When it comes to getting exercise, you’ll hear many fitness trainers shout “anything is better than nothing.” The obvious reason for that is because so many Americans spend all day sitting at work, sit down to eat, then finally relax on the couch for TV all evening. This is a total ticket for a disaster ending in bad health, heart disease, obesity, and a high risk of diabetes. On the other hand, if you are going to start exercising, there may some types that are better for you, or that have less risk of injury. Let’s take a quick look at two of the most popular, running vs. biking.
Of Course, For the Scenery, Biking Wins Hands Down
Back to the original problem, getting people to get out and just get moving, running can get a little tedious, you don’t pass very much to look at very fast. Biking can be a lot more enjoyable as you pass blocks of houses, cars and other people every minute. You can go mountain biking, city biking, or rural road biking and really enjoy yourself.
In addition to that, many people have a hard time getting a breath of air when they’re running, but biking is less strenuous and has downhill coasting that enables you to talk to your biking friends. This can be a huge plus for some people that like to converse while they exercise.
Running’s advantage, on the other side of the coin, is that if you like to put on your headphones and ignore the world, you can do that while on foot. It’s not such a good idea while on a bike since you’re out on the street and may not hear a car approaching, depends on the situation.
When It Comes to The Joints, Running Can Be Tough on Them
Many runners eventually get so that they can hardly walk because of the wear and tear on their joints. The impact with the hard surfaces is not okay for the cartilage in the knees, ankles, and hips. Plus, there is also the chance of a twisted ankle or other problem because of uneven terrain.
Biking, whether stationary or on the road, is very easy on the joints because it’s super low impact. In fact, many athletes use bikes while they are recovering from knee surgery to stay in shape. There is still the chance of a road accident that can happen if you get hit by a car, but overall, there are far fewer injuries while riding.
The Calorie Burn Is Better for The Runner
The research shows that running burns about 500 calories in a 40-minute long run while biking will burn around 400 instead. This is due to the extra weight that your body is supporting as you run, but the bike supports you as you ride. Generally, speaking running will burn more calories.
Another alternative is the Elliptical machine that does use your body weight at part of the equation. This machine increases the number of calories you burn while not increasing the risk of injury due to impacts with hard surfaces. It also is excellent at working more different muscles in the body like the arms, chest, shoulders, and abdominals. This is a better whole body experience, and you can do it from the comfort of your home while watching TV or listening to music.
Still, the bottom line with all of the different cardio workouts is that the one you’ll constantly do is the one that is best for you. But joint injuries are a problem with many long-term runners. If you can burn an average of 3,500 calories per week, you’ll lose a pound a week on average since that’s what scientists have determined.
If you’re not trying to lose weight, but just maintain what you have and be in shape, then you don’t have to burn as much. About 1,500 calories burned using cardio exercises is enough to keep you in pretty good health forever. Of course, you can’t use the fact that you’re exercising as an excuse to overeat or eat poorly, that defeats the purpose of your hard work.
If you are thinking of starting an exercise program, you should try to find something that you really enjoy. Many people have various tricks they use such as listening to music, using a stationary bike and watching TV, or any other thing you can do that will keep you working out daily. That’s the real goal, to get yourself up and off the couch for at least 30 good minutes a day.