Lose Weight

Did you know you can lose weight while riding motorcycles? It seems strange because most riding is a inactive and social recreation.

There is not much exercise involved in sitting on a bike and we usually do it with our friends, which turns into a long lunch while “bench racing”. It’s not good for the waistline and your health.

However, since losing weight is simply a matter of using more energy than we consume, there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure you at least don’t put on weight while pursuing your favourite recreation.

Exercise
First thing is to exercise while on the bike. That doesn’t mean doing sit ups or push ups while riding, although I have a friend who does isometric exercises while riding. It simply consists of tensing his stomach muscles for a few seconds.

Research has shown that sitting on a bike requires no more physical exercise than gently pedaling a bicycle. Clearly, there are different levels of activity required for different types of riding.

If you’re into motocross, then that’s fine, go and do lots of it. On the other hand, cruiser riders on a long straight stretch don’t get much exercise at all. (They’re called a Fat Boy for a reason!)

However, there are lots of riding types that require a bit of exercise. Try trail or adventure riding, especially hills and river crossings.

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You can also try track riding which can be physically demanding if you are doing it right. Just look at the super-fit MotoGP riders.

For most of us, the best option is lots of corners. Here in KZN we are blessed with a selection of great and exhausting roads, and so I’ve heard for the Eastern Cape.

Socialising
Ride solo. Oops, no I’m going to get slapped. Pillions tend to want to stop all the time and that usually ends up in morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.

Riding in groups also means you stop more frequently and it takes a lot of willpower to sit there and eat a salad-on-rye sandwich while your mates are chowing down on mouth-watering burgers.

If you must ride with mates, go to more isolated areas where there aren’t as many cafe temptations.

Drink

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Put a hydration pack on your back and keep sipping water. It’s not only good for preventing dehydration, but it also keeps you feeling full, so you won’t want to stop and eat.

Avoid sports drinks which are full of sugar and coffee which has a negative effect just like alcohol that makes you want to urinate and stop more frequently. It’s best to keep moving.

Parking
Motorcycles are very convenient because you can park them just about anywhere – usually right in front of the restaurant you’re visiting.

Instead, park a fair way away and walk.

Walk
I’m not suggesting you walk instead of ride, but maybe ride to a destination where you can go for a walk. Put a pair of sand shoes in your panniers or backpack and ride to a beach or national park and go for a walk, rather than riding to a pub.

Training
Before a ride, find an open parking lot and put a few cones or half-cut tennis balls out. Challenge your mates to little time trial competition for 30 minutes. Believe me, that little time spent on the bike manoeuvring around those cones will give you a work-out of note.

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Folks, no matter if you are a “hippo” on a cruiser, a “cheetah” on a sports bike or a “meerkat” on an adventure bike; go have fun and live a little.

Hein Jonker

Founder of the Motorcycle Safety Institute of South Africa
Editor in Chief of Bike Talk South Africa
Chief Instructor of Bike Talk Motorcycle Rider Academy
Motorcycle Safety & Skills Expert for Arrive Alive South Africa

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