much myself but love taking the bike (instead of the car) when going to the shop or the beach in summer. It is great fun and a practical way of transportation as well.
combining this with some running and rollerblading will hopefully help me loose some weight as well lowering blood sugar and cholesterol.
You give good advice on which bike to choose and it is true that bike riding offers something for everyone. You can do anything from extreme stunts to an easy ride along a beautiful trail along the sea.
Thanks for a great post.

    Rob Sciubba · April 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Biking is my number one exercise. I used to roller skate and loved that too. Every exercise helps and if you enjoy it, then it’s even better. For me I ride a lot and go at an even speed. Since I just moved to Florida, I had my bike tuned up, new seat and get out every day. I hope all bike riders lose weight if they need to. It’s a fun way to do it!

kevin · April 24, 2017 at 2:45 am

i too used to love bike riding , but now I get tired too easily so I cant ride very far, but you mentioned bike riding for weight loss, what I like to know is how far would you have to travel to burn your 250 calories or how long would u need to ride per day to reach these targets?

    Rob Sciubba · April 24, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I was the same way so I started a little bit at a time because I love it. Riding a bike burns 300-350 calories a half an hour. This calculation would be based on a someone weighing between 200 and 250 pounds who is riding at a speed of at least 10 miles per hour.

Xin Zhang · April 29, 2017 at 3:31 am

Hi,
I enjoyed the article. I have just started riding again after many years of not having a bike. One thing that caught my eye was the bike computer. I wanted to know if you have a recommendation of which bike computer might be good. Do any of them have GPS tracking like some running trackers? Is their a specific brand or model you recommend? Any feedback would be appreciated.
thanks,
xin

    Rob Sciubba · April 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    My bike is a few years old but still basically new and I use the bike computer that came with it. I don’t need a GPS because I always carry my phone and while Garmin Edge touring plus may be what you’re looking for, the bike computers with GSP are rather expensive. I’m sure there are others that are cheaper if you really want a GPS. You may also want to ride your foldable exercise bike indoors

Manuel · May 18, 2017 at 2:55 am

Oh bicycles, I love them, particularly mountain bikes. I used to mountain bike a lot and in all honestly I miss it heaps.

I am not a big fan of road bikes myself as the place I live in is not very bicycle friendly.

I agree with you that when buying a push bike go and check the local shop first, very important specially if you are new to push bikes or haven’t rode them for awhile.

It is a great weight loss tool for the simple reason that it is fun. If you have fun you will keep doing it.

They have change a lot over the last 10 years, these days you can get a phenomenal bike for a reasonable price.

Great article. Could you recommend a good helmet for mountain bikes?

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