How many Calories does Bike Riding Burn?

A Harvard study recently revealed that biking at a moderate speed can burn your calories fast in 30 minutes. Whether you ride your bike on the road, hit the trails with a group, or use a stationary bicycle, cycling is proven an effective way to burn calories to achieve your fitness goals.

It was found that the more speed you exert when riding a bicycle, especially in an uphill drive, the more calories were burned. But why burning calories is essential in losing or maintaining your weight? The most basic rule in weight loss is when you eat food that contains fewer calories than you should burn, it will result in weight loss. So, if your calorie intake is more significant than what you can burn, chances of gaining weight are high.

However, for some who have a very hectic lifestyle where work and home life balancing is a struggle. Most of the time, they can only spend 30 minutes to exercise, particularly biking. Although half an hour workout can burn calories, it can be more efficient when done with the appropriate exercise.

To know how you can effectively use your 30 minutes to burn calories with cycling, here are the four proven-effective ways that you can apply.

How to calculate your burned calories?

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a person burns five calories on average per 1 liter of oxygen that they consumed. So, for simply breathing, you lose five calories. However, calculating burned calories is based on MET or metabolic equivalent and is usually estimates.

So if you are to calculate the number of calories you burned for a day, you should also consider your weight and your metabolic equivalent. If you do average biking at a moderate speed, your average MET is 8.0. When you do mountain biking and other rigorous biking activities, your MET is estimated to be 14.0. However, people have different metabolic rates and varying levels of calorie expenditure. Thus, calculations of the calories burned based on MET are not that accurate as these were just estimates.

Slow and Steady Biking

Aerobic metabolism system is the key to burn your calories in slow but steady biking. Through this system, the overall health of your organs, including your heart and lungs, is improved. That is for the reason the glucose in the body is used more effectively, which is converted into energy.

Experts revealed that glucose in the body should be appropriately utilized to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome as well as pre-diabetes. When you cycle in a slow but steady movement, not only the calories were burned, but they also help in mobilizing the fats stored in the muscles.

Fit group of people using exercise bike together

Fast and Intense Biking

When you do quick and intense biking, more calories are usually burned as the body will require more energy to perform. A 155-pound person is expected to burn 298 calories in 30 minutes if they bike at a moderate speed of 12 to 13.9 miles. If you ride the bike at a faster rate, let say 14 to 15.9 miles; a person of the same weight mentioned will burn a total of 372 calories.

Also, in fast and intense biking, burning off stored fat in the muscles becomes more rapid, which gives you a leaner look in a couple of days if done frequently.

Stationary Biking

Recent Harvard University studies revealed that when you ride the bike at a moderate speed, a 125-pound person most likely will burn 210 calories while a 155-pound person is expected to burn 260 calories. The average pace of biking is usually 12 to 13.9 miles per hour. Yet, when you do stationary bike in 30 minutes, you can expect to burn the calories a little bit lower.

Stationary biking is the most common type of biking where you will only need to purchase a stationary bike to use indoors. When it comes to how many calories you can burn in 30 minutes with stationary bikes, it varies slightly when you use the bike indoors and outdoors.

Yet, compared to stationary or indoor biking, which only helps you burn a few calories, outdoor biking is more dynamic because of the several factors you have to pay attention to. These include being aware of your surroundings, and the changes in speed and movement when you follow the road.

Weather, such as wind resistance, can also be a significant factor in knowing how many calories can be burned in 30 minutes when you burn your calories through extreme biking. Riding the bike uphill can also lead to several calories burned compared when you do stationary biking inside.

Young fitness bike spinning with instructor

Outdoor Biking

When you do outside biking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, you can expect to burn 240 calories if you weigh 125 pounds, 298 calories if you weigh 155 pounds and 355 calories if you weigh 185 pounds. To burn calories more effectively with outdoor biking, some rides BMX, or do mountain biking. Such biking activity, where you will most go uphill and navigate rocky and uneven terrain, will help you burn more calories.

If you do mountain biking or any other outdoor biking activities, expect that you can burn 255 calories if you weigh 125 pounds, 316 calories for people who weigh 155 pounds, and 377 calories are burned to those people weighing 185 pounds.

Looking at the number of calories that can be burned, you’ll notice that the heavier a person, the more calories are burned. This happens because a person that weighs heavier put a lot of strength and effort to pedal, especially on stiff, rocky roads, and in riding uphill.

Aside from this, there’s a lot of fat stored in the muscles that are burned to be converted to energy that is needed by the body to keep on moving.

Other factors that can increase the number of burned calories

Aside from the speed and how long you’ve been riding your bike in a day and for weeks, other factors that can contribute to heating your calories are the impact, intensity, and purpose of cycling. Biking does not require high impact movement, but endurance to keep on pedaling.

When it comes to intensity, you can alternate the intensity of your biking by choosing the path you will follow. And in terms of purpose, biking can be your steady calorie burner if you turn cycling as an alternative to driving or walking to get anywhere.