Running and cycling are both popular forms of cardiovascular exercise that offer numerous health benefits. While both activities can help you burn calories and improve your fitness, you may be wondering which one burns more calories – running or cycling?
As someone who has been an avid runner and cyclist for years, I have often pondered this question myself. In this article, I will explore the factors that determine calorie burn in running and cycling, and provide my insights based on personal experience.
Calories Burned in Running
When it comes to calorie burn, running is often touted as one of the most effective exercises. The number of calories burned during running depends on various factors such as your weight, speed, and distance covered.
Running is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning that your body supports its weight, and this can contribute to a higher calorie burn compared to non-weight-bearing exercises like cycling. The intensity of the run also plays a role, as faster running or uphill running can increase the calorie burn.
To give you an idea, an average person weighing around 160 pounds can burn approximately 606 calories per hour of running at a moderate pace (5 mph) while a person weighing 200 pounds can burn about 755 calories per hour at the same pace.
Calories Burned in Cycling
Cycling, on the other hand, is a low-impact exercise that puts less stress on your joints compared to running. The number of calories burned in cycling also depends on factors such as your weight, speed, and resistance level.
Similar to running, the intensity of your cycling workout will affect the calories burned. Cycling at a faster pace or tackling hilly terrains will require more energy and result in a higher calorie burn. However, since cycling is a non-weight-bearing exercise, the calorie burn may be slightly lower compared to running.
As an example, a person weighing 160 pounds can burn approximately 508 calories per hour of cycling at a moderate pace (14-16 mph), while a person weighing 200 pounds can burn around 636 calories per hour at the same pace.
Factors to Consider
When comparing the calorie burn of running and cycling, it’s essential to consider individual differences and preferences. The calorie burn mentioned above is approximate and can vary depending on factors such as fitness level, metabolism, and terrain.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that running and cycling can have different impacts on the body. Running is a weight-bearing exercise that can help improve bone density and strengthen muscles. On the other hand, cycling is a low-impact exercise that is gentler on the joints and may be more suitable for individuals with joint issues or injuries.
In conclusion, both running and cycling are excellent forms of exercise that can help you burn calories and improve your fitness. While running may generally result in a higher calorie burn due to its weight-bearing nature, cycling offers a low-impact option that is easier on the joints.
Ultimately, the best exercise for you depends on your personal preferences, fitness goals, and physical condition. Whether you choose to lace up your running shoes or hop on your bicycle, both activities can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and increased calorie burn.
So, why not switch things up and incorporate both running and cycling into your fitness routine? You can enjoy the benefits of both activities and keep your workouts exciting and varied.