Cycling Vs Running – Which Is Best For Health?

(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

The two most preferred outdoor activities that you will find people doing are running/jogging and cycling. These activities bring a motion to the entire body, thereby helping in calorie burning, improving lifestyle, and refreshing the mind.

Even though both running and cycling are beneficial for health, you should know certain points of difference. In this article below, we have explained the benefits of cycling and running, what you would need for the exercises and other relevant facts. So, without making any delay, let’s dive into the details!

Benefits of cycling

  • Increasing mobility in the knees: One of the major benefits of cycling is that it brings more mobility in the knees while pedalling to move forward in different directions. Even though most cyclists wear kneepads to protect the bones in case they suffer an accident, it is believed that cycling can increase the mobility between the two bones in the kneecap and reduces arthritis pain. 
  • Helps in burning calories: Without any doubt, cycling helps in losing weight at a much faster rate. In addition, cycling at high speeds for at least half an hour every day will increase metabolic activities in your body, thereby increasing the fat burning rate, which will further help in losing weight. Hence, if you are overweight or want to mention your body shape, cycling is the ideal exercise you can do. 
  • Causes less injuries: Cycling usually puts less strain on your muscles and bones as compared to other exercise types. For example, you won’t have to deal with aching arm muscles or injured lumbar bones when cycling because the exercise is less intense compared to other types of outdoor activities one can do. And in case you are scared of getting hurt, you can wear the protective gear that cyclists often use. 
  • Provides you with the ultimate control: Unlike any other outdoor activity, in cycling, you will control the intensity of the workout. So, if you are tired and don’t want to put yourself through an intense exercise routine, you can easily choose cycling at a low speed where you won’t have to put too much stress. Similarly, if you want to lose weight faster, you need to pedal faster and cover more distance in less time. So, the intensity of the exercise completely depends on you. 
  • Helps in both exercising and rejuvenation: Cycling is not only an ideal outdoor activity but also helps in rejuvenating your mind. No matter your cycling routine, you can easily let go of your anxiety and stress through this outdoor activity. You can even go on a road trip with your cycle and start an adventurous journey with your friends. 
  • Strengthen the arm and back muscles: Cycling helps a lot in strengthening the arm and the back muscles. Since you will have to hold the handlebar tightly while still sitting on the saddle, your biceps and triceps will strengthen a lot and the back muscles that control the movement of the arms and the thoracic cavity. 

Benefits Of Running

  • Helps in losing weight: Like cycling, running also helps lose more and more weight as the days go on. But, running helps in losing weight much faster than cycling, which is why doctors usually suggest running early in the morning or late at night when you have less traffic on the roads, and the weather is clear and soothing. 
  • Improves the cardiovascular health: For improving your cardiovascular health, running has been deemed an essential outdoor activity. It will help in improving the capacity of the heart to purify blood at a faster rate. Also, your lungs will be able to function faster in exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide so that oxygen can reach your body tissue at a much faster rate as compared to normal times. 
  • Enhances the strength of your bones and muscles: With running, you will be able to establish coordination in different parts of your body, like the thigh muscles and the hip girdle, calf muscles and the kneecap, shoulder muscles and the neck, and so on. Thus, running targets all the bones and muscles and not some specific body parts, so this exercise is suggested for athletes. 
  • Helps in maintaining your body shape: If you want to maintain your current body shape without putting on more weight, running is the best exercise that you can do. Moreover, with running, you can tone your leg and arm muscles and hips and shoulders by including a freehand exercise regime with the running schedule. 
  • Helps in reducing stress and anxiety: Running can help in reducing stress and anxiety at a much faster pace. In addition, according to the verdict of several psychologists, it has proven that when someone wants to vent out their anger or want to let go of the stress, running is the best solution. Since it will channel all your focus and energy in maintaining your speed and coordination between your legs, your mind will forget about the events causing stress and anger within you. 
  • Improves mobility throughout the body: Lastly, with the help of running, you can bring mobility to your entire body. So be it between the shoulder joints, the hip girdle, the kneecaps, and others, the joints will move smoothly, and you wouldn’t feel soreness or stiffness. 

Cycling VS Running

Attributes Cycling Running
Energetic HighMedium
Calorie burningMedium to highMedium
Helmet useYesNo
ApparelCycling clothes with a snug fitBreathable, running clothes
ShoesNormal sports sneakersRunning shoes

Things you need to have for cycling 

For cycling, you need to have the following gear: 

  1. Kneepads and elbow pads are used to protect the knee and elbow joint from any injury. 
  2. A helmet is very important since cycling is almost similar to riding a bike, and you need to protect your head. 
  3. It would help if you had proper shoes with anti-skid soles such that your legs don’t slip from the pedals. 
  4. Proper apparel is needed, which won’t restrict your motion much. Also, make sure the clothes are made from breathable fabric, which will help keep your skin cooler throughout. 

Things you need to have for running

In case you have chosen running for outdoor activity, you will need: 

  1. Proper running shoes with insoles so that you don’t suffer from plantar fasciitis is a common problem. 
  2. If you are practising for marathon runs, you will need kneepads in case you stumble while running and fall while injuring your knees. 
  3. Always wear loose clothes while running since it will help reduce sweating and keep you cool throughout the running time. 

For whom cycling is better? 

Cycling is better for children and adults; both want to improve body posture, control the picture’s intensity, and lose weight but at a steady rate. 

Who can benefit from running? 

As for running, this outdoor exercise is better for people suffering from stress, anxiety, and too much emotion. Again, it is because running will help in channelling your emotions to provide energy for running. 

Final words 

In the above article, we have described how cycling and running can help you in different ways. Even though the benefits are quite related, the time needed to see the results will differ. For example, cycling will help you maintain your body posture in a better way as compared to running. On the other hand, for losing weight at a faster rate, running is better as compared to cycling. 

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