Running Vs Cycling: Which One Is Better For You?
Both cycling and running are fantastic forms of exercise that can help you improve your cardiovascular fitness levels - especially your lung function, oxygen function, and your cardiac output. But the question is; which one of these two workouts is a better option for you?
If you want to learn more about the benefits of running and cycling and find out which one is better suited to you and your lifestyle, then keep reading below!
Running Is The Perfect Option For Beginners
Running is ideal for beginners entering the cardio world. This is because a lot of newbies who want to start working out can feel self-conscious or nervous about picking up a new sport without any experience. This makes running a really great place to start.
Running Requires No Skills
Running comes naturally to people, and you don't need any skills or fancy equipment to start - apart from some decent running shoes. This is why running is so popular.
Running Is Easy To Get Used To
When you start running, you don't need to immediately train for a marathon - instead, try starting with shorter goals like a mile or two. As you gradually increase your endurance and your fitness levels begin to improve, you can then simply adjust your distance and duration goals.
Running Burns Fat
If you are trying to lose weight, running is an excellent option. High-intensity running like HIIT sprints have been shown to effectively burn tummy fat - also known as visceral fat. The other added benefit of HIIT running is that you can do a quick workout that can take just 5-15 minutes, making it a great workout if you are struggling for time.
Running Can Improve Muscle Tone & Bone Density
Running can build muscle in the lower body, mainly the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. This might not lead to an increase in muscle size, but it can lead to improvements in muscle tone. It can also have a very positive effect on bone mineral density, which unfortunately begins to break down with aging.
Cycling Is Easy To Fit Into A Routine
Over the years there has been an increase in workers cycling to work instead of driving. This is a great option as instead of carving time out in your day to go to the gym, you can easily use your morning commute for a morning workout. On top of this, there are studies that show workers who cycle to work tend to be more productive, happier, and have fewer absent days than those who drive to work.
Cycling Is A Low Impact Workout
Running is a very high-impact workout and can cause a number of issues including runner's knee and patellofemoral syndrome (which affects up to 25-30% of runners). These conditions are caused by overuse and the impact of your feet hitting the ground with each stride.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise and puts a lot less strain on your joints than running does. This makes cycling better suited to those recovering from an injury or those with specific joint-related conditions, such as arthritis.
Spin Classes Are Cycling
Spin classes, which is really just a fancy name for indoor cycling classes - can be done at home or in the studio, on a stationary bike. You can cycle between periods of lower-intensity exercise and high-intensity exercises. If you are looking for a motivating and upbeat workout, then spin classes might be the right choice for you.
Cycling Builds Muscles
Running can help develop muscle tone, but cycling can help you build muscle mass. This is because muscles increase when they work against resistance and the pedals on the bike act as resistance which is why you often feel a burning sensation in your quads after a rigorous cycle session.
To Sum Up
Sometimes the answer is as simple as this - do whichever you like the most!
Working out doesn't always have to be about building muscle and burning calories, it is arguably more important to find a workout that you enjoy and that is accessible to you. Both cycling and running can benefit your mental and physical health so choose the one that motivates you the most.
If you really can't just choose one - you should consider trying a combination of cycling and running on alternate days of the week to work your different muscle groups.