Cycling vs. Running

by Editorial Team | April 24th, 2014 | Special Interest Section

bikeSometimes it’s hard to know the best way to get fit. The answer isn’t a simple one, as it depends on the type of fitness and the fitness benefits you want to achieve. Two of the most popular forms of exercise are running and biking, so below is a handy guide to help you decide which would be more beneficial for you.

You Want to Get Fit Fast

Cycling is a great way to build fitness quickly, as its low impact so you can keep going for longer periods of time and get fitter over a shorter time-span. It is a form of sustained stamina training so you can keep going for hours even when you have no stamina built up.

Running, on the other hand, takes far longer to build your stamina. The reason for this is simple; it hurts. Running can lead to muscle soreness and damage if your fitness levels are below par, so it’s unsurprising that cyclists can exercise for longer.

You will always find it easier to do something low impact for longer, and the longer you exercise for each day, the more quickly your fitness will build, meaning that cycling is a much better option for those looking to get fit fast.

You Want to Build Muscle

The power required for cycling is generated by glutes, quads and hamstrings, which means that muscle builds in the legs and they bulk up. However, cycling does very little for the development of muscle in other areas of your body, so if you’re a would-be muscle man who cycles, you’ll probably want to hit the dumb-bells to avoid your top half looking like a stick drawing.

However, running doesn’t bulk you up at all, not even hill training. Running spreads strain throughout the body, burning calories everywhere – there’s a reason you’ve never seen Schwarzenegger out and about for a jog.

Therefore cycling is the better option for those looking to bulk up, although if you’re really committed to improving those biceps you might want to do some weight training and more traditional bulk building exercises too.

You Want to Lose Your Gut

Cycling is a low impact sport. It doesn’t require you to support your own weight, which simply means that you’re not going to be working as hard – you are sitting down, after all. For every ten minutes of cycling you do, you’ll burn around ninety-seven calories.

However, just fourteen minutes on a treadmill will burn two hundred calories. To burn the same amount on a bike would take twenty-seven minutes, according to a study by the Centre for Sports Science and Health. If you run on uneven terrain like sand this amount will be even higher. This means that running will be more effective at helping you to slim down than cycling.

You Want to Stay Off Crutches

Cyclists sustain six injures per one thousand hours spent on their bike, according to statistics. They will crash only once for every nine hundred thousand miles they traverse. To avoid injuries, it is advised that you make sure that your legs can never fully straighten when you’re in the saddle and on the move.

Runners sustain eleven injuries for every one thousand hours of running, almost double the number of cycling injuries. Shockwaves produced by running compress your vertebrae, causing marathon runners to shrink by a centimetre during a race. Although this shrinkage is temporary, it’s not good for your body, making cycling a much more risk-averse sport.

If we’ve sold cycling to you, check out a retailer such as Fatbirds, get your hands on a bike and start pedalling. If you’re still committed to running, then it’s time for you to get on the move too. Why are you still sat here reading this? Get out there and get jogging.

Brought to you by our friends at Fatbirds.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.