Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Biking for weight loss/toning?

Options
Dexidah
Dexidah Posts: 19 Member
Alright, here's the deal. I have found myself unable to jog. I'm not sure why, I could just be out of shape, but at the same time my resting heart rate is usually over 110 bpm and I always feel like I'm going to die even after a small 1 to 2 minute jog/light sprint. I feel like I taste blood and I can't get air for a bit afterwards.

I'm not sure why riding a bike is different, but it's much easier and I can bike for much, much longer. I'm sure I could easily go for an hour or so if I had my music with me.

My question is, can I replace jogging with biking and still get similar effects? I know biking is low impact, but I think this would also be better for my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which gets at my knees with the weather the way it's been lately. I'm looking mostly to lose about 20 lbs and maybe tighten my thighs and butt.

I've tried searching for results, but can't find much, which really doesn't bode well.

Anyone have success with bike riding?

There are several hills where I live, but it's mostly flat roads.

Replies

  • Lyadeia
    Lyadeia Posts: 4,603 Member
    Options
    Cardio is cardio, it doesn't matter what form of it you do. The purpose is to burn calories which biking is excellent at doing! I would suggest getting an HRM if you don't already have one so you can better keep track of calories burned at different speeds, on different roads with differing terrains, etc.

    The best cardio is that which you can and will continue to do. You don't have to run if you don't want to or can't. Biking is awesome exercise.
  • carolyn0613
    carolyn0613 Posts: 162 Member
    Options
    You get lots of stationary bikes in the gym so it must be doing something! Seriously, cycling is great exercise and makes you feel physically and mentally good. I used to ride to work - about 10 miles, taking me about 45 mins steady pace through London. It was a magical time. I would arrive at work refreshed and ready to rule the day. I would solve my problems on my ride and just felt great. I have a much longer commute now and feel the loss of that bike ride sorely
  • anaconda469
    anaconda469 Posts: 3,467 Member
    Options
    I just completed a 14.5 mile bike ride and it does feel great. I need double knee replacement so biking is the best I can do. And I do not want to have to go to the gym to ride stationary, because I like to be outdoors (but that is just me).
  • natalyau
    Options
    I love both biking and running! Running does burn more calories I have noticed, I mountain bike so not sure if its different for road biking. Anyway I started running 2 years ago and it destroyed me ( hated it), I was very unfit and I had a terrible case of shinsplints so I had to ease off, So I started Mountain Biking more and running less. It slowly improved my fitness level and strengthened my legs, butt and back, which then had helped me improve my running, i then started to enjoy it more...2 years later I can bike like a champ and run 20km. More you practice, better you get! And I definitely think you should try do a tiny bit of running still if you can, You will be surprised how much better you will get at both the activities.
  • TheMojoMissy
    TheMojoMissy Posts: 18 Member
    Options
    I love both biking and running! Running does burn more calories I have noticed, I mountain bike so not sure if its different for road biking. Anyway I started running 2 years ago and it destroyed me ( hated it), I was very unfit and I had a terrible case of shinsplints so I had to ease off, So I started Mountain Biking more and running less. It slowly improved my fitness level and strengthened my legs, butt and back, which then had helped me improve my running, i then started to enjoy it more...2 years later I can bike like a champ and run 20km. More you practice, better you get! And I definitely think you should try do a tiny bit of running still if you can, You will be surprised how much better you will get at both the activities.

    This gives me hope. I've been battling plantar fasciitis & shin splints for a year. I'm trying to fall in love w/my bike trainer now, but my heart wants to be a runner. Hopefully, in a few months of the bike, I'll be able to try running again.
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    Options
    There's absolutely nothing that says you have to run to lose weight or be fit. I don't know where people get that. Just eat at a calorie deficit. Lifting weights helps preserve muscle while you lose (which is generally what people want when they say "tone"). Any cardio will increase your cardio fitness.
  • MrGonzo05
    MrGonzo05 Posts: 1,120 Member
    Options
    If your resting heart rate is 110, see a doctor. Soon.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    Options
    ... my resting heart rate is usually over 110 bpm ...

    That's high, have you had a check up over starting to train?

    My question is, can I replace jogging with biking and still get similar effects?...

    Anyone have success with bike riding?

    Riding leads to a lower average heart rate, so it takes longer to burn an equivalent amount of energy, but it's good training. If you ride in higher gears you'll get a reasonable level of resistance, so that'll have an effect on muscle development, particularly if you use clipless pedals; that means that you're working on the upstroke as well as the downstroke.

    Give it a go.
  • CeleryStalker
    CeleryStalker Posts: 665 Member
    Options
    I lost about 50# by bicycling. Once you get good at it and can go longer distances, you can REALLY burn through an insane number of calories, all while having fun. I like biking so much, my husband and I got married on our bikes at the starting line of a 100 mile charity ride. THAT'S how fun cycling is. And the best part? Because you burn so many calories, you can eat so much food and still lose weight, it's ridiculous. The only downside is that once it gets too cold to ride (if you live somewhere that gets cold winters), you have to either figure out another way to keep up that calorie burn, or learn to restrict to match your new, lower caloric burn.

    Bit of advice- Road bikes require a good 'fit' in order to provide a comfortable ride. Be sure to go to a well-respected bike shop to get your measurements done (arms and legs length, reach, that sort of thing, nothing humiliating, lol) They will then be able to show you a selection of bikes with the proper geometry to fit your body so that you CAN get out there and ride a bazillion miles like it's nothing. A poorly fit road bike will make the sport NOT fun.

    Another bit of advice- invest in quality cycling shorts. You want a pair with as little hemlines as possible. Look at cheap shorts and compare the stitching to say, a $60 pair of shorts and you will see what I mean. The less stitching, the more comfort. You will also want a nice 'chamois cream' to rub on the inside of the shorts to ease the friction. Don't wear panties under your shorts. The less stuff you have rubbing on you, the better :)

    Last bit of advice- Those big, padded bike seats might look more comfy than the hard, thin, barely padded seats, but again, along the same lines as the 'less rubbing, the better' notion, you want something that's going to make LESS contact with your body, not more, and those bulky seats will just be killer. Yes, it will take a few rides to get past the 'ouch, my crotch feels like I've been kicked right in it' feeling, but believe me, it goes away. It's no different than breaking in a new pair of shoes. You can even get fitted for a proper bike seat if the bike shop you go to has something to measure your 'sit bones'. Essentially, it's this memory foam type pad you sit on that shows impressions of where your bones hit when you sit down. Based on this, they can pinpoint the perfect saddle for you :)

    If all else fails, you can always look into a mountain bike. You don't need as specific a fit on those because it's a different kind of ride. Good luck to you! I could talk bikes all day. I hope you find you enjoy the freedom and fun you will experience, as well as the improved health and weight loss.

    Oh, and LAAAST bit of advice...if you are going to go on the open road, be sure to learn road bike safety. In most places, if not all, bikes are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. This might feel a little awkward when you first get out there, especially the point when you have to take your first left turn at a stoplight, but true safety on the road starts with knowing what you are required to do when you are out there! :)
  • losindood
    losindood Posts: 36 Member
    Options
    Cycling is my exercise of choice. I've got about 4,000 miles in since January. I've been cycling for a little over a year. You can see my loss number. Judge for yourself. :D

    I started very, very small -- 3 miles per ride. That's all I could do. I just built up from there. I just got home from a 47 mile ride and that's considered a "short" ride now. 60-75 is pretty typical. Go find those hills and ride them. You'll hate them in the beginning, but they'll really get your heart pumping!

    Good luck!
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    Options
    If your resting heart rate is 110, see a doctor. Soon.

    This
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,809 Member
    Options
    That resting heart rate is a concern and you should get checked medically out before starting your fitness campaign.

    Having said that cycling is an excellent CV workout and much kinder on your joints than running.
  • p4ulmiller
    p4ulmiller Posts: 588 Member
    Options
    Alright, here's the deal. I have found myself unable to jog. I'm not sure why, I could just be out of shape, but at the same time my resting heart rate is usually over 110 bpm and I always feel like I'm going to die even after a small 1 to 2 minute jog/light sprint. I feel like I taste blood and I can't get air for a bit afterwards.

    So once you've got this bit sorted, you can start riding.

    I've lost my weight solely through calorie deficit and cycling.

    You really should look up the BigYin (MFP user) to see what cycling can do for you.
  • gajones02
    gajones02 Posts: 34 Member
    Options
    You might start here:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/148-Training-amp-Nutrition


    Ask general bike questions here:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/7-General-Cycling-Discussion


    These guys ride to get there, no racing. Quite friendly and helpful:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/20-Commuting

    Have fun!!
  • minnamaria
    Options
    Biking is an excellent form of cardio but also strength if you choose to climb hills....Just make sure you invest in a good helmet, I'm recovering from a wreck ....anyways, if you ride on country roads, watch out for lose dogs as they will chase bicyclists and can possibly cause a wreck. I always carry pepper spray with me...Hopefully you have nice bike trails to ride on :)
  • Lozze
    Lozze Posts: 1,917 Member
    Options
    As the others have said you need to go to your doctor before doing ANY more exercise. Resting heart rate at 110 is a big concern and not able to get air after exercise is another.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    Options

    My question is, can I replace jogging with biking and still get similar effects? I know biking is low impact, but I think this would also be better for my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which gets at my knees with the weather the way it's been lately. I'm looking mostly to lose about 20 lbs and maybe tighten my thighs and butt.

    Firstly, if you're looking to loose weight, it is done by diet not cardio. Cardio and/or weight lifting will give you benefits along the way.

    I'm 44 and am diagnosed with R/A. I run, lift heavy, and bike. This week alone I ran 60.9 miles & cycled 94 miles with no drugs along with being hit by a car when biking a few days ago. The main thing is getting in tune what your body is capable of.

    Lifting is something I have done for the past 30 years on and off. For R/A patients it will strengthen your muscles which will help with your joints. I lift pretty heavy considering some of my diseases, like squatting 360lbs(175% of my body weight) every other day). It can be done with good form & proper nutrition.

    Running is ironically the exercise that has helped my R/A the most in my knees. It was tough and near impossible when I was heavier (about 25lbs), but I feel the combination of lifting & running worked for my body The best advice I could give you is shed your weight first, get brand new professionally fit running shoes, google/youtube good running form, and find your slow pace and run slower than that. If you can do all these things, running can be a possibility for you.

    Cycling is not going to burn as much calories as running, but that shouldn't be a deterrent as mentioned before diet is the key to weight loss if that is one of your goals. Cycling may be lower impact, but for someone with R/A can cause severe pain in the knees if the bike is not fitted for your body and you try to ride in to lower of gears. I cycle more for a cross trainer now a days.

    If you want to cardio, then make a plan that will work for you and your illness. Swimming might be an option as well, find something that you enjoy and do that. Running can be an option and you can even fall in love with it, but it has to be done correctly and has to be right for your body. Running use to be at the bottom of my list of things I want to do in life, now its at the top for the benefits it gives me in life.

    Good luck.