Running and biking are both great ways to work out and burn some calories, but which is best for you? Total calorie burn, joint health, and your willingness to invest in equipment are all factors to consider.
Benefits of Biking
Biking is a low-impact sport that won’t stress your knees, hips and ankles as much as running. It improves your endurance and balance, as you may remember from your first wobbly attempts to learn as a kid. A thirty minute bike ride at a pace of 10 mph will burn about 177 calories. Cycling works the lower body, plus the chest, back, triceps, and core. If you have any joint or back problems, cycling is probably the best bet for you.
Benefits of Running
Thirty minutes of running at a pace of five miles per hour (12 minute miles) will burn 236 calories. However, it’s important to build up to this pace slowly if you’re new to running, otherwise you risk injury. Running works the leg muscles, including quads, gluts, calf muscles and hamstring. It also uses the biceps and abdominal muscles. You can run in many places a bike can’t navigate, and the only gear you really need is a good pair of running shoes. However, running does have high impact on your joints.
If you have no history of joint injuries, running will burn more fat and calories in a shorter amount of time. But don’t hesitate to cross train, strengthening different muscles is best for your overall health. Running and cycling are both great forms of exercise.
August 15th, 2010