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Cycling vs Running: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

4 min read
Cycling vs Running: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

Cycling and running are some of the top choices for people to lose weight. Cycling became popular mainly in the pandemic. The number of bicycles sold increased by 25% during the last lockdown. At the same time, running has been a go-to exercise for ages. So, was it just a matter of time, or is cycling better than running?

Which one to opt for?

Let’s break down the mystery by understanding the science behind it.

Benefits of Both Cycling & Running

One question that piques interest in everyone - Cycling or running, which is better for weight loss?

Any kind of aerobic exercise can be beneficial for the body.

Here, the ultimate goal for most people is to lose weight. It is projected to be a challenging goal to achieve. But it actually isn’t.

Weight loss is nothing more than a simple yet effective calorie deficit. It means you take care of what you put in your body and what you get rid of. It is necessary to be mindful of your eating patterns and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A study shows that any kind of moderate exercise is more likely to be practised and eventually can lead to the expected weight goals. Studies also prove that a healthy diet and exercise balance is the key to weight loss.

Cycling and running help different aspects of health and can undoubtedly make you fitter.

Here are some benefits,

1. Cycling vs Running for Heart Health

Both are good for cardiovascular health. Cycling and running aid the heart to pump blood efficiently and strengthen the heart muscles. It also improves lung capacity and brings more oxygen.

As far as cycling vs running is concerned, both are equally good for heart health.

2. Cycling vs Running for Muscle Health

Cycling uses the lower body muscles and tones the leg muscles. It is a low impact exercise. Thus, it is gentle for the body. Running, on the contrary, is intense for the body. It utilises all the muscles and leads to overall muscle toning and strengthening.

Both the exercises cannot help build the muscles but are a good way to tone them.

3. Cycling vs Running for Bone Health

Running is proven to lower the risk of osteoporosis (bone weakening) in the later stage of life. It signals the body to make the bones stronger by simply exerting the body more than cycling. Cycling cannot achieve the same results. Although, it can provide relief in arthritis and help in the lubrication of joints.

4. Cycling vs Running for Mental Health

Any form of exercise works wonders for mental health and can make you fitter. Exercise in any form can help build immunity, preventing one from falling sick easily. It also improves the quality of sleep and further helps in improving mental health. As it is truly said, “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”.

5. Cycling vs Running for Calories Burnt

Is cycling better than running? Comparatively, running burns more calories than cycling. Cycling can burn around 192 calories in half an hour, but running can burn up to 370 calories at the same time. Running is a higher impact exercise and can be intense. But it eventually comes down to how much time you give to each form of exercise.

Running can cause injuries like sprains and fractures, whereas cycling can lead to back pain in some people. The choice merely depends on your physical health and what your body can tolerate well.

Also Read: Top 15 Morning Walk Benefits You Didn't Know | Side Tips & Tricks

Other Factors to Think About

Let’s consider other facts to make the final decision about which one to choose.

Running won’t need much investment. You just need a good pair of shoes, and you are good to go. It is possible to carry shoes anywhere you go and hit the road according to your schedule. You can maintain the habit while travelling too.

Cycling requires a proper bike with protective gear like helmet and knee pads. You can opt for cycling if you enjoy rides or, more specifically, if you have a group. You can travel long distances and do a fun activity out of it on weekends. It will help you stay motivated and will encourage you to take out time for exercise. You can also use the bike to commute to your workplace or to run errands if possible.

Invest in cycling if you are sure you will not drop the plan in the coming time.

Cycling or running? You decide.

Do’s and Don’ts

Always start any aerobic exercise by preparing the body first. Start by stretching for some time before you tie the shoes to go for a run. Always build stamina before you jump into any high-impact exercise. Never overdo any kind of exercise, assuming it will be better. A study has demonstrated that excessive exercise can have detrimental effects on health. Stick to a schedule and don’t spend hours and hours doing any form of exercise.

Also Read: How Many Skipping Per Day to Lose Weight? - Man Matters

Final Result - Which One to Go for?

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can undoubtedly give the desired results, irrespective of the kind of exercise. It comes down to personal preference in the end. Running undoubtedly can burn more calories if we compare, but it will be equivalent to cycling based on the time given to both forms of exercise.

Ask yourself, which activity is more feasible for you? What exercise are you most likely to enjoy every day? Accordingly, choose the one for you.