If your New Year's Resolution is to lose weight you'd be just as well cycling to work rather than hitting the gym, found a 2017 study. Published in the International Journal of Obesity the study concluded that "Active commuting is an alternative to leisure-time exercise in the management of overweight and obesity."
The study involved 130 overweight Danish volunteers – they were measured by University of Copenhagen researchers who put them through gym exercises or cycling to work. Gym goers – with their expensive memberships – lost on average 9.9lbs over six months of regular attendance. Those who used their bikes to get to work lost almost the same amount, but did so for free.
The volunteers rode four miles to and from work each day, an exercise regime that takes less than 30 minutes each way, with the bonus of not getting stuck in traffic or having to pay for parking.
The gym goers had to endure 35 and 55 minute workouts, five times each week. (A control group was allowed to slob out and do nothing.)
The study – "Effects of active commuting and leisure-time exercise on fat loss in women and men with overweight and obesity: A randomized controlled trial" – was published online in October.
"A meaningful fat loss was obtained by 6 months of active commuting and leisure-time exercise, but fat loss was greater with vigorous compared to moderate intensity exercise," said the study.
So, up your pace as you get fitter and you'll lose even more weight!
Cycling to work is transport as well as exercise, and can soon become part of a daily routine. Hitting the gym can also become part of a daily routine but, as gyms find out every January, the drop-out rate is exceedingly high.