Want to stay lean and sexy? Start planning a morning bike ride!

morning bike rideThere’s probably a few of you out there looking at your indoor trainer and wondering just what it’s going to do for you and your body this winter. We’ve been there, especially on those days when you’re really looking for some serious motivation to ride that darned machine.

What might be even worse to learn is that you may well have been sweating away at the wrong time of day! We’ve just come across news that various doctors and health experts are now saying that to achieve maximum results, pedal away in the morning – as soon as you wake up!

So if you’re looking to stay fit and healthy (we mean sexxxxy!) over the coming months, wake up early and head over to that trainer!

SEE ALSO: 7 ways your trainer will change your life!

Various studies on fat burning exercises have revealed that we burn stored fat faster and therefore lose more weight when we do our workouts in the early morning, or when we exercise on an empty stomach.

Some research has indicated that when we exercise before eating breakfast, our body burns fat more efficiently, which in turn results to better muscle building. It is also reported that an empty stomach will produce hormones that promote fat burning and the building up of muscles. That’s in contrast to when our stomach is full, as our body’s activity is more focused in digesting the stored food, so the body building and fat burning hormones are not readily released.

The science behind burning all that fat…

The science behind all that fat burning is pretty darned interesting too: carbohydrates supply our body with fuel that boosts our energy and keeps us going. It is metabolized into glucose, a type of sugar that is stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen (carbohydrates, or the metabolized glycogen, is our body’s primary source of fuel). When an abundant supply of glycogen is available, this is what our body burns as fuel when we exercise. You may be thinking – and hoping – that you are burning stored fat, but in reality, you are just using up your body’s primary fuel. This is why we have to eat after performing strenuous workouts or doing physical work.

Our blood sugar drops during the period overnight when we sleep, because we’re obviously not in-taking any carbs, so our glycogen level is also lowered. When we exercise early in the morning while the level of glycogen in our body is low, our body turns to the fat stored in our muscles and uses it for fuel. Thus, we burn more fat compared to exercising with a full stomach when glycogen levels are high.

However, that morning training session shouldn’t be too intensive (but just enough to give your heart a good workout) – since fat is metabolized slowly our body turns back to the glycogen if it is really pushed during a hard session, and the adverse consequence is that our body sugar will be depleted. Therefore an early morning bike ride without pushing too much is best for really burning that fat off.

And once you’ve finished your early morning session, be sure to eat food rich in carbohydrates and protein to replenish body fuels. Perfect foods for the job include bread, eggs, baked beans and a nutritional drink; they’ll all help give your body the energy that it needs after your morning workout.

SEE ALSO:
5 Awesome Nutritional Tricks for Cyclists!
How a daily ride on your bike trainer can help prevent cancer

The future of indoor trainers…this is one video well worth watching!

We love our CycleOps Fluid 2, and have gotten familiar with many of the other trainers out there over the last few years.

But the future for indoor training is what really excites us…take a look at this video from the guys at CycleOps and the direction they’re heading (we love their newish Silencer Direct Drive trainer and their upcoming Hammer model sounds amazing!). Well worth a watch!

Lots more on our website!

Is this your man cave this winter?

If you’re aiming to stay fit over the winter months, you’ll probably have your stationary bike stand set up something like in the image below. Or perhaps not.

You may well be motivated for those upcoming winter sessions – and if you’re not, try checking out some of these videos for some inspiration – but making sure you’ve got the perfect environment is a big part in getting the most out of your training.

We’d highly recommend something like the image below if you can, but obviously, each to their own. We’d also probably replace the phone book with a proper riser block, and the towel on the bike frame with a sweat guard, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers!

How do YOU set up for the winter?

winter cycling man cave

See also:

The 7 major ways an indoor trainer can truly change your life!

The 5 BEST bike trainers for 2017

The 5 BEST trainers to buy this Christmas!

The next generation of indoor trainer: the CycleOps Hammer!

We’ve been in love with our CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer for at least a couple of years, and it’s been on our list of bestselling stationary bike stands for some time now. But it’s always interesting to see the latest innovations and designs coming to fruition, especially from market leaders like CycleOps.

Take a look at the video below for a peek at the new generation – the CycleOps Hammer trainer! It looks like it could redefine training as we know it, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a podium-seeking pro…and yes, we’re hoping to test this direct drive beast out real soon!

It’s currently priced at around $1200 – but watch out for some specials over Black Friday and in the Christmas runup…

THREE excellent techniques for improving your hill-climbing

If you’re looking for some Spring training tips to really improve your hill-climbing, then this is the video for you.

The video is from the impressive CycleCore (aka Graeme Street), who has some awesome training videos (another one we featured here).

The clip features THREE awesome tips for some high intensity hill climbing using a stationary bike stand, including the Climbing Energy Ass Kicker technique – yes, check out the video below to understand more! And yes, his man cave probably needs a bit of work…

Check out more training videos here, here, and here.

And yes, that’s an ass-kicking Kurt Kinetic trainer taking a beating in the video!

How a daily ride on your bike trainer can reduce the risk of cancer

stationary bike standWell, we all know that getting on our bikes for a quick ride is a great, healthy option. But if you really want to stay healthy, this article might just make you think again about scaling up those training sessions…

Survey results show us the way…

The results of a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that the risk of lung and colorectal cancer in middle-aged men is lowered by some 55% and 44% respectively, if they are physically fit and regularly engage in cardiovascular exercise. Furthermore, those who religiously engage in a physical fitness program have a higher chance of surviving cancer.

Cancer is a disease that strikes without warning. We might feel good today, but in the next week, or month, or year, our lives – God Forbid – can be suddenly turned upside down by cancer. There aren’t any assurances of completely preventing against the Big C, but taking a few minutes out of our day to make our body stronger is certainly going to do some sort of good…

Medical professionals have always said that proper diet and exercise play major roles in keeping our body fit and free from diseases. Cardiovascular exercises like biking, walking, jogging, swimming, and aerobic exercise raises our heart rate and contribute to keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. The heart is the organ that pumps blood throughout the body; a healthy heart efficiently pumps blood to all parts of the body and ensures that all other organs are functioning well too. This means that keeping our heart healthy reduces somewhat the possibility of us contracting a disease like cancer.

And as you’re reading this on our site, we’re taking it that your preferred form of cardiovascular exercise is biking.

So, what do you need to do?

The Journal of the American Medical Association study shows that pedaling steadily for at least 30 minutes raises our heart rate and exercises our heart muscles. It makes our heart muscles stronger and improves the delivery of blood and oxygen to the cells in our body. Improved oxygen supply results in our body cells becoming more efficient in burning fat and moving out toxins to the liver or the kidney, to be metabolized out of the body. Thus, our body remains healthy and free of toxins that can cause various types of disorders in our system.

A daily session on the trainer it is then!

A daily bike ride, particularly in the morning hours (read more about why you should be riding first thing in the morning), is an enjoyable way to exercise our heart and keep our body fit. Most of you probably started biking when you were kids, and may have given it up along the way when work, life, and kids got in the way. But once learned, this skill remains with us for life, so all we need to do is to pull our bikes out of storage, stick it on the trainer (easier than you think), and ride off to a healthier life!

5 awesome nutritional tricks for cyclists!

oats with yogurtWe know what it’s like, working hard all day and then trying to squeeze in some family time with the little ones AND a session or two on our indoor trainer. It’s really not that easy, and definitely a strain on your time and energy banks, which are constantly being eroded all day long.

Which is why we really need to worry about getting the maximum nutritional value we can from the meals we do manage to squeeze into our daily frenzy. Especially for those of us hitting the open road or sneaking in a trainer session or two.

There are plenty of nutritional tips for getting maximum performance or even for dieting while training, but we’ve come up with FIVE awesome tips that every cyclist can incorporate into their daily training habits.

In no particular order…

Start the day with oats

Oats are the perfect breakfast fuel for many people, and especially us cyclists. Thanks to the slow-release of carbohydrates and fairly low sugar (especially when compared with regular cereals), they really are the fuel your body needs.

Our tip: Soak some oats overnight in yogurt (the acidic content of the yogurt helps you increase your intake of iron), and then add pretty much whatever you like. Bananas are great and also an excellent source of energy, and you can top it off with raisins, blueberries and even peanut butter for even more energy.

Go green

We all remember the time when our parents told us “those greens are good for you!”, as we reluctantly pushed various green, horrible-looking vegetables around our dinner plate. But adding a handful of greens to your dinner (and hey, if you can create a smoothie drink with greens like spinach, all the power to you) boosts the antioxidant levels of your food, which will assist post-exercise recovery. In one study we came across from the University of Warwick, gym goers that ate a daily dose of watercress experienced less DNA damage post exercise.

Frozen beats fast

It might surprise some of you, but research indicates that frozen food has more nutrient value than food stored in the fridge. From a 2014 survey (revealed at the conference of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), it was discovered that those eating frozen foods ate less calories, some 250 calories less per day in fact. They also ate more fiber, and even more Vitamin A, compared with those who went some sort of fast food.

Oh yes, surprising indeed. What is even more awesome is the fact that frozen fruits and vegetables actually contain as many if not more nutrients as fresh, particularly if they are frozen soon after harvesting. A survey conducted by a UK university in 2013 shows that the nutrients in frozen berries, beans, peas, sweetcorn and cauliflower were actually higher than those which were stored in a fridge for 3 days.

Be smooth

The nutritional value of a freshly made smoothie has been known for some time (we got hooked after a visit to Thailand and waking up to smoothies every morning). What we’d recommend is preparing a variety of chopped fruits and veggies and storing them in freezer bags until needed. Don’t forget to add some greens (see the Go Green section above!), especially spinach, which we’ve found has worked well in smoothies. Then whenever you need them just pull them out of the freezer, blend them, and you’ve got yourself a tasty, nutritional treat!

Go double

More of an energy AND time saver, this tip is one of our faves and much implemented! Whenever you cook up something, think double. Basically, you’re going to double the portions you cook, rather than just worry about the immediate meal. For example, if you’re cooking up some pasta, double the portion; tomorrow you can use the remaining portion in a pasta salad, or reheat it and throw in some tuna and tomato puree. Or if chili is your poison, make extra portions so you can use the next day, either by serving in wraps with guacamole and salsa, or spooning some into/onto a baked potato.

Everyday foods like eggs can also be saved in the fridge for a week. So boil up a few at the start of the week and you’ll have yourselves plenty of eggy options through the week (remember that 3 eggs will give you your recommended 20g of protein recommended for post-exercise recovery).

*******************************

To cut a long story short, there are some great nutritional ways to maximize your training program. We hope these are a great starting point for you on your way to indoor trainer glory!

SEE ALSO:
How a daily ride on your bike trainer prevents cancer