Keep Weight Off With This Kid Pastime

Cycling for weight loss is not only effective, it's environmentally friendly!

Many of us haven't done it since our skinned-knee playground days. But research shows it may help keep you slim. Hint: It involves two wheels. 

We're talking about bike riding for weight loss. And the women in a 16-year study who remembered how to do it—and did it every week—had an easier time keeping weight off than the non-pedal-pushers in the group. 

Pedals against the pounds 
In the study, even adding just five minutes of biking to each day made a difference in weight management. Of course, more bike riding may lead to even more weight loss. Women who biked about four hours a week had some of the most impressive weight-management numbers. And the best news? Cycling wasn't only beneficial for weight loss—it seemed to be even more effective at stanching weight creep in women who were overweight or obese. During the study period, the odds of packing on 5 percent of their starting body weight were slashed nearly in half by just two to three hours of cycling a week. 

Steady as she goes 
If you have any health conditions, talk to your healthcare provider before hopping in the saddle. For healthy individuals who practice good road safety, cycling for weight loss offers not only a low-impact way to burn calories but also an eco-friendly way to run errands and get around. If biking just isn't in your future, here are a few other effective ways to avoid unwanted pounds: 

  • Chow down. Eating meals at regular intervals helps you get a handle on hunger, so you don't overeat. 
  • Don't let the weekends derail you. Be aware of potential trip-ups and stick to your plan as best you can.  
  • Rework your walk. Add steps to your day and try to quicken the pace.  

Medically reviewed in September 2019. Updated in February 2021. 

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