Cycling vs Running: Which is the Better Workout?
Cycling and running are both popular aerobic exercises that almost anyone can enjoy. If you are trying to decide between hitting the pavement on foot or giving your bike a ‘spin,’ there are a few things you should know. Read on to find out which is better when it comes to these factors in the battle of cycling vs. running.
By participating in aerobic or cardiovascular exercises regularly, you are teaching your heart to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body more efficiently. All aerobic exercises are good for your heart. In fact, moderate aerobic exercise for thirty minutes a day, five days a week has been proven to be the most efficient way to exercise, one study says. The difference between running and cycling for cardiovascular health is this—since cycling is a low-impact cardio workout, you can do it every single day if you really want to (though we recommend giving yourself some rest time to recover and repair your muscles regularly). However, running can be a little more damaging to your joints, so we recommend running no more than three to four times per week if you are a beginner. One way to get the best of both worlds is to mix running and cycling maybe even a beginner spin class with your strength training routine, leaving a balanced exercise regimen.
One of the major benefits of cycling is that you can strength train on the bike. If you take an indoor cycling class, you will learn exercises to work your arms, legs, core, and almost everything in-between. By pushing the pedals down, and—what many people forget—pulling the pedals back up, you are working the fronts and backs of your legs as well. This makes cycling much more effective for muscle building than running. Not to say that you will not get any “gains” from running, but they will almost all be in your legs. Neither of these exercises beats out strength training for muscle building, but they are a great supplement in your workout schedule.
If you are thinking of cycling as an outdoor hobby to enjoy vs. running, you will find that cycling can be much more expensive. You will more than likely need to purchase a bike, shoes, bike shorts, and a helmet. Whereas, with running, you lace up your running shoes and go! However, if you are looking for an indoor option—that cost will vary by gym. At Chuze Fitness, you can enjoy the bikes and treadmills on our cardio floor for as low as $9.99 per month for our Basic membership. If you want to enjoy the indoor cycling classes at Chuze, we have that included in our Premium Membership, and finally, if you’re going to experience some energy-packed treadmill workouts, you can get those with the More membership in Team Training. So, inquire at the gym closest to you. Have them show you around and take a look at the equipment and see what fits into your budget.
One of the best things about cycling and running is that you can do them both (almost) anywhere. If you think about it, you can run in place where you are right this instant! Cycling… not so much. You can run back and forth in your yard, your living room, around your town, on a school track, in your gym, at your hotel, almost anywhere! With cycling, you need a bit of equipment, and a bit more space. But, if you have access to a bike, you can enjoy a ton of freedom with your cycling exercises.
Since you are sitting down during cycling and standing when running, you will burn more calories on a run of equal time. However, since cycling is low-impact, you will be able to cycle longer. Cycling longer allows for more calorie burn overall which could be better for weight loss. So, we think both exercises are fantastic for calorie burn. It all depends on what you need. If you have a few minutes to get your workout in, a run might be best for you. But if you have a longer time, save the strain on your muscles and hop on the bike!
Cycling and running have a lot in common, from where you can do your workouts, to the athletes who swear by them. If you know a cyclist, they would probably swear to you that cycling is superior to running, and a runner would say the opposite—just check out these hilarious articles. The truth is, they are both great! It depends on what you love and will do consistently. At Chuze Fitness, we have indoor bikes and treadmills at all of our locations. Stop on in and try them out and see which exercise suits you best! You might be surprised at how much you start to love your cardio workouts once you find out which aerobic exercise is best for you.