Outdoor sports are a big part of everyday life for most people. It’s essential to be in good shape as it affects many different parts of your life – some that may not seem so obvious. There are so many sporting activities you can indulge yourself in, cycling and running being the most popular choices.
The cycling vs running debate has been going on long enough and there’s no clear winner – there can’t be. Both have their own benefits and “disadvantages”. Biking gives you that wind in the hair experience and the ability to build huge quads. Running on the other hand is a great full-body cardio workout.
PROS AND CONS OF CYCLING
Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages and disadvantages of cycling
- Non-impact sport – Cycling being a non-impact sport, is great for the joints and bones. If you have a knee or hip injury it’s better to recover through cycling.
- Muscle development – Cycling has been known to develop better, stronger, and bigger leg muscles. Even the core is strengthened significantly (especially on a road bike). This is because you often work against resistance and use those glutes and quads to push your pace.
- Best way to commute – Not only does cycling to work save a lot of time and money but it’s also a super-efficient way to incorporate a daily workout into your busy schedule.
- FIghts illnesses – It’s been backed by science! Cycling has been known to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and boost overall mortality.
Do go through our “TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF CYCLING” Blog post to know more about why cycling is so beneficial.
- It isn’t free – It all comes down to cash. Cycling doesn’t have to be an expensive affair but it often turns out to. Folks usually buy a basic, budget-friendly bike and end up falling in love with the sport. Next thing you know they’re saving up to buy a good-quality premium bike. Consider renting out a bike for a week or two to see if you really want to spend on a good bike.
PROS AND CONS OF RUNNING
- Great form of cardio – That’s nice, but what’s in it for you? Well for starters, running is great for burning fat and going through calories. Running burns approximately 400-700Cals an hour.
- Increases metabolism – Running burns a lot of calories and also suppresses your post-workout hunger cravings. This helps your body manage energy and fat storage more efficiently. Eventually, you’ll be burning a good amount of calories even when sedentary.
- Good bone health – This point may seem counterintuitive to what we said earlier but that was more specifically towards joint stress. As for bones themselves, running is actually pretty beneficial. Running is said to strengthen the skeletal system more than non-weight bearing sports such as cycling. Running puts ‘good stress’ on your bones and prevents bone loss and osteoporosis.
- Essentially a free sport- You don’t need much when it comes to running. A good pair of running shoes is essential but that’s something most people already have. A great choice for those who’re closely watching their wallets.
- Not for everyone – Cycling isn’t the best of sports for anyone to take up. Running is quite stressful on the bones and joints – if you’re on the heavier side or have had past leg injuries then it’s better to stay off running. Even the elderly are better off not running. As you age, your bones become weaker and more susceptible to things like knee pain, stress fractures, or shin splints. It’s super important to pay attention to how your body reacts to regular running.
CONFUSED BETWEEN THE TWO?
There’s no competition here. Both cycling and running are very beneficial and fun sports. It’s all up to you and what your body can take – You have to find something you actually enjoy and want to stick with. So, if you try running and just can’t find your footing, see how you feel about cycling. It’s a trial and error kind of thing.
Whatever sport you choose, you’ll still get just as good a workout. Start slow and you’ll soon kind a keenness to the sport you’ve chosen. Consider riding/running with friends as this help you stay motivated – don’t depend on them though.
The initial days will be tough, you may not be in the greatest shape but soon you will be comfortable with the sport. You risk hating it just because it’s too hard – and you don’t want to get turned off from the sport before you even give it a solid chance. Choose the sport that suits you best.
To sum it all up, we’d say it’s best to consider taking up both activities, the two sports complement each other because they work for related but distinct muscle groups and both serve to build endurance and cut weight. The bottom line is that you should have fun doing it, if you’re not enjoying the sport, look at something else.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: RockRider 5.3 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010