Biking vs Running: Which is Better for Your Health

So, you've decided to make a change in your life and get more active. You've ditched the couch for a pair of sneakers, but now you're at a crossroads: should you start running or biking?

Both activities have plenty of benefits when it comes to staying fit and healthy, but there are also some key differences between them that could help you decide which one is best for your lifestyle.

biking vs running

Read on to learn about the pros and cons of both running and biking so that you can make an informed decision about how to get started on your journey toward better health.

Biking and running are both great forms of exercise

The truth is, biking and running are both great forms of exercise. They both get your heart rate up, they both help you lose weight, and they both help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. So what's the difference?

One major difference between biking and running is that running generally puts more wear-and-tear on your body than biking does. This means that if you plan on doing long distances by foot or hoof (that's right: hoof), then it may be better for you to stick with jogging instead of cycling-at least until your muscles adapt to the new activity!

Another big difference between biking and running is how much time each one takes up in your schedule. While a good 6-mile jog can take about 45 minutes from start to finish, getting out for a quick 20-minute bike ride doesn't require nearly as much commitment, and it doesn't hurt as much either!

Benefits of Biking

There are many benefits to biking, including:

  1. Biking is a great way to get exercise. It is low-impact and can be done at any fitness level.
  2. Biking is a great way to explore your surroundings. It is a great way to see new places and get fresh air.
  3. Biking is a great way to save money on transportation. It is cheaper than driving and does not require gas or parking fees.
  4. Biking is good for the environment. It emits no pollution and requires no resources to operate.

Benefits of Running

running benefits

There are many benefits to running, including:

  1. Running is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health.
  2. Running can also help to build strong bones and muscles, and it is a great way to lose weight.
  3. Running can be done anywhere, at any time, making it a convenient form of exercise.
  4. Running can improve mental health by reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and increasing energy levels.

Biking is a lower impact sport than running

As a runner, you know that your joints, tendons, and muscles are taking a beating every time you hit the pavement. All of these things come at a cost-one that can add up to injuries over time. Biking provides an alternative that's much easier on the body in general.

You'll need to get used to shifting gears when biking instead of running, but once you're comfortable with it, biking will be less impactful on your knees and hips than running is. As long as you're not going downhill too fast (which could lead to injury), bike riding is much easier on the lower body than jogging or sprinting because there's no impact from landing on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt every few steps! This means less chance for runner's knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome) or shin splints because there isn't any jarring impact between foot strike and ground contact; this also helps reduce stress fractures on top of protecting against anterior cruciate ligament tears due largely thanks to its low-impact nature!

If those aren't enough reasons why biking might just provide better overall health benefits than running does then consider how beneficial it could be specifically for those who suffer from arthritis.

Running requires more skills than biking

If you're new to biking or running, it's important to note that they both require some level of skill. To begin riding a bike, you need to know how to steer and brake.

You also need to know how to change gears on your bike. If something goes wrong with your ride (e.g., flat tire), you'll have no idea what's going on and won't be able to fix it yourself without help from someone else.

On top of all this technical knowledge, biking requires physical strength and endurance in order for riders not only get around but also maintain their balance while traveling at high speeds down hillsides or along rocky trails through forested areas where obstacles such as branches may come flying at them from out nowhere, and if they do hit one of these obstacles head-on then there's no telling whether or not they'll survive!

In contrast with running: just about anyone can run (even if it takes longer than usual for beginners).

When it comes to staying fit and healthy, running is more difficult than biking. This is because it requires more energy to maintain a certain pace, and you cannot simply slow down or speed up like you can with a bicycle.

If your goal is just to burn calories and get some exercise, then running might be the best option for you.

However, if your goal is endurance training (i.e., longer periods of activity at lower intensities) or racing/competing in events such as marathons or triathlons, then biking would probably be better suited for those activities because of its ease in changing speeds without losing control over where the bike takes you.

It takes longer to see results from cycling because it is an easier workout than running.

Cycling is an easier workout on many different parts of the body. This makes it a more forgiving exercise option if you have a pre-existing injury or condition that prevents you from running. It also means that cycling may be the better choice for beginners, people who are out of shape, or those who are looking for an easy workout.

Cycling is easier on your joints than running because there's less impact and stress on them when riding a bike compared to running. When you run, your knees absorb most of the impact as they bend and straighten with each stride; this can cause overuse injuries like patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), runner's knee and shin splints if uncontrolled or repeated over time.

Cycling doesn't put nearly as much stress on those areas because the movement is smoother with less force being applied by each pedal stroke compared to running strides which include two footfalls per step instead of one footfall per pedal stroke like in cycling.

Cycling vs Running on different aspects

When it comes to health, both biking and running have their pros and cons. We compare below the two types of exercise and how they stack up against each other in various aspects.

biking vs running

Calorie Burning

Exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off. But how much does it really burn? A lot of people think that the amount of calories burned during exercise depends solely on the type of activity and duration of each session. But there are some other things to consider, like your fitness level, your current weight, and even your gender.

The amount of calories you burn in exercise varies depending on several factors, including the intensity of the workout, the duration of the workout, whether you're walking or running, and what kind of exercise you're doing. If you want to know exactly how many calories you burn in exercise, talk with your doctor about getting your body fat percentage checked and learning how many calories you burn per pound of fat. Then, look up those numbers and use them to figure out how many calories you should be burning every week.

Weight loss

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating less and exercising more. Although you may lose weight more quickly by running, if you cycle for a long period of time your calorie burn will eventually exceed that of running.
The potential to lose weight through running or cycling depends on how you participate in the sport, how often and for how long and also whether your dietary habits support or hinder your efforts.

While running burns more calories on average, cycling might allow you to exercise longer because it is gentler on the joints.

Heart health

In terms of heart health, both running and cycling are equally beneficial. Both aerobic exercises strengthen your heart so that your blood pumps more efficiently throughout your body.

It's a fact that the more intense an exercise is, the better it will be for your heart. Running is more intense than cycling, so running will have a bigger impact on your body than cycling does. However, if you're only going to do one or two forms of exercise (and make them high impact), then you should probably stick with running because its effects on the heart are greater than those of cycling.

Running has been shown in multiple studies to improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, more than walking or even sitting down! This may seem contradictory when comparing it against biking; however as stated above, intensity matters more than distance when looking at how workouts affect our bodies' health.

Muscle building

If you want to add some size to your legs, try cycling. You'll burn calories, improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your core, and work out every major muscle group in your lower half. A published study found that cyclists had greater thigh circumference than runners after just one month of regular exercise.

Running uses all of the muscles at once, it doesn't engage them in a way that will build bulk. But your muscles and bones will get stronger from use-and they'll also recover faster when you've been injured or ill.

Injury risk

There is a common misconception that cycling is a low-impact activity and therefore poses little risk of injury. However, both cycling and running are associated with a similar risk of overuse injuries.

The most common injuries in both sports are due to overuse, such as Achilles tendonitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), and plantar fasciitis. These injuries are often caused by repetitive stress on the same tissue, which can lead to inflammation, irritation, and eventually pain.

While the risk of injury is similar between cycling and running, the type of injuries that each sport tends to cause can differ. For example, cycling is more likely to cause knee injuries, such as PFPS and ITBS, while running is more likely to cause foot and ankle injuries, such as Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.


Running is almost free, You don't need any extra gear to start running--just a good pair of running shoes. This can make it a more affordable option than cycling. However, if you're looking to get serious about running and want to invest in a good pair of shoes, it can cost hundreds of dollars.

Cycling is also a more expensive option than running, even if you already have a bike at home. Bike equipment costs can add up quickly, especially if you're buying a new bike. You may also need to buy things like knee pads, helmets, and cycling shoes.

Biking vs Running: Which one is right for you?

There is no clear winner, you should pick whichever suits your lifestyle and goals better

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on what you enjoy doing and what works better for your body. If you're looking to get into shape and enjoy the outdoors, cycling is a good option.

Cycling is also a great way to stay active while traveling or commuting. It's easy on your joints and can help improve your cardiovascular health. However, if you're looking for a fast and efficient way to get in shape, running may be better than cycling.

When choosing between the two, it's important to consider your health goals and what type of exercise you want to do. If you're looking for an intense workout that will give you results fast, running may be better for you.

Takeaway: There are many different benefits to both running and biking, so consider your goals and use the one that helps you best meet your goals.


We hope this article helped you to decide between cycling and running as your preferred exercise. Both activities have their pros and cons, but we encourage you to try both if possible so that you can see for yourself which one works best for what it is that motivates you.

If all the things above don't matter to you, we can give you one piece of advice: find a sport that makes you happy.

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