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Cycling vs. Running – Which One is Better for You?

August 17, 2018


If you get two options i.e. running or cycling, which one will you choose? You may be confused because as per your knowledge, both are good; but do you know which one is better? Well, both these exercises are good, but if you want to choose one of them, you’ll have to consider whether you can do them in the first place and what your goals are. Earth’s Wisdom today wants to help you know the benefits of both these exercises and choose the right one for you.

Weight Loss

The key to weight loss is to reduce calorie intake and increase calorie usage. Running may help you to lose weight more quickly. But longer duration of biking too can help you lose equal number of or even more calories than running.

Actually the potential of losing weight by biking or running depends on how you do the activities and how you pair them with healthy eating and other lifestyle habits. While running burns more number of calories in general, biking is milder on joints which may let you exercise for a longer time and thus burn more calories.

When it’s about reducing appetite and craving which is another necessity for weight loss, a study has suggested that both running and biking suppressed hunger in young men. They can also help you control cravings and eat more balanced meals.

If you have a particular weight loss goal, discuss with your doctor and a fitness trainer.

Burning Calories

When it comes to the number of calories each of these exercises burn, it depends on the length of time and intensity with which you do them.

Typically, more calories are burned in running than in biking because running utilizes more muscles. However, biking is kinder to your body and you can do it faster or longer than you can run. Also you’ll burn more calories if you are doing any of these exercises uphill for any part of your activity than on a flat surface.

Calorie burning will also depend on your particular age, gender, weight and other factors. Better way is to talk to your doctor about how many calories you should burn and how much time you should spend in these exercises.

Cardiovascular Health

If your goal is to achieve cardiovascular (or cardio) health, you can choose running or cycling because both are equally beneficial for this purpose.

Both these are aerobic activities and aerobic activities strengthen your heart and can pump higher amount of oxygen in your blood. Thus by running or biking, your heart will also keep pumping more efficiently even when you are not exercising. But if you are doing these exercises vigorously, remember to limit them to only 60 minutes per day and only 5 hours per week because if you exceed this limit, they can negatively affect your cardiovascular health.

Muscle Building

Biking can help you strengthen muscles in your lower half, whereas running can’t build plenty of bulk but it can help you make your muscles stronger and more toned.

During biking, you have to push pedals which is resistance training due to which your leg muscles are built. Although muscles in the top half are involved, they are not as engaged as the lower half.

Running makes use of all the muscles simultaneously but doesn’t engage them so as to develop much bulk. However, it strengthens your muscles and bones due to use and impact of hitting the ground.

Other Considerations

Affordability: Cycling is obviously more expensive than running because you have to buy a bicycle and also maintain it. Also you’ll have to buy safety gear, and special clothes and shoes.

Chronic Condition: If you have a chronic medical condition, you’ll have to consult your doctor before starting any of these activities.

All in all, you can’t say that any of these two exercises is much better than the other. You can choose whichever suits your health, health goals, budget and lifestyle. You should enjoy it and it should help you achieve your goals. Even you can keep switching between the two to avoid boredom and to get benefits of both.

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