In this day and age physical fitness has become a lifestyle. People have taken this initiative for an array of reasons. It could be to control weight, to reduce their susceptibility to diseases like heart disease and diabetes, to build strong bones and muscles or even to live longer. There are those who prefer going to the gym and hiring a personal trainer and then there are those who are okay with working out at home with the guidance of online fitness tutorials. Running and cycling are one of the most effective forms of exercise but which is better?
1. If you aim at building muscle
Running is not the very effective when it comes to building muscle. It is tedious and causes a lot of strain. Usually, running leaves your body sore and with pain all over. This reduces your average level of activity and you are likely to see fewer results. On the other hand, cycling is the way to go. Your legs will eventually bulk up since the power you need to cycle is generated by the glutes, quads and hamstrings. However you might need to take up on the dumb-bells so as to build muscle evenly. Conclusively, you will realize positive results faster from cycling compared to running.
2. If you are considering the risk of injury
Researchers say that there are 11 injuries per 1000 hours of running opposed to 6 cases of injuries per 1000 hours of cycling. Most runners think that when they run faster for longer durations they will increase their efficiency. On the contrary, running engages one’s bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles. Overworking your body can lead to very serious injuries in future. However, it is safer in cycling. This is because your legs are not fully straightened and this reduces the chance of causing damage to your muscles. In addition, if one has any problems with their knees, hips or other joints then cycling would be a safer option for them.
3. If you want to keep trim
One who spends fifteen minutes on a treadmill burns more calories than one who spends the same amount of time cycling. If you are on a weight loss journey, weight-bearing exercises would be more appropriate as they burn more calories per session. Walking is an example of a weight-bearing form of exercise. This is because as you walk, you whole body is engaged and so it is the only thing that is working. On the other hand, when cycling the bicycle does some of the work for you. Therefore, you end up burning fewer calories per session.
4. If you want to boost your endurance
In as much as running burns more calories, biking is better when it comes to getting fit fast and building body endurance. Do you know that it is harder to run a kilometer than to cycle twice as long? This is because when you run you have to lift your weight off the earth and push yourself forward then come back down to hit the ground as your body absorbs the impact of these forces. In addition, if you weigh heavier, you will find it harder to run consistently as your weight will slow you down.
5. If you want to see many places
Biking covers a larger ground than running. Assuming that you aim at covering 20 kilometers in an hour then you are likely to do so faster on your bicycle than on your heels. Thus cycling gives you a chance to see more scenic places. This brings this brings the fun in exercise. It makes it less tasking. You can also take your time to unwind and have some adventure as you eventually boost your state of mind and body.
6. If you want to spend less
A running routine costs a lot less to execute than a cycling routine. All you need is a comfortable track suit and running shoes. If you want to make it a little bit interesting, get an armband, headphones and your phone for some music.
On the contrary, if you want to take up biking you will have to invest in a good bicycle which will cost you a pretty penny depending on its make, appropriate protective gear, padded short, reflector jacket, gloves and cycling shoes. There is also the cost of transportation if you want to change your trail. Bicycles also require repairs and maintenance which could be frequent if you cycle along a rough and rocky terrain. Therefore, running is a cheaper option.
7. If you really don’t have much time
Do you have a busy schedule and you really can’t find enough time to exercise? Biking is the answer. You can cycle to work and stop for some coffee on your way. Use your bicycle during the day to run your errands and even meet up with your friends in the evening for drinks. It is very hard to achieve all of this from running. If anything trying to do all of those while running will make you look crazy. Besides a form of exercise, biking is a more convenient form of transportation than running.
The battle between running and biking has been going on for long. Some argue that they are equally effective depending on the level of intensity applied. However, when critically analysed, cycling offers more advantages than running. From exercise to lifestyle. Therefore, cycling carries the day!