Does Motorcycle Riding Burn Calories?

On beautiful days, motorcycle owners have a difficult choice to make. Do you go for a run, or do you skip the exercise to ride? It can be a painful decision for someone trying to shed those extra pounds, but if you want to burn calories, you may be surprised to learn that riding can do just that.

Electric vehicles aren’t the only way to save money on gas

A group of motorcycles riding burn calories on a highway.
Motorcycles | Getty Images

With such a heavy push to go green or go broke at the pumps, many people forget there are other options. Motorcycles are one and can save you quite a bit of money when it comes time to fuel up your bike.

This has a lot to do with the size of the bike and that the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to go the same distance. Many motorcycles have an average fuel economy of about 60 mpg if it takes gas at all. 

Some motorcycles are going green. This means you can skip the fuel pumps and charge up your bike at home. 

Ride to burn calories

You may be burning gasoline fumes as you ride, but you’re also burning calories. While it may seem too good to be true, we’re completely serious.

According to Biker and Bike, “At rest, doing nothing more taxing than pointing the remote at the TV, the body wades through 68 calories an hour. Switch to an hour on a motorcycle and an 11st (70kg) rider will get through at least 170 calories in the same time.”

So how exactly does this work again? According to Vehicles HQ, as you sit on your bike, you activate muscles in your shoulders, arms, torso, lower back, hips, and legs. You can also argue that you’re working your upper neck as you shift with your bike and keep an eye out for traffic. And let’s not forget how much muscle it takes to hold your head up with that heavy helmet on.

Vehicles HQ went on to suggest that you can burn up to 600 calories an hour, but this depends on many different factors such as your weight, age, metabolism, and how much you ride.

There are more health benefits to riding a motorcycle

According to Motorcycle Direct, riding a bike is good for mental health. This has a lot to do with your need to concentrate on the ride. From watching out for potential dangers to picking the best route, your mind is focused on the task. This gives you little time to worry about your next business meeting, what’s going on with your kids, or what you will eat for supper.

Then there are the endorphins flooding your body as you ride. These help boost your mood in a way that Netflix and chilling simply can’t do.

Slip Streamer pointed out that riding a bike could be an excellent way to improve your brain. The site reports, “Mentally, a bike activates the prefrontal areas of the brain, or in other words, the concentration required while riding keeps your brain functioning at its current prime and can even establish higher levels of cognitive function.”

Other health benefits to riding a bike may include a better physique. Anyone who has set on a motorcycle knows it requires a certain amount of balance. This, in turn, helps develop your core. It also works your thighs and knees as you ride.

So are there any downsides to owning a bike? Getting caught in the rain would probably make that list, but the benefits far outweigh the cons.

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