You may have heard success stories about people losing weight through cycling and running. Thus, you are left in a state of confusion since you are not sure which is better. In addition to improving cardiovascular health, cycling and running improve lung function and oxygen intake.

These exercises offer an excellent way to keep yourself in shape and allow you to show off your slim and toned body. Though both exercises are good for overall health and fitness, one will enable you to use your time and energy better. To decide which activity is better, it is essential to consider a few factors such as the bone and joint impact, energy expenditure, muscle building, and cost barriers. The following are the key factors that will help you compare the pros and cons and decide which activity is perfect for you.

Running is Cheaper Than Cycling

Running is a low-cost activity, and you won’t need equipment other than good-quality running shoes. However, you’ll need a bicycle or a high-end e-bike to improve your cycling skills. An electric bicycle (or “e-bike”) is a motorized bicycle that helps you pedal. According to many fitness enthusiasts, using an e-bike is similar to running. To buy an e-bike, you must first know how e-bikes compare to running. While they both have positive effects on health, there are some distinctions to be aware of before committing to either. When comparing the costs of running and cycling, running is much cheaper. If you’re on a budget and want to go cycling, consider renting a bike to see how it goes with your routine. This will help you decide when it’s time to invest.

Running Generally Burns More Calories

While running is a high-impact exercise, calories burned are proportional to the time spent running and how hard you run. Since running involves more muscle groups by using your core and lower body muscles, it burns many calories. It involves the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, and calves. However, to lose weight, finding the exact balance of calories you need to burn is important. On the other hand, cycling is a low-impact exercise, but it burns the same number of calories if you perform it with the same intensity and duration as running. Thus, when it comes to burning calories, running and cycling are ideal options.

Cycling Is a Fantastic Way to Increase Your Lower Body Muscle Mass

You must consider cycling if you plan to build your muscle mass, especially in the lower body. Pushing pedals creates resistance, which works the leg muscles, so cycling can aid in muscle growth. Though cycling also involves the upper body muscles, they aren’t engaged as much as the leg muscles. On the other hand, running works on all the muscles simultaneously, but it doesn’t involve resistance training. Still, the bones and muscles get stronger when the runner hits the ground throughout the exercise. To sum it up, cycling is a better option for increasing muscle mass.

Both Exercises are Good for Toning, Although Running Works More Muscles

Running works on all body muscles and tones the overall body. The muscles that give you power throughout running are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. Regular running results in a firm butt and can give you an overall toned look. Plus, running helps reduce fat in the overall body and can help tone the shoulders and arms. Cycling is ideal for toned legs and is exceptionally good for improving body image. Because of the resistance offered by the pedals, your thigh muscles will get a workout and get stronger as you ride. The cycle starts when your knees and hips push the pedal down, and your quadriceps are involved during the pull-up stroke phase. The key to toning is exercising for a long period without reaching muscle fatigue.

Cardiovascular Health

Running and cycling both promote cardiovascular health and are aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises help strengthen the heart by improving oxygen intake. When you do aerobic exercises, your body requires more oxygen, and your heart works to pump more oxygen into the body. Doing cardio exercises like cycling and running make your heart used to pumping more efficiently. Regular running and cycling are ideal for cardiovascular health and also help reduce the risk of various heart diseases. These exercises also boost lung health, improve blood circulation, and lower the resting pulse rate. However, you must remember that overdoing these cardio exercises can affect your cardiovascular health in the long term. Thus, limiting these activities to less than one hour per day is important.

Cycling Is Less Likely to Result in Injury, But You May Be More Prone to Accidents

If you have arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, knee pain, or any other joint disease, you must avoid running. Running is a high-impact exercise that can strain already weak or damaged muscles and joints and cause more harm. The muscle or joint injury potential is higher with running than with cycling. Cycling doesn’t cause injury, but it is not as safe as running when it comes to accidents. Increased risks include, but are not limited to, being knocked off your bike and/or being hit by a car. Additionally, if you have a chronic health condition or back or knee issues, you must first consider your healthcare provider before starting running or cycling.

Wrap Up!

Have you decided whether to run or pedal yet? To make it simpler for you to choose which option is best, let’s summarize it. Running is a high-impact exercise, while cycling is a low-impact one. One major benefit of running is that it can be performed anywhere, and you don’t need equipment to get started. Running is fine whether you use a treadmill or run on the streets or the tracks. On the other hand, cycling is a good choice if you have a history of joint pain and injury or arthritis. It is also great for building lower body muscle mass.

Both exercises burn almost equal calories and are suitable for weight loss. So, when choosing between running and cycling, you must take into account your joint health, impact tolerance, indoor vs. outdoor activity, and budget.

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