Biking and running are aerobic exercises that can greatly benefit a person’s health and fitness.
What gets your heart pumping – running or cycling?
Cycling and running are both different forms of aerobic exercises that are beneficial for your health. People around the world enjoy these activities and incorporate them in their daily life to meet their fitness goals.
But have you wondered which one of these exercises is better for you? You do not need to pick favourites or indulge in only one kind of exercise, but it’s important to understand the fundamental difference between the two to pick one that suits you best and is more effective for you.
Running is a cheaper option to burn those stubborn fats and can be paired well with other exercises too. You do not need any equipment other than a pair of running shoes. Some people invest in breathable running clothes and reflective gear to run in the dark.
For cycling, Newbies can consider borrowing or renting a bicycle before making an investment. There are also plenty of options online to buy a good quality second hand bicycle as well. Cyclists need to invest in a good helmet, lights and reflective gear as well. People may also need padded cycling gloves and padded shorts or seat to relieve pressure.
Cycling uses all the major muscle groups. It uses and builds up the leg muscles in particular; Quadriceps and Hamstrings
Some of the key muscles involved in running include are quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings and plantar flexors
Regular cycling can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and help to improve lung health, stimulate circulation, strengthen heart muscles and reduce levels of fat in the blood
Cycling is also beneficial for people recovering from a stroke and helps to improve heart rate recovery after exercise.
Running also helps improve cardiovascular health. Research suggests any amount of running is more beneficial than no running, and higher doses of running may not significantly improve mortality benefits.
Bone Health Benefits
Running and cycling both are great for long-term bone health. Although running causes a higher impact on bone than cycling.
Research suggests this higher impact activity may cause bone tissue to signal the pancreas to help meet its metabolic needs over the long term. Cycling is an exercise with lower impact than running and does not exert too much force on the joints.
Cycling does not pose any more damage to bone health than a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers have yet to find a link between the amount of cycling and optimal bone health.Bottom of Form
Risk of Injuries
A Knee injury is the most common injury in running. Other common running injuries can affect the foot, legs, including the thigh and Achilles’ tendon, pelvis and back.
Shin splints is another common injury for runners. If someone has shin splints, they should be free from pain in 2 weeks before returning to exercise.
Some of the most common cycling injuries or pain include knee pain, head injury, neck pain, back pain, wrist or forearm pain or numbness, genital or rectal pain or numbness and foot numbness or tingling
If someone has pre-existing injuries, particularly in these areas of the body, they may need to consult their doctor to see whether it is safe for them to exercise.
Any type of exercise will help you burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health. The easy accessibility of cycling and running make these two activities very popular
Running burns more calories per kilometre, but most people can’t run as many kilometres as they can ride, especially if you’re a little out of shape.
If your main aim is to lose all those extra kilos and get back into shape, then running should be your obvious option. Running will give you a more intense workout in less time compared to cycling, as you are just sitting down on your bike, after all.
Wear and Tear
Cycling is less jarring to the body compared to running. It is more comfortable and as long as you don’t fall off the cycle or crash into someone, your body doesn’t go through any major wear and tear.
You may enjoy running but it requires a lot of stamina and is painful after a certain point of time. Cycling is sustained stamina training and you can go on for a longer time. If you are someone who loves speed and adventure, then you should choose cycling over running.
Cycling and running both have their set of pros and cons. You should pick one on the basis of which activity suits your body type and what your final fitness goal is.
Both cycling and running can benefit a person’s health and fitness, particularly cardiovascular health.
People can choose the activity that best suits their health needs and lifestyle, or they can combine both to keep a varied exercise routine.