Is Cycling Better Than Running? Which Suits You Best?

Is Cycling Better Than Running

If you wonder, “Is cycling better than running” here comes our detailed comparison in different aspects. Stay tuned to figure out your query!

Both running and cycling are popular aerobics exercises that offer people great health benefits. Yet, it might not be easy to decide which one to attempt if you want to add more cardio to your daily life and increase your stamina, as they all help in different ways. 

So if you are considering “Is cycling better than running” to decide which of these exercises to take in, then keep on reading to figure out a thorough comparison of the two.

Is Cycling Better Than Running?

There is not a proper answer to whether biking is better than tracking or not. It all depends on your fitness goal.

Running, on average, burns more calories than the other. However, cycling can help you gain muscle and is gentler on your joints. And both are beneficial to your heart.

Yet, they work in different ways and bring different benefits. Then, to find out the one that suits you most and to make sure you can stick to it, let’s have a look at their differences.

Comparison Of Cycling And Running

1. Heart Health

In terms of heart health, biking and running are all equally helpful. Doing aerobic exercises encourages your heart to pump more oxygen through your body. Therefore, both of them can help strengthen our cardiovascular health.

Cycling and running can help strengthen your cardiovascular health.Cycling and running can help strengthen your cardiovascular health.

However, you should restrict your daily aerobic exercise to less than 1 hour. Remember that an intense workout of more than 60 minutes a day, or 5 hours a week, can lead to many side effects on your health. 

The most common negative impacts are the risk of injury and a weaker immune system. So whatever exercise you choose, you should get an adequate train for your condition.

2. Calorie Burn

The quantity of calories burned in any exercise is determined by the intensity and duration of the exercise.

Running, in general, burns more calories than cycling since it employs more muscles. On the other hand, cycling is kinder on the body, and you may be able to perform it for longer or faster than tracking. 

You will also burn more calories if you run or cycle uphill during your workout than if you did it on flat terrain. The more you practice, the easier cycling exercises you get. This process might take you some time to be used to the workout intensity.

To determine the number of calories burned, you can base on your weight, age, height, health condition, and other factors. There are numerous instructions on calculating a suitable amount of calories burned on the internet, and you can learn and check it yourself.

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3. Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, you must first discover the proper ratio of calories in (how much you take in) and calories out (how much you must exercise). Tracking may help you lose weight more rapidly. 

While running encourages more calories to burn on average, cycling, as we mentioned above, is much softer for your joints so that you can bike for a longer time. This means if you bike for an extended time, your calorie reduction will ultimately surpass that of jogging.

However, running and cycling can only boost weight loss if you can stick to them and have healthy and balanced lifestyles. 

4. Building Muscle

You will gain more muscle in your lower body when you cycle because bike pedaling is a resistance exercise that strengthens your leg muscles. The upper half of your body can also exercise, although not nearly as much as the bottom ones.

Running might not bulk you up, but it will help you grow stronger shaped muscles. It is because running engages all types of muscles simultaneously, but not in the way resulting in significant muscular mass.

5. Toning Muscle

Running may be superior for muscular toning because it forces your entire body to work and burn more calories. But if you want to see visible gains, you will need to add some weight training and maybe have a healthier diet.

Running may be better for toning musclesRunning may be better for toning muscles

The appearance of lean, toned muscles is generally the result of total physical fitness and lower body fat. You have no control over where your body acquires or sheds fat, but you can choose which muscles you create.

What is more, to aged adults, doing exercise four to five times per week helped preserve muscle tone.

6. Bone Health 

In terms of bone health, jogging can be better for a long period than riding as it has more positive impacts on your bones. 

Moreover, according to research, this type of exercise may induce bone tissue to stimulate insulin to assist it in achieving its metabolic demands in the long run. 

On the contrary, cycling impacts the joints less, so it might not be as helpful as jogging. Yet, it will work better for those who have problems with their joints as it helps lessen arthritic discomfort, massage the bones, and relieve pain and stiffness.

Contrary to popular belief that cycling can damage your lower bones, cycling has no more negative effects on bone health than a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers have not discovered a relationship between cycling frequency and good bone health.

Other Factors To Consider 

1. Cost

Besides health factors, you should consider the cost before starting a habit.

When beginners first take in the running, they do not need to invest much in several types of equipment. The most crucial thing they must purchase is a pair of jogging shoes. 

Normal clothes can work well with beginners and amateurs. Yet, in long-term and professional running, breathable clothes seem to become essential. Fortunately, these clothes have reasonable prices.

On the other hand, people keen on cycling will have to spend more on a bike at their first step. But do not be too worried about the price. You can think of renting a bike, which allows you to save money and gives you a chance to try several types to find out which suits you best.

You can also purchase a second-hand bike. If you know bikes well, you can get a high-quality one. Moreover, other investments might include protective gear, such as helmets, biking clothes, gloves, lights. 

2. Health Condition

You had better consult with the doctor before starting any new exercises if you are having a chronic health problem.

People might be hurt during any activity. One of the most frequent running injuries is knee pain. The others can be foot and leg problems, particularly thigh and pelvis injuries. 

How Can You Prevent Injuries While CyclingYou should learn some ways to prevent injury

Ankle sprains, an inflammation around the shinbone, are also a running-related disease. When experiencing this situation, people will suffer pain along the edge of the shin bone. 

Cycling has different negative impacts on our health compared to running. For example, biking is more likely to lead to a knee injury, neck and back pain, or tingling. Thus, you might consider your health condition and learn some tips to prevent injuries.

So if you have any of these pre-existing problems, you will need to ask for your doctor’s advice before taking it. 


1. Which Is Better For Losing Belly Fat Running or Biking?

Over the years, there have been several disputes about the benefits of cycling and running for losing belly fat. These two exercises all impact the belly area. Yet, some people claim that cycling helps them burn more fat, while others say running better.

It is hard to tell which is better for fat loss because running is harder, but cycling can be easier to maintain. Running requires all body parts to work and is harder for your joints. That’s why it helps burn more calories than cycling in general. 

On the other hand, while riding a bike, the paddle will support your bodyweight somehow and assist in propelling you ahead. It does not apply to your run, where you must carry your entire body weight and sustain your body weight with each stride.

So fat loss depends on the intensity and the length of the exercises. And to figure out if running or cycling works better for you, you should know yourself well and take in the suitable one.

2. How Much Cycling Is Equal To Running?

Running is a high-impact exercise involving the entire body’s movement, while cycling is easier to follow. So if you want to burn the same calories, you must cycle for a longer time than when you run.

In terms of mileage, a 1:3 or 1:2 run-to-bike ratio is a good rule of thumb. In other words, 1 mile of moderate-intensity running is similar to 2-3 miles of moderate-intensity riding.  

3. Are Cyclists Fitter Than Runners?

Once again, there is no scientific research on whether runners or cyclists are fitter because your fitness level is up to several factors like your genes, your skeleton, and your workout routine.

Both cycling and running can help you look fit. While biking cannot offer you stone abs, it will help you build a stronger core. Your abs are used to stabilize you when riding; your core keeps you steady and stable on the saddle.

But cycling might cause you problems like muscle cramps and lower abdominal pain. So to reduce the risk of injury when bicycling, always remember to prioritize your safety by following the guidelines for a smooth ride and getting to know yourself.

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Overall, it is hard to tell “Is cycling better than running?” as it depends on several factors like your fitness aims, your health conditions, or your budget. 

But keep in mind that whatever exercise you choose, before advancing to it, beginners should start with regular, low-to-moderate intensity workouts to reduce the risk of injury and increase efficiency!

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Jame K. Thomas

Jame K. Thomas

Hey guys, I am an avid cyclist who have raced competitively in the amateur ranks until my mid 30s. I love cycling because it offers both physical and mental challenges, as well as the sense of freedom that comes with riding outdoors. I have devoted myself to the communities and shared all that I know about this supper-duper lovely cycling. Hope that my experience in this blog could give you help.

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