Cycling vs. Running - Which One Burns More Calories?
Some of your friends may have been signing up for races and have medals to prove their performance. Others are into biking, either setting pace records in spin class or buying gear to cruise. Which group are you in or want to join? Let's tackle the great debate about cycling vs. running. Which one burns more calories?
You don't have to choose sides. You can do both. If you're starting a regular cardio routine and want to know which one is best, trainers and research can help you decide.
Doing Cardio for Weight Loss
Running and cycling are both cardio or aerobic workouts.
Cardio is excellent for weight loss because it boosts calorie burn. The number of calories burned in cardio depends on intensity and duration, with high-intensity and longer workouts burning more calories.
The calorie burn of each exercise is also determined by other factors. For example, if you have a higher body weight or are more muscular, you will naturally burn more per session. This is because the body works harder to do the same muscle movement, thereby using more energy.
Understanding how these factors affect calorie burn and weight loss is important when comparing running to cycling.
Unless you're training for a triathlon, you may not need to run and bike at the same time, so let's compare the two to help you choose.
It's easier to incorporate into a routine.
More workers are opting to bike to work, which not only turns their morning commute into exercise but also leads to increased productivity, happiness, and fewer absent days compared to those who drive.
Running is high-impact, often causing the runner's knee due to overuse while cycling is low-impact and gentler on joints, making it a better choice for rehabilitation or joint-related health problems, like arthritis.
It can be done indoors.
Khloé Kardashian, Selena Gomez, and Lady Gaga, to name a few, are proud to drench sweat in Spinning classes.
Spinning is an indoor cycling class. It's the same as cycling.
Indoor cycling on a stationary bike, whether at home or in a studio, involves high-intensity and lower-intensity intervals set to music and is perfect for those who prefer a motivating and upbeat workout.
It can burn the same number of calories.
Running and cycling at the same intensity and duration burn a similar number of calories. It is when the intensity is increased that we can burn approximately 369 calories within 30 minutes.
It can build more muscles.
Running can develop muscles. Cycling on a bike can help build muscle mass because the pedal resistance works the muscles, causing a burning sensation in your quads.
It improves balance and coordination.
Balancing on a bike involves coordinating your weight and feet, and sharpening your proprioception skills. Improved balance and coordination can enhance sports performance and daily activities while also preventing falls as you age.
It can be used for cross-training.
Cycling is an excellent cross-training option for anyone, especially those dealing with injuries, as it is non-impact yet provides numerous aerobic benefits. You can utilize various cycling workouts, such as uphill riding for strength, out-of-saddle sprints for heart rate elevation, and longer, steady rides for endurance building.
It helps with recovery.
Cycling benefits runners by aiding recovery through low-impact leg flushing and can help maintain fitness during injuries. It's an effective method for both recovery and training.
Running can be done just anywhere. In fact, if you're just starting, jogging can be your initial platform until you build up your pace.
It comes naturally.
Running is a natural activity that requires no special equipment or skills beyond running shoes, which is why it appeals to many.
It's a perfect activity for beginners.
For beginners, running is an ideal choice, especially if you're new to exercise and want a straightforward way to get fit.
It's easy to ease into running.
New to running? Begin with just one mile, and as you build endurance and fitness, you can adjust your run's distance or duration without needing a fitness professional.
It burns belly fat.
Running heard your woe of getting rid of the unwanted belly flat.
If you aim for weight loss, high-intensity running like HIIT sprints can effectively burn belly fat, and it's time-efficient, with workouts lasting only five to 15 minutes.
It tones muscles and promotes bone density.
Surprise! While running may be a cardio workout, it can build muscles in the lower body (quads, glutes, and hamstrings), improve muscular tone, and promote bone mineral density to combat age-related bone loss.
What are the benefits of cycling and running?
Cycling and running go beyond the desired calorie burn. Here are some of the benefits you may reap the moment you make either one a part of your lifestyle.
Promotes Weight Loss
Weight loss involves balancing calories consumed and burned through healthy eating and exercise, considering factors like exercise intensity, frequency, and safety.
While running burns more calories to some extent, cycling is joint-friendly and allows for longer, calorie-burning sessions, making it a viable option for weight loss.
Improves Heart Health
Running and cycling are equally good for cardiovascular health, as both can strengthen your heart. Sticking to the one you enjoy more will keep you motivated to continue and receive the benefits.
Maintains Lean Muscle Mass
Running helps with fat loss and muscle definition but won't significantly build muscles by itself; include weight training in your routine for muscle development.
Which do you like more?
Both cycling and running have their pros and cons, and neither is inherently superior to the other. Your choice should align with your fitness goals. This is why it's important to pick an activity you enjoy because it'll keep you more motivated and consistent in the long run.