Cycling and running are good sports activities. So have you ever wondered which is better, cycling or running?
Running and cycling are classic sports loved by people all over the world. Both are aerobic exercises that can be performed outdoors. Generally speaking, running can burn more calories than cycling, but it also wears more muscles and joints. So which one is more suitable for you? It depends on what you want to achieve. This article will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of running and cycling and the applicability of these two exercises to different people.
1. Which is better for health?
1.1. Heart health
In terms of heart health, running and cycling are equally beneficial. Sports activities such as running and cycling can strengthen your heart. This way, your heart can pump more oxygen into your body for aerobic exercise.
But it is also important to note that if you are running or cycling vigorously, limit your activity to no more than 60 minutes a day. According to some studies, exercising for more than 5 hours a week or 60 minutes a day can harm your heart health.
1.2. Bone health
In the long run, running may be more beneficial to bone health than cycling because running has a greater impact on bones than riding. Studies have shown that running causes bone tissue to send signals to the pancreas to meet long-term metabolic needs. According to a medical review in 2011, cycling may not support bone health like running or other weight-bearing exercises.
Researchers have yet to find a link between exercise volume and optimal bone health. Extreme riding is not conducive to bone health. In extreme riders, bones will release calcium into the blood, making them weak. However, it should be noted that riding is a sport with less impact than running and does not exert too much force on the joints. Cycling can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, lubricate joints, and relieve pain and stiffness. Overall, cycling helps the body to exercise more gently.
In short, for normal people, running has a better effect on bones and joints. But people with joint problems should choose to ride.
1.3. The ability to maintain balance
If you cannot maintain your balance, running or walking slow speed may be safer than cycling. Or you can choose a home exercise bike so that you no longer have to worry about balance, like outdoor running.
1.4. Risk of injury
Compared with cycling, injuries such as muscle damage, pain, and inflammation are more common during running. Some of the most common cycling injuries or pains include knee pain, head injury, neck pain, back pain, wrist or forearm pain or numbness, genital or rectal pain or numbness, and leg numbness or tingling.
2. Which is better for the body
2.1. Strengthen muscles
Riding can help you exercise the muscles of the lower body. Running doesn't help much to gain muscle. Because running requires you to use all your muscles at the same time. Of course, when your muscles and bones get used to touching the ground with each step, they will become stronger.
Running is good for bodybuilding because it can exercise the whole body and burn more calories. If you want significant results, you need some additional weight training and dietary changes. Bodybuilding usually needs to be low in body fat. You cannot choose where your body gains or loses fat, but you can choose which part of the muscle to exercise.
A study found that exercising four to five times a week can effectively maintain a person's active muscle tone. Running slower but longer can help you get a toned appearance.
2.3. Lose weight
Which one is more suitable for weight loss, riding or running. To lose weight, you need to reduce your calorie intake and increase the calories your body burns (burning calories through exercise and regular physical activity). You can lose weight faster by running. But if you ride for a long time, you will eventually lose more calories than running.
Your ability to lose weight by running or cycling depends on how you participate in the sport and combine it with healthy eating and other habits. Although jogging burns more calories on average, riding is gentler to the joints. This allows you to exercise longer and burn more calories.
A small study found evidence that both cycling and running suppress the appetite of young men. If you want to control your appetite and have a more balanced diet, these activities may help.
3. Which is better for the spirit?
3.1. Both cycling and running can improve mood
After running or cycling, you will notice a surge in neurochemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Not only can they improve your mood, but these endorphins can stimulate brain regions like painkillers.
In addition, sports activities such as running and cycling have reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body.
3.2. Cycling allows you to explore more places
One of the advantages of riding is the ability to travel longer distances. Along the way, you may learn more interesting places that you have never been to. If you want to explore many places while practicing riding, you can actively prepare the route. You only need to prepare everything necessary to embark on the road of experience. This is why many people choose to ride when they are asked which is better.
Riding makes you feel like flying because the speed is much higher than when running. And let you enjoy the feeling of the breeze passing through your body during long-distance riding.
Of course, if you can't go outdoors, an indoor exercise bike is also a good choice. It occupies a small area, and you can exercise anytime, anywhere.
So, if you want to know which one is more suitable for cycling or running, the answer is that you should choose an exercise that suits your lifestyle, health status, and preferences. This will ensure that you like it and stick to it for a long time. You can also switch between these two activities to benefit from them without worrying about being bored.