As the cold days drag on, our animalistic instincts kick in and our bodies roll into hibernation mode.
The function of hibernation is to conserve energy during a period when sufficient food is unavailable and with our human over abundant access to food, we decrease activity while increasing intake.
But fear not! Our friends at Map My Ride , powered by Under Armour, have laid out five ways to help cyclists shed that winter weight and prepare for spring riding. Check them out and let us know some of your own tips for maintaining your physique during hibernation.
1. Eat breakfast post-ride.
A study* conducted by the Journal of Applied Physiology found that exercising in a semi-fasted state can help you burn more calories than you would if you ate beforehand. While not recommend before intervals or your weekly long ride, skipping breakfast a few times per week on moderate rides of 60 minutes or less can help you lose weight quicker.
Just remember to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal as soon as your workout is over.
2. Don’t quit cold turkey.
After a holiday's, don't cut out all sweets and treats completely. Intense cravings could lead to binging, which could lead to even more weight gain. Instead, include occasional treats in your diet, but limit the portions. This will help fight off cravings without adding a huge sum of calories.
3. Use your bike to commute.
A study* done by Health Behavior News Service shows that leaving your car at home may be the key to losing — and then maintaining — your weight. They recommend 150–250 minutes of physical activity a week; on the lower end, that equals a 30-minute ride five days a week.
Be sure to dress appropriately for the conditions — it can make a big difference in your winter cycling experience.
4. Ride hard.
With limited daylight, long rides can be harder to come by. Luckily, hard efforts such as intervals burn fat more efficiently than steady-state efforts, according to a recent study*. In fact, in just two weeks, it’s possible to increase your fat-burning efficiency by as much as 36%.
To make it happen, give this a try:
- Warm up for 20 minutes with easy spinning.
- Complete 6–10 repetitions of all-out sprinting for 30–60 seconds, depending on your level of fitness. Recover for 2–4 minutes between repetitions.
- Cool down for 10–15 minutes with easy spinning at a cadence above 100 revolutions per minute.
- Incorporate this workout into your routine 2–3 times per week for maximum fat burn.
5. Take advantage of your indoor trainer.
To avoid TV/couch/munching from becoming a frequently occurring habit, it might be a better idea to set up your indoor trainer in the living room.
This will allow you to ride for an hour or two while you watch your favorite TV shows or a movie. Instead of packing on the pounds, you’ll be shedding them.
We definitely understand that not everyone owns or has access to an indoor trainer. If you are DIY savvy, check out how these guys made there own indoor trainer for under $30. And guess what? A walk through Ikea for rolling pins will keep you super active. Double score!
Send us you winter maintenance tips, we'd love to hear them!
*please check out Map My Ride for all study details