Losing belly fat or getting a flat tummy is not only physically desirable for a lot of people but is actually a great health goal to aim for. This is because having excess belly fat is actually quite detrimental to your health.
There are two types of fat: visceral and subcutaneous (WebMD article on types of fat). Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs, whereas subcutaneous fat is the extra fat that lies just under the skin (if you can pinch the fat around your stomach, that’s subcutaneous).
While both types of fat in moderation are essential for your body to function normally, an excess of either – particularly visceral fat – can have dire consequences. Visceral fat can potentially lead to liver damage, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance (which, in turn, can lead to Type II diabetes – as per Diabetes.co.uk). So, it is always in your best interest to keep your body physically fit and lose that belly fat. It’s just a cherry on top that it looks great to have a flat tummy!
However, one of the biggest challenges for many people is to get rid of this excess stomach fat. So, how does one accomplish with exercise, and how does e-Biking fit into the equation?
Will e-Cycling help me lose belly fat and get a flat tummy? Cycling on an e-bike is aerobic exercise and increases your metabolism. This means that your body is burning more calories and burning belly fat. Combining regular low-impact e-cycling with high-intensity interval training will further help this process.
You might be surprised to hear about all the ways that riding an electric bicycle can help you accomplish this goal!
Riding e-bike is aerobic exercise and increases your metabolism
It can be hard for a lot of people to lose tummy fat because the stomach and waist area is one of the easiest to build up fat around. As mentioned above though, belly fat can heighten risk factors of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
But don’t fear – riding your e-Bike is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of exercise that can help you tackle that belly fat! E-Biking, and cycling in general, provide exercise that improves both your metabolism as well as the production of fat-burning hormones.
This is because your metabolism, which is your body’s process of making and using energy, is directly correlated to the way you burn calories. So, the better your metabolism is, the easier it will be for you to be able to burn calories on a day-to-day basis.
The aerobic nature of e-Cycling contributes to its effectiveness as a belly fat-burning resource. While you may think that doing a ton of crunches or sit-ups will help you to get that flat stomach faster, that’s actually not the case – those exercises really only benefit your abdominal muscles but are not the most effective in reducing visceral fat.
Aerobic, or cardio, exercises like cycling are ones that are known for steadily increasing your overall fitness and boosting your metabolism, are proven to be the most effective for reducing visceral fat, and therefore greatly increase your fat-burning potential.
While strength training is beneficial in strengthening your abdominal and core muscles, it is more focused on muscle building whereas aerobic exercise is more focused on overall bodily fitness and is more associated with toning the body.
You can do high and low-intensity training on an e-Bike
Creating an exercise regimen that couples both high-intensity and low-intensity training is the best way to achieve stellar fitness and fat-burning capabilities. Not only that, but riding your e-Bike provides both these options: you can customize your ride for a few workout days of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) in a week, and the rest of the days can be used for a combination of low-intensity rides and rest/recovery days.
High-intensity interval training is one of the leading methods of exercise routines, one that has many physical benefits and that is actually quite easy to do! This type of training has actually been proven to be more effective for reducing belly fat than only doing moderate or lower intensity exercise, and doing this type of training only once or twice a week is all you need to do to benefit your body in a big way.
In fact, you should actively try not to do it more than that. Most experts recommend that you only do 1-2 workouts per week of interval training because doing more can risk overexertion and stalled progress.
Read also: Does riding an e-bike help train strength and endurance? And, Are electric bikes good for cardio exercise?
Interval training follows a fairly simple pattern: you alternate between high-intensity periods and follow it up with low intensity or “rest or relief” periods (Wikipedia re interval training), doing anywhere between 2-5 reps of this pattern per workout.
An example of an effective interval training routine on your e-Bike:
- Begin with a light warmup (this decreases the risk of strain or injury);
- After a 5 to 10-minute warmup, start to increase your speed (you can do this at a higher resistance or with lower pedal assist);
- Try to lose a certain number of calories per minute: keep your speed high, but not so high that it’s unsustainable (you don’t want to run out of breath too quickly; get your heart and lungs working, but not to the point of gasping for air);
- Going at 10 miles per hour (or, 16 kilometers per hour) for a 20-30 minute workout is a great place to start, and you can always work your way up from there;
- You can go anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes during your high-intensity periods, and your rest periods can be anywhere from half the amount of your high-intensity periods to slightly longer;
- For example, you can do 5 minutes of high-intensity, followed by 5 minutes of rest (where you pedal slower or with low or moderate effort; this should feel like a “break” period) and you can repeat this pattern anywhere between 2 – 5 times;
- Spend 5-10 minutes cooling down on your e-Bike.
As you can see, HIIT rides don’t have to be too long. You can customize your interval times do to whatever length suits your needs.
High-intensity interval training also helps to release your human growth hormone (also known as HGH), which helps you to burn fat and maintain muscle, as well as regulating your appetite which makes it less likely for you to overeat or binge eat, which will help you maintain a toned body.
As mentioned before, be careful not to overdo it with interval training, because not only will you risk injury or exhaustion, but it can actually make it harder to lose that belly fat. Only do the high-intensity workouts a couple of times a week and make sure to have at least one or two rest days, as well as lower intensity exercise on the other days in between.
You can easily adjust your lower-intensity rides by using more pedal-assist, going at a slower pace, and lessening your gear resistance.
You will become a calorie-burning machine
Experts recommend that you should burn around 2000 calories per week through exercise. An average cycling ride will burn around 300 – 500 calories per hour, so whether you only use your e-Bike or couple it with other exercises, you can easily achieve this goal.
The number of calories burned will also increase when you are doing more high-intensity workouts. Even though these workouts are shorter in length, you will be burning a lot of calories in a shorter amount of time.
Not only that, but aside from the calories, you burn while on your e-Bike, your improved fitness levels and increased metabolism will help you to burn calories even when you’re not on your e-Bike!
Fasted riding would help as well
In addition to doing HIIT coupled with low-intensity rides, another recommendation by experts is to try fasted riding, i.e. riding on no food (read more about intermittent fasting via this Wikipedia link). Fasted exercise means that you can drink water or coffee/tea, but otherwise, you have not had your first meal of the day before exercising.
While it may sound hard, fasted riding has huge benefits, the biggest of which is that you will improve your fat-burning capabilities as well as your cardiovascular health. If you do fasted riding before eating breakfast, it will be easier since the majority of your fasting has been while sleeping.
At this time, your glucose levels are low, and therefore your body has to rely on your fat stores for fuel, which means – you guessed it – you will be able to burn fat faster. You can try to do fasted riding one or two times a week and build your way up if you can.
E-Biking will help to regulate your heartbeat, lungs, circulation, metabolism, and will turn you into a calorie and fat-burning machine if you ride on a regular basis!
A few words in conclusion
Being a low-impact exercise, riding an e-bike allows you to be regular with your exercise, making it incredibly easy to create a sustainable and beneficial workout regime. You can combine days of high-intensity workouts with a few days of lower intensity workouts without any issue.
All you have to do is adjust your efforts, gear resistance, and pedal-assist feature accordingly. Riding your e-Bike will have you achieving a flat tummy in no time!