Physical activity is really important for general health. Choosing which physical activity or exercise is one thing that should be considered before starting. Some exercises are not suitable for a certain patient (for example arthritis patient), or is having injury. What about running or cycling? Which one is more appropriate for you?
Here are some comparisons between running and cycling.
1. Exercise Intensity
Riding a bike on flat ground counts as moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Jogging or running counts as vigorous-intensity activity. Choose the right exercise for you.
2. Muscle Building
Cycling exercises the gluteus on the bottom, and the quads and hamstrings in the legs. Running does not specifically build muscle.
3. Burning Calories
Comparing an hour of running with an hour of cycling for a person weighing around 73 Kg, the US Mayo Clinic found that a leisurely bike ride below 16 Km per hour burned 292 calories. Running at 8 Km per hour burned 606 calories.
4. Pain (Injury)
Research by Appalachian State University in the US in 2014 found that cycling was a better exercise than running for the toll it takes on the body.
One study that compared trained, competitive cyclists and runners exercising 2 ½ hours a day for three days found that the long distance runners had substantially more muscle damage (between 133% and 404% more), inflammation levels (up to 256% higher) and muscle soreness (87% more) in the following 38 hour recovery period than the cyclists.
It is true that running burns more calories than cycling, but most people can’t run as many as they can ride, especially if they are overweight. When you run you need to lift your body weight up off the earth to propel yourself forward. Then you have to come back down, striking the ground and absorbing those impact forces. Both of those things make it considerably harder to run 8 Km than to ride twice or even three or four times as long. On flat ground, you can do cycling farther because gravity is not a problem.
So, choose the exercise that is suitable with your body condition, especially if you have certain diseases or have just undergone surgery that affects your musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones and joints). Speak with your doctor so that the exercise you do does not make you get injured, because injuries from falling or hard impact during athletic activity can cause great damage to the cartilage. This injury can cause cartilage tears, or permanently change joint movements. You can avoid injuries that can cause osteoarthritis by looking after your body. Warming up and stretching before doing athletic activity and other sports can help prevent serious injury. And if you have one, immediately consult your doctor to get the right treatment. Injuries left untreated can heal imperfectly, which can cause further damage in the future.