Running or riding a bicycle: which one suits you best?

Running or riding a bicycle: which one suits you best?

Both running and cycling are great forms of exercise: both keep us moving and are aerobic activities that improve cardiovascular function and help you lose weight. But how can you decide which one is best for you?

Run or pedal? It all depends on what you are looking for. If what you want is to lose weight, experts agree that running burns more calories per minute than riding a bike .

For example, if you weigh 160 pounds (72.5 kilos) and run 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) in 30 minutes, you will burn more than 350 calories. While if you decide to ride a bike, you will burn 220 calories in 30 minutes (assuming you travel 10-12 miles or 16-19 kilometers at a smooth pace). If you weigh 200 pounds (90 kilos), and run 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) in 30 minutes, you’ll burn 450 calories. But if you ride a bike, traveling 10-12 miles or 16-19 kilometers at a smooth pace for 30 minutes, you’ll burn almost 300 calories. On the other hand, walking burns a lot less calories : an average person will burn 360 if it covers 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers in an hour.

In terms of health, both running and cycling are great for the heart and overall health. Both cycling and running help create more muscle in the legs and increase the mobility of the limbs and hips . Both exercises also strengthen bones and increase bone density .

Another great benefit of both running and cycling is that both activities decrease appetite . A recent study from the University of Loughborough , in the United Kingdom, indicated that by practicing these exercises for more than an hour, participants showed a decrease in ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger.

However, running is not for everyone . People who have to lose a lot of weight, or people who suffer from knee or back problems, should choose to ride a bike, as this activity puts less pressure on their joints (their joints).

Now, what can help you choose the best activity for you? An important factor to consider is your health. If you are in good health and what you want is only to lose weight, perhaps you can alternate the two activities: running one day, riding a bicycle (either static or outdoors), the other … After all in the variety there is more pleasure! The important thing is to be on the move, because any exercise is better than none.

Maintaining an exercise program that burns at least 2,800 calories per week will help you lose weight. Even after having reached your ideal weight, such a program prevents you from regaining the lost weight. These data are the result of a survey  conducted by the National Registry for Weight Control in the US, a research group that studies people who have successfully lost weight and maintain their new weight.

This same entity suggests that longer races at a less rapid pace, give better results than fast races in less time and recommends 3 to 4 races of 25 to 30 minutes each week.

Neither running nor cycling gives magical or immediate results. To lose a pound (450 gr) the body must burn 3,500 calories. For example, a person weighing 180 pounds (82 kilos) should run five miles every day to lose about 5 pounds (2¼ kilos) in a month. This means that if you want to lose weight, you must arm yourself with patience and perseverance.

So you already know, if your desire is to lose weight really, and keep the new results, dust off your bike, or get your tennis ready and go for a run … And adopt these activities from now on and for the rest of your life!

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