Cycling or Running? There is much debate whether cycling is better than running as an exercise or vice versa.
Cycling and running are two of the most popular choices when it comes to staying fit as they are the most accessible and affordable. Both forms of exercise can improve health and promote fitness. Cardiovascular system can also be better with the help of regular cycling or running.
However, some people wonder which of the two exercises is better for them.
In comparing cycling to running, one should take their priorities into consideration. There are many factors that can affect your decision when choosing between running and cycling.
If your priority is to burn as much calories as you can in a short period of time, then running is the better choice for you. Running burns more calories because you support your own weight when you run as opposed to cycling, where the bike itself carries your weight. Running is also considered a full-body exercise whereas cycling is not because cycling is more focused on the lower part of the body like the hips and the legs.
Cycling is more suitable for you if your priority is to build muscles. You can’t keep going and maximize your stamina with running because it puts strain on knees, legs and feet. Running also causes muscle soreness that can lead to muscle damage and inflammation. Most injuries encountered by runners result from muscle overuse.
If availability and convenience is what you want to consider first, you may want to choose running. Obviously, cycling requires a bike and an acceptable area where you can ride a bike. With running, all you need is a good pair of running shoes and you’re good to go because you can practically run anywhere.
Possibilities of getting an injury should also be considered when deciding. According to research from Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory (ASU HPL), more muscle inflammation, soreness, and damage are experienced by long-distance runners than cyclists. Professor David Nieman at the ASU HPL therefore advises long-distance runners to switch to cycling instead because it allows the body to exercise longer. He also stated that cycling is better for the muscles. Beginners in running should be careful not to do too much too soon to avoid getting injured.
In the end, it will always be your choice. You have to know your own body, your capacity and what you enjoy doing more. Whether you decide that running or cycling is a better fit for you, both exercises are still great paths to a healthier life. You may also want to try mixing up the two instead of choosing between them to get to experience them both. This way, you get a closer look and better understanding on how both exercises work. You can also tell the difference effects cycling and running have on your body. You may also decide to just keep doing both as part of your fitness routine to have variations in your workout.