Is cycling better for you than running?

In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, the eternal debate between cycling and running is a never-ending one within fitness enthusiasts' discussions. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a casual fitness seeker, the choice between cycling and running can be a crucial one. 

For those considering a new fitness routine, particularly with the goal of shedding that extra weight and improving cardiovascular health, the comparison becomes even more significant.

Protect your joints

One of the primary factors that tilt the scales in favour of cycling is its low-impact nature. Running, with its constant pounding on the joints, can lead to stress injuries over time. 

In contrast, cycling provides a smooth, low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it an ideal choice for those with joint issues or those looking to prevent them. Cycling minimises the risk of injuries such as shin splints, stress fractures, and knee problems, making it a more sustainable long-term exercise option.

Burn calories for longer on a bicycle

When it comes to burning calories, both cycling and running are formidable contenders. However, the intensity and duration of the exercise play a crucial role. 

While running might have a slight edge in terms of calorie burn during a high-intensity sprint, cycling can compensate by allowing for more extended, sustainable workouts. The key lies in finding the right balance between intensity and duration to meet your fitness goals.

Build fitness and endurance

Both cycling and running are excellent cardiovascular exercises that elevate the heart rate, strengthen the heart, and improve overall cardiovascular health. The difference lies in how each activity engages different muscle groups. Running involves the entire body, emphasising the core and upper body, while cycling predominantly targets the lower body muscles. 

Cyclists often experience lower heart rates compared to runners at similar intensity levels, potentially providing a more efficient cardiovascular workout.

Pedalling is easier than running

The joint-friendly nature of cycling not only reduces the risk of injuries but also opens the doors to a broader audience. Individuals with arthritis, back problems, or other joint concerns find cycling to be a welcoming fitness avenue. 

The fluid, circular motion of pedalling is much gentler on the joints than the repetitive impact of running, making it an inclusive and accessible option for people of various fitness levels and ages.

Contribute to mental wellness

Beyond the physical benefits, both cycling and running contribute significantly to mental well-being. The rhythmic motion of cycling or the meditative pounding of running can be a therapeutic escape from the stresses of daily life. 

However, many cyclists emphasise the unique sense of freedom and exploration that comes with cycling. Whether it's a scenic ride through nature or a cityscape adventure, cycling offers a refreshing mental break that can enhance your overall well-being.

It’s all about you

In the grand battle between cycling and running, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The superior choice depends on individual preferences, fitness goals, and health considerations. Running is an intense workout option and can be taxing on the body, but can provide greater returns.

Cycling emerges as a compelling option for those seeking a low-impact, joint-friendly workout that accommodates various fitness levels. You can often go for longer on a bike, which helps you shed more calories and build up a more resilient cardiovascular system. The feeling of motion, wind in your hair and the changing scenery can create a deep sense of satisfaction and almost feel euphoric when combined with the cyclist’s high.

If you’re looking to start your cycling journey or take it to the next level, take a look at our coaching packages and see what suits your needs.

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