The best way for you to progress will look different from what I decide is a great way for me to progress. Whatever form of exercise you choose depends on your physical abilities and your goals. And remember to ask yourself, do I need to choose this forever or is it a seasonal change?
better for your health
Both cycling and running are great for your cardiovascular health. Both offer you an aerobic workout and will get your heart pumping. If you suffer from a chronic health condition you will have to check with your doctor before you progress. The key difference here would be the intensity, distance, and power you put into a workout.
When I go jogging (slow conversational pace) or for a casual bike ride(enjoy the scenery), I know that both are good for my heart health. If and when I want to ‘workout’ and I want to increase my jogging pace to a running pace then I know that I will be working my heart harder. This is logical. But, I always know that they are good for me, no matter the intensity, distance, or power I put into them.
We know that we all need an exercise routine TO GET FIT and we watch what we eat (some call it dieting;) for WEIGHT LOSS. A healthy diet will always assist your fitness goals and visa-versa. They work hand-in-hand.
Any physical activity will help increase your calorie burn. Running is more intense, so you will burn more there. You will burn fewer calories on a 30-minute cycle than you would on a 30-minute run. The number of calories burned could be equally burned if you increase the length and intensity of cycling.
Cycling vs running: which is better for your fitness or health? Both. That is the simple answer but the time needed to spend on each one will vary to gain the same beneficial results.
cycling vs running – how much time?
Longer periods of time spent in any training session will increase the number of calories burned and cardio benefits. But if you have 30 minutes at your disposal and there are no physical or health factors influencing your decision, you will gain more benefits from running than you would be cycling.
But, the amount of time spent exercising may also have a negative effect if you have not taken all your personal issues into account. If you are able to join a club or a gym, then you may have the benefit of gaining a personal trainer. They and your doctor are two excellent sources to get great advice.
If you do not have any underlying issues, listen to your body and look at your body and you can come up with a good training program. I use the Garmin training plans and if I stick to them, they work. I do not have any underlying health issues, but I have to always increase the distances and intensity of running and cycling SLOWLY. Trying to do too much too soon has caused me numerous niggly/minor injuries.
My goals are simple. I am an average woman in her late 50ies just wanting to have fun, stay fit and enjoy food. I try to intersperse my running with some cycling so that I can enjoy the benefits of an entire whole-body workout. My entire body will benefit when I include swims in too, that is why I love doing triathlons now. Swimming is great for working the upper body and also the lower half of my body.
As you decide what training sessions to do then remember to have a big picture of yourself, and your goals, and remember to enjoy the workout. So, whether you cycle or run, know that they are both excellent choices.
which is better for your fitness or health?
Consider the following:
- do you have back issues? Will pounding it out on the roads exacerbate that and would switching to cycling for a season help you?
- shin splints? A friend of mine has often suffered with this and what she had to change were her running shoes! What about you? If your shins are playing up and you want to keep up your fitness go for a cycle, or better yet go for a swim.
- overuse injuries? Do you have the same problem coming back time and time again? For me, it has been when I decide to go for a long run too soon because I know that long distances will help me build my endurance. If I do not follow my guided Garmin training program and I extend the distance too soon, I always get pain in my heel. When I dial it back and build slowly, then all the pain goes away. When will I learn?
Know that both cycling and running will continue to build my leg muscles and will give me some muscle soreness. That is good because
there is a difference between muscle soreness from a good workout and when you have done too much. Listen to your body.
Cycling is an excellent choice when you are wanting to do a low-impact workout. Running is high impact! A lower-impact workout is great when you are wanting to give your joints a rest. I also have to consider bone health and I know that running helps to keep my bones healthy. The interchange between runs and cycles keeps my bones healthy.
I am not a marathon runner. I have even tried three half marathons and they are not for me. Know what is your thing! I love running up to 10 kilometers and now because of triathlons, I am enjoying cycling and swimming too. I have even tried using a stationary bike and I know, it is also not for me either.
cycling vs running: which is better for your fitness or health?
Both are GOOD.
Adapt them to reach your goals.
Go slowly to build your stamina and abilities.
Eat well to complement your fitness goals.
Do one or do both.
Listen to your body.
Enjoy running and/or cycling.
Do what you can to stay healthy.
You will love this journey towards fitness. It does not matter how old or how young you are. It does not matter how skinny or how fat you are. Everybody starts somewhere and builds on that. Dust off your running shoes, dust off your bicycle, go outside and enjoy the process of improving your health as you build your fitness.
It has taken me 10 years to build, and I am fit. I am an average woman who just loves to run, cycle, and swim. In the beginning, I was not able to run for 1 minute. It may not take you ten years, it may be far shorter or far longer, but if you start today you will be in better shape than yesterday.
Run or cycle, both are good. This healthy lifestyle does not have to be restrictive, professional, or overwhelming. Always remember, these are your personal choices. But by doing this you will have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and great things will happen as you reap the benefits of cycling and running.