How Much Should You Cycle a Day to Stay in Shape?

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Riding a bicycle is not only fun, it’s an excellent form of aerobic exercise. A regular routine of cycling will get you in shape and keep you that way. You can achieve cardiovascular fitness, improved heart health and improved muscle strength and tone. Of course, once you do the work to get fit, you should cycle enough to stay in shape.

Minimum Requirements

Whether you choose cycling or some other activity, MayoClinic.com recommends that you need at least 2 1/2 hours of aerobic exercise each week to achieve and maintain good physical fitness. Adding strength-training twice a week is also recommended. You can do your cycling outdoors or use a stationary bicycle at home or at a gym.

Intensity

When you go cycling, you should ride vigorously enough to raise your heart rate to a level that builds cardiovascular fitness. The most accurate gauge of your exercise intensity is your heart rate. When you start out, a heart rate of 40 percent to 50 percent of your maximum heart rate. Over time, you need to work up to a heart rate close to 70 percent of your MHR. Once you are in shape, ride fast enough to maintain that heart rate.

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