Cycling vs Running: Which One is a More Effective Workout?

Confused between cycling vs running?

Although you are not a new one to ask this question.

This cycling vs running debate has been going on among the athletes for so many years.

Everyone has their own perspective, as everyone has their own fitness goals.

I always suggest people choose the exercises as per their fitness goal.

If you ever stuck between choosing any form of exercise among the two, then always choose as per your preferences and targets that you wanna achieve.

Both are different forms of aerobic exercise.

If I generally talk, then by running, you can burn more calories as compared to cycling.

But it also has a higher impact, and it is also harder on your muscles and joints as well.

Which one among cycling vs running is better for you?

it purely depends on your fitness goals and preferences.

Let’s understand which workout will suit you the best by taking different aspects into consideration.

So what are you waiting for?

Let’s begin with the blog!!


Cycling vs Running

Before starting, let’s first understand in brief about cycling and running.



Cycling is a low-impact exercise that helps develop strength and endurance.

It is easier to develop and retain endurance when cycling than running.

Since muscle discomfort and injury are slowed due to the lower impact.

Cycling is also prescribed for individuals who have experienced injuries, especially knee and foot issues.

  • It could be easier if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose because it places less pressure on your knees.
  • Cycling is even more suitable for people with knee or back injuries.
  • For newcomers, this may be a more profitable alternative. They can first walk or jog to ease the intensity of running or avoid the occurrence of knee pain. The more effective you’re doing the exercise, the more calories you burn. If you’re a runner trying to shed weight, try exchanging a few runs for a bike ride to test your body in a different direction and build a higher burn.



As compared to cycling, running requires much less equipment.

What you need is a pair of running shoes to get out and run.

Of course, a lot of serious runners want to get a watch or fitness band that monitors their progress, and they can get costly.

Cycling includes a cycle, a helmet, and shoes, plus the mechanical repair of the cycle.

In comparison, running shoes are far more inexpensive than a cycle.

Cycling and running are excellent forms of exercise that include rhythmic aerobic exercises requiring significant muscle mass.

However, there are major variations between the two that could tip the balance in favor of one or the other operation.

If I talk about cycling vs running in general, then cycling certainly has a small advantage due to its reduced stress on the body’s joints.

It also exposes the body to less pressure.

It helps you to maintain good body fitness levels even though you start with a gentle regime, unlike running, where the muscles and joints are hammered from the start.

This can be especially true of those who could be unfit, as well as those with joint or muscle issues.

This form of cardio is a more suitable way to proceed.

As it is easier to continue over prolonged periods of time.


Cycling vs Running Calories

Cycling vs Running Calories
Running burns more calories than cycling because it requires more engagement of muscles. Running burns 472 calories per hour, while cycling burns just 236 calories per hour at the same speed.

Now, let’s move to the most important aspect, i.e., calories burnt.

Most fitness enthusiasts consider calorie burn as their primary fitness goal.

So, let’s discuss which workout among cycling vs running is best for you if your primary focus is on calorie burn.

Cycling and running are fantastic ways to lose calories.

In fact, if you’re trying to burn as many calories as you can in the shortest period of time, running and cycling are almost the same – as long as you’re going hard.

The amount of calories you burn in either workout (cycling vs running) depends on the speed and intensity of the training.

Generally speaking, running burns more calories than cycling because it requires more engagement of muscles.

However, cycling is gentler on your muscles, and you might be able to do it longer and faster than you can.

You’ll even lose more calories if you run or cycle uphill for some aspect of the workout than you would if you exercised on a flat surface.

A 130-pound human burns 944 calories per hour by running at a speed of 6-minute per mile, and the same amount of calories are burnt per hour while cycling on a flat road for more than 20 miles at the same speed.

Running burns 472 calories per hour, while cycling burns just 236 calories per hour at the same speed.


Cycling vs Running Cardio

Both running and cycling are similarly helpful in terms of cardiovascular fitness.

Aerobic exercises tend to improve the heart so that it can pump more oxygen to your muscles.

Cardio workout, such as running and walking, teaches the heart to work the majority of the day much more quickly.

If you are involved in intensive running or cycling, you may need to restrict your workouts to no more than 60 minutes a day.

According to a multi-study overview, intense exercise of more than 5 hours a week or 60 minutes a day will potentially begin to have a detrimental impact on your cardiovascular health.

Both exercises strengthen the heart muscles, allowing the heart to pump a higher volume of blood at a lower heart rate due to its increased strength.

Your heart learns to pump blood effectively at all hours.

This ensures that higher levels of oxygen are distributed to your muscles in your body.

The consequence here is increased fitness of the body.

The effect tends to be exactly the same for both running and cycling, which is beneficial to you since you can integrate both of them into your fitness schedule to keep it new and exciting.


Cycling Muscles vs Running Muscles

Cycling Muscles Vs Running Muscles
Cycling will help you develop your lower half muscle. Running isn’t going to contribute to a lot of bulk, so it will help you grow tougher-toned muscles.

One research showed that the trick to toning is to work out for a long time without achieving muscle exhaustion.

Cycling will help you develop your lower half muscle.

Running isn’t going to contribute to a lot of bulk, so it will help you grow tougher-toned muscles.

Pushing pedals while cycling is strength training that develops muscles in the body.

The upper half of your body is also active, but those muscles aren’t nearly as busy as the bottom half.

Running uses all the muscles at the very same time.

It doesn’t involve them in a manner that’s going to create a lot of bulk.

However, the use of your muscles and bones and the pain of touching the ground will make you stronger.

Cycling and running both offer a full-body exercise and, in particular, a workout for the whole lower body.

However, they are also prescribed as complementary exercises since the two sports need the most of the various muscle groups.

Cycling is good for building your quads and hamstrings, especially when driving uphill.

Running often recruits these broad muscle groups, but it relies far more on drawing strength from the glutes.

Particularly when moving uphill – inner thighs and calves because running involves a greater balancing of the leg and the action of lifting off the ground rather than pushing down the pedal.

Running and cycling both works on your heart, like your abdominals and shoulder muscles, so cycling needs you to stabilize your upper body on the handlebars, and running needs you to keep your torso straight.

Running could be better for straightening your muscles since it exercises your entire body and consumes more calories.

You would need to add some weight lifting and eventually change your eating habits if you want significant results.


Cycling vs Running Weight Loss

The trick to weight loss is to strike the right balance between calories consumed and calories lost by exercise.

At the end of the day, losing weight is all about calorie intake.

So, in the absence of any improvements to your diet, burning off one pound of fat involves burning around 3,500 calories.

Whenever it comes to burning calories and weight loss, running is a straightforward winner.

By running, you can lose more weight,  whiling running all the muscles in your body are active.

On average, just 10 minutes of running can burn about 150 calories.

You can potentially burn more if you’re running on uneven ground like sand or uphill.

In contrast, 10 minutes of cycling would burn you about 97 calories since you’re simply sitting down and not engaging your entire body.

However, since endurance is easier to obtain on a cycle, you can carry on cycling for a longer interval, and the number of calories expended will ultimately meet and even overtake that of running.

While running consumes more calories on average, cycling can still be a more preferred exercise to lose weight.

This is down to the fact that cycling exerts less total pressure on the body.

It means that the runner experiences less discomfort during the cycle than when he finishes the run.

This makes it simpler and more realistic to sustain a regular cycling schedule for weeks, months, and years to come.

The end effect you get over a long period of time is that cycling will help you eat more calories.

Also in losing weight quicker and more easily than running.


Benefits Of Cycling vs Running

Benefits Of Cycling Vs Running

Both cycling and running are excellent forms of exercise, each of which has its own benefits.

But if you also wanna know which one would be better?

To figure out, we will list the benefits of both the forms of workouts and then make comparisons between them.

Are you ready?

So let’s bang on the benefits of cycling vs running!!!


Benefits Of Cycling


1. Strengthens and Tones Your Muscles

Cycling is not, contrary to normal perceptions, a fitness activity that only involves the legs.

It also builds strength in a comprehensive manner, as every muscle of the body is active in cycling.


2. Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases 

Cardiovascular disorders include stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.

Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, decreases your resting heartbeat, and lowers your blood fat levels.

Data also reveals that people who ride to work have two to three times less exposure to traffic than car drivers, thereby enhancing their lung health.

A Danish survey undertaken over 14 years of 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years showed that daily cycling prevents people from heart disease.


3. Helps in Weight Control

Cycling is a healthy way to manage or lose weight as it increases the metabolic rate, builds muscle, and removes body fat.

If you’re looking to lose weight, you need to pair walking with a balanced eating schedule.

Cycling is a comfortable type of exercise, and you can adjust the time and pace – it can be developed slowly and varied to accommodate you.

Data shows that you can burn at least 8.400 kilojoules (about 2,000 calories) a week by exercise.

A British study reveals that a half-hour bike ride a day can burn about five kilograms of fat in a year.

Cycling increases your heart rates, pumps oxygen through your body, consumes calories, and decreases your risk of being overweight.

As a consequence, it is one of a variety of types of exercise suggested by the NHS as being a safe way to minimize the risk of contracting serious diseases such as heart disease and cancer.


4. Improves Mental Health

There are so many ways that exercise can enhance your mood: there’s the simple release of adrenaline and endorphins and the increased confidence that comes with getting new things done (for instance, completing a sport or getting closer to that goal).

Cycling blends physical fitness with being outdoors and discovering new experiences.

You can ride alone – give yourself time to deal with your worries or concerns, or you can ride with a friend that broadens your social network.


Benefits Of Running


1. Prevention from Dangerous Diseases 

For women, running will potentially help lower the risk of breast cancer.

It will also help to reduce the risk of a stroke.

Most experts today advocate exercising for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, elevated blood pressure, osteoporosis, and it has been shown to help minimize the chance of getting a heart attack.

By helping the arteries maintain their elasticity and support the heart, the risk of getting a heart attack can be greatly decreased.


2. Eliminate Depression

If you’re depressed, the last thing you should do is wake up and go for a run.

You will find, though, that after just a few minutes of running, your brain will begin to secrete hormones that automatically boost your mood.

In fact, there are few activities in the world that can easier or faster treat depression than exercise like running.


3. Boosts Up Your Confidence

Not all the effects of running are external.

Running will provide a measurable boost to your confidence and personality.

By setting and meeting goals, you will help offer yourself a stronger sense of empowerment that can make you feel much better.

So, this all about the benefits offered by cycling vs running.

Now, you can choose the workout which can help you attain your fitness targets.


4. Refreshes Your Mood

You may have gone for a run and noticed that your mind relaxed and your worries faded away.

This is due to the fact that running stimulates blood flow and the release of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins into your brain, which helps in the battle against stress.

In fact, research published in 2017 by the American Psychological Association suggests that maintaining a running routine during stressful times can lead to greater vitality, making you better able to deal with life’s challenges.

Furthermore, according to a 2019 report published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal, running can be a useful technique for avoiding depression.

According to the study, replacing inactivity with only 15 minutes of vigorous activity a day, such as running, will reduce the risk of depression by roughly 26%.


5. Improves Your Heart Health

Running gets your heart pumping and your blood circulating, which strengthens and improves the efficiency of your heart.

If you stick with it, it will also protect your long-term heart health.

Over a 15-year era, daily runners had a 45 percent lower risk of dying from heart-related causes such as a heart attack or stroke, according to a 2014 report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


6. Helps You Sleep Better

There are many factors why running will help you sleep better.

Running produces serotonin, which helps in the regulation of the circadian rhythm and the establishment of daily wake-up and sleep times.

Regular exercise also improves slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep, which allows the brain and body to rejuvenate overnight.

Although there is no single ideal time of day to run for better sleep, it might be beneficial to avoid running too late at night, so you don’t have trouble calming down before bedtime.


Is Cycling or Running Better?

The most important aspect of any workout is to find something you like and want to stick with.

So, if you try running and can’t seem to find your balance, consider cycling. If you can’t seem to find your stride on two wheels, try running.

You’ll get a decent aerobic workout either way.

In reality, one study discovered that if you function at the same effort (specifically, the same percentage of your VO2Max), running and cycling provide the same endurance boost.

Both are regarded as some of the most successful calorie-burning exercises.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, running burns 566 to 839 calories per hour, while cycling at a vigorous pace burns 498 to 738 calories per hour.

Running and cycling are popular hobbies and workouts that people all over the world enjoy. Both are forms of aerobic exercise that can be done outdoors, whether on city streets or on nature trails.

Running, on average, burns more calories than cycling. However, it has a higher impact and is more difficult on muscles and joints.

So, which is better for you? That is dependent on your priorities and how you plan to achieve them.


Final Thought

Choose which one suits your lifestyle and make sure you love it, and commit to it.

You may also turn between the two to enjoy the rewards of each operation and escape boredom.

If you are trying to obtain specific outcomes, such as weight loss or muscle toning, consult with a personal trainer who will customize the workout routine customized to your needs.

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