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Cycling Everyday For 1 Hour – Before And After (What To Expect)

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Cycling every day is a life-changing event. It becomes a way of life.

Cycling daily comes with a whole host of benefits, such as weight loss, greater energy levels, and boosts in positive hormones.

In this post, I’ll look at exactly what to expect if you cycle for one hour per day. I’ll look at:

  • Internal changes you will experience
  • External changes that will happen to your body
  • Lifestyle changes that you may experience
Cycling every day for 1 hour

What Are The External Effects of Cycling for 1 Hour?

1. Predicted Weight Loss

A lot of people that are thinking of cycling every day, are doing it for some kind of weight loss challenge, and so I thought I’d start with that.

The excellent news is that cycling every day is a brilliant way of shedding weight.

Over the course of an hour, you are likely to shed somewhere between 300 and 700 calories. That’s a lot!

For most people to lose 1 pound a week, they need to be in a calorie deficiency of at least 500 calories per days.

For men, a normal calorie intake would be around 2500 daily calories, so they would need to be under 2000 calories to be under this enough to start losing weight.

A normal calorie intake for women would be 2000 calories, so they would need to be under 1500 calories to start losing approximately 1 lb a week.

Of course, this is all highly subjective and differs from individual to individual.

However, let me create a simple table for you.

This demonstrates how many pounds you can expect to lose per week if you eat the expected calorie amount for your gender, and also cycle for an hour every day. I am assuming you would be losing 600 calories during the cycle:

GenderHow Many Calories Per DayExpected Weight Loss Per Week
Male1900 (2500 eaten minus 600 burned through cycling)1 lb.
Female1400 (2000 eaten minus 600 burned through cycling)1 lb.
Male 1400 (2000 eaten calories minus 600 burned through cycling)2 lbs.
Female900 (1500 calories eaten minus 600 burned through cycling)2 lbs.


When researching this topic, I found the following Youtube video from Katie Kookaburra really useful. She talks about how she lost about 75 lbs. in one year from cycling (an incredible achievement!).

You can check out this video with her thoughts on this process here:

2. Reduces Fat Deposits In Key Areas

A key thing to understand is that very few of us lose weight proportionally across our bodies.

Most people will lose weight in one or two areas first.

Gender has a big role in this. Traditionally, men lose weight first around the trunk and core area. Women tend to lose weight from their backs, faces and calves first. (Source)

So, when you cycle every day, be prepared that you might show results in only one or two key areas first, and not perhaps a loss of weight all over.

3. Toned Muscles

If you cycle for an hour a day you will notice after some time that your legs become more toned and leaner.

A regular cyclist would have their main leg muscles more developed. This will include your glutes, quadriceps, and calves as well as your soleus, hamstrings, and adductors.

Many people will notice this quite soon after starting a regimen of daily cycling, possibly even after as little as two weeks.

It is important to keep in mind that cycling increases the muscles of the buttocks and legs but does not affect other parts of your body. This is why it is important to exercise all the other muscle groups as well.

Not only for the sake of increasing their volume or preventing hypertrophy but to strengthen the upper body and maintain an overall balance.

4. What Muscles Does Cycling Tone?

There are five main muscle groups that are toned and sculpted by cycling.

They are:


This is the muscle group you will normally find is toned and sculpted first through daily cycling.

These are the muscle group in the front of the thigh. This is the main muscle group used to propel the bike forwards in cycling.

The quads are in action from the top of the pedal revolution to the bottom. Their job is to force downwards on the pedals.


The glutes are the second most important muscle group in cycling. They will also be toned alongside the quads first when you cycle every day.

However, it is sometimes harder to see if the glutes are toned as they are covered with more body fat than the quads.


The calves work alongside the quads and glutes to force down on the pedals.


The hamstrings (at the back of the thigh) can also become toned from cycling, but usually less so than the quads (at the front of the thigh).

The hamstrings work alone while cycling. They help the leg bend again in the upstroke of the pedal revolution.


The core is used in cycling to keep our bodies in a good posture. It also helps to keep your torso stable.

It is used throughout a cycling session, and particularly if you cycle up hills, or over uneven ground.

Here’s a quick table of the muscles used in cycling, and any changes you are likely to see from cycling every day:

Muscle GroupImportance In CyclingResults You Are Likely To See (And When)
QuadsHighBecome toned first out of all the muscles, and potentially grow slightly in size
GlutesMedium-highBecome toned quickly (similar time to the quads) and potentially grow in size
HamstringsMediumBecome toned
CalvesMediumBecome toned
CoreMediumExercised through cycling, and will appear toned dependant on how much belly fat you have or can shed

Looking To Up It To 2 Hours A Day!?

Before we go onto the internal and lifestyle effects of cycling everyday, I should just say that I’ve come across a fantastic Youtube video of what might happen to you if you go all out and try to cycle for two hours per day!

The results are quite remarkable. You can watch the full Youtube video below:

6 Internal Effects of Cycling Every Day For 1 Hour

In many ways, the biggest benefits of cycling are unseen.

The biggest 6 effects that will be produced by cycling for an hour each day include:

1. Hormone Boost

Cycling every day really does boost a feel-good factor!

Daily exercise like this releases hormones in the body and brain, that perform positive functions and just make us feel better.

The main hormones and their uses are:

SerotoninThis is a hormone that promotes a good night’s sleep
TestosteroneThe male hormone that is related to sperm count,
muscle mass, and several other factors
EstrogenThis is a female hormone. There have been
studies that suggest that exercising every day
releases positive amounts of estrogen which
helps weaken the effect of menopause, helps
brain function, helps blood flow, and is healthy for breasts, skin and hair.
DopamineThis is a hormone found in the brain that
reduces stress and symptoms of depression.


2. Improves Overall Health

Cycling improves our overall cardiovascular health, allowing it to become more efficient during rest as well as during exercise.

Lower blood pressure plus a lower heart rate reduces the risk of a heart attack. You also have increased lung capacity which helps you breathe better.

Overall, it takes longer for us to get tired because our muscles are sufficiently oxygenated as the blood efficiently transports more oxygen to the muscles. It also removes waste products like carbon dioxide more readily.  

The mitochondria in our cells work to transform fats, carbs, and proteins into energy.

When we are cycling, our body understands that we need more energy which makes it produce more mitochondria. This in turn makes our muscles work more efficiently and new muscle fibers are made.

3. Better Sleep Cycle

Our sleep quality improves as well. This can be due to several factors.

Cycling can make you tired and your body needs to recover when it rests.

Cycling also reduces the primary stress hormone called cortisol in your body which helps you fall asleep faster and easier.

4. Exposure to Vitamin D

Through cycling, we receive more vitamin D due to sunlight exposure which helps in sleep and having a good mood throughout the day.

A study done at the Stanford University of Medicine found that riding a bike for an hour a day helped people with insomnia increase the number of hours they slept and also helped them fall asleep faster. (source)

5. Stronger Immune System

Cycling is also helpful for our immune system.

It is far easier to overcome infections or illnesses with healthy lungs, good mental health, and good sleep.

These days, we’ve all heard about T cells. These are special cells that play an important role in the body’s immune system. They can fight new infections and adjust the body’s tolerance to them.

In a study, it was found that adult cyclists had more T cells compared to people who did not exercise. It was also found that their T cell production capacity was at the same levels as that of 20-year-olds. (Source)

6. A Few Extra Benefits

There are plenty of other positive cycling effects.

Cycling for an hour every day also reduces back pain because it strengthens your back muscles especially in the lumbar area and in turn, protects the spine.

It increases your metabolic rate leading to weight loss.

Moreover, it reduces fluid retention within the body thanks to leg movement while pedaling.

Cycling For 1 Hour A Day – Lifestyle Benefits

I thought I’d think out of the box slightly, in terms of the benefits you could possibly see from cycling every day, so let’s take a look at some possible lifestyle changes you might encounter:

1. Use Your Bike for Transportation Purposes

If your workplace is within a feasible biking distance then you can opt for taking your bike to and fro from work.

Not only will this save money but it will make it easier to form cycling habits. It also cuts down on air pollution while positively impacting your health.

You can ride your bike to the grocery store as well.

2. Make Cycling A Family Activity

You can set a good example for your family by encouraging cycling.

By leading an inactive lifestyle, kids can end up battling weight gain and blood pressure problems.

Families can restrict their screen time and cycle multi-use rail trails or their neighborhoods. Depending on your children’s age, you can even have them cycle to school.

3. Sign Up For A Race

Signing up for a race is a great idea and it can take your bicycling skills to the next level.

This allows you to compete with yourself as well as other cyclists.

Even if you do not end up bagging a trophy, you may gain the satisfaction of putting all of your workout energy to good use.

You can join any bike race that is happening in your local area or search for cycling groups online.

4. Try Cycling Across the Country

Bicycling does not just burn calories but it also helps you save extra cash being spent on train or plane tickets.

Some great routes to try are the Great American Rail Trail, Bike Nonstop US, and TransAmerica Bike Route.

You can even create original routes for sightseeing the country in your own way.

5. Go To A Velodrome

Also known as track cycling, a velodrome lets cyclists lose weight while also honing their skills.

Once you have completed your safety courses, an individual can train for two types of races: sprint or endurance.

While sprinting tests your strength and technique, endurance racing focuses on your capacity and speed.

6. Create your Challenge

You do not necessarily have to participate in a cycling challenge or join a race.

You can come up with your plan for a 30-day weight loss challenge that you can do at home. There are hundreds of apps in the market that can make that possible for you.

You can get virtual bike challenges that you can complete on a stationary as well as a regular bike.

Here’s a brilliant youtube video from Healthy Transformation. He talks through the 30 day cycling challenge he set up for himself, and the results:

A Few Key FAQs To Get You Up And Running With Cycling Everyday

How do I stay motivated to keep cycling?

If you need help staying motivated, then you can switch up your cycling route and cycle somewhere that allows you to explore beautiful new places while getting in your exercise hours.

Furthermore, you can set goals, which are a great way to keep you motivated to keep cycling and give you something to look forward to.

You can reward yourself after you have reached your goals.

For example, you might set a new goal every month to cycle a bit more so that this can keep you motivated to achieve your goal.

Do I need bicycle-specific clothing?

If you are seriously looking to get into cycling, then investing in bike-specific clothing is the way to go.

Cycling clothing is specifically designed to complement your riding.

Cycling shorts have padding built into them which provides extra support when you are cycling. Cycling shoes are a great investment as well because they provide grip on your pedals and support which is especially good for long-distance cycling.

Good clothing ensures that you get the most out of your exercise while also staying comfortable.

That being said, if you are just starting with cycling, you can go for any comfy sort of clothing you prefer, and then when you decide you want to step up your game, you can invest in cycling-specific clothing.

Do I have to take cycling seriously?

Cyclists do not have to be serious cyclists that can ride for miles on end.

Cycling is for everyone, no matter where you stand on the fitness scale, as long as you are careful and take safety precautions.

You can ride at your distance and pace and this can include anywhere from riding to work or simply cruising.

Do I need to wear a helmet while cycling?

The simple answer to this question is yes.

Helmets are extremely crucial when riding and should never be forgotten when cycling.

They not only protect your head from injuries but studies have shown that they significantly reduce the incidences of head trauma.