Running vs Cycling: Difference and Comparison

Fitness is a significant goal in most of our life. Fitness can be defined as the condition of being physically healthy and strong components of fitness are endurance, strength, flexibility and balance.

To achieve this people may take on different fitness activities. Unlike other fitness pursuit aerobics like running and cycling will not cost much.

Key Takeaways

  1. Running is a weight-bearing exercise that builds stronger bones and muscles, whereas cycling is a low-impact activity that puts less stress on joints.
  2. Cycling allows for a higher calorie burn rate due to continuous pedaling, while running burns calories slower.
  3. Running is more accessible as it requires minimal equipment, but cycling needs a bicycle and safety gear.

Running vs Cycling

The difference between running and cycling is running is a high impact activity but cycling is low impact activity. Both exercises can yield plenty of health benefits. Running burns more calories than cycling. Cycling helps in building muscles. 

Running vs Cycling

People run for a different purpose. One such purpose is fitness.

It involves the entire body and improves the cardiovascular system. Some people prefer to join running clubs as it is beneficial in numerous ways.

It is an ideal opportunity to make new friends and to hold them accountable which can make them more disciplined in running. Cycles were introduced in the 19th century.

Though cycling is a fitness activity, people use cycling as a means of transport. It is effective as it reduces pollution and it reduces the consumption of fossil fuels that are harmful to our environment.

It is also a sport. People who ride cycles are known as a cyclist.

Comparison Table

MeaningRunning is an action of moving from one place to another by the rapid movement of the foot. The speed of running varies from jogging to sprinting.Cycling can be also known as biking. Cycling can be used for transport and also for sports.
Focus areaThe primary focus area is the cardiovascular system but it involves the entire bodyCycling also ameliorates the cardiovascular system. The secondary focuses are glutes and calves.  
Joint impactRunning causes high impactCycling causes low impact
Burning Calories Running can burn from 566 to 839 calories on an average of an hour.Cycling can burn 498 to 738 calories per hour.
RequirementThe basic requirement for running is running shoes but when it is done indoors, a treadmill is needed in addition to running shoes.A bike and helmet are required but in the case of indoor, a stationary bike is essential.

What is Running?

Running is a form of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Running can be undertaken in two different ways either outdoor or on the treadmill.

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Both are equally beneficent. But running outdoor is a little more beneficial than on the treadmill, as it lacks air resistance.

The key motive in running is physical fitness and weight loss. Consistency is a key in fitness.

Running three to five days a week with the duration of twenty minutes at the beginning and gradual improvement to sixty minutes can make the weight loss dream come true.

Running can burn a lot of calories but to lose weight one must burn more calories than he has consumed.

There are plenty of benefits other than weight loss. Running fifty miles a week can increase good HDL cholesterol.

Studies found that long-distance runners had a nearly 50%reduction in high blood pressure. Running helps the heart to work efficiently than the non-runners.

It stimulates muscles that make the runner has a more defined, cut and leaner physique. Running can stamp out depression.

According to International and public health, running could be an effective way to overcome many mental health challenges but it’s not medicine for everything mental problem. Running can build resilience.

People who run regularly can tackle the tough situation in their personal life and career as they do harder things on the run. British Journal of Sports Medicine scientists found that the runners have a 27% low risk of early death.

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What is Cycling?

Cycling can be taken by people of any age group. It does not require any physical skills.

It increases muscle strength and flexibility. Steady cycling burns about 300 calories per hour it may differ depending on the intensity.

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Research has shown that the cycle can reduce the chance of bowel cancer. The risk of developing diabetes can be reduced by cycling more than thirty minutes per day.

It can strengthen the immune system. Cycling builds muscles around the calves, glutes, and hamstrings.

As it is not weight-bearing, the risk of injuries rate is lower compared to running, on the other hand, it does not do as much to increase bone density.

Research at the University of Georgia studied people between the age of twenty to eighty-five and found that over 35 years, men and women drop-in fitness by 2 per cent and per cent respectively

that resulting in the development of sleep problems.

Cycling can improve sleep quality. Cycling can increase blood flow.

Studies found that cyclists’ blood flow increases by 28 per cent in the brain and 70 per cent in other specific areas during exercise. In some areas, blood flow remained up to 40 per cent even after exercise.

Technical elements such as climbing can boost confidence.


Main Differences Between Running and Cycling

  1. Running is a high impact exercise but cycling is a low impact exercise.
  2. Running can burn more calories than cycling. The research found that fat burning is 28% higher during running than it was in cycling.
  3. Running is a weight-bearing exercise whereas cycling is not a weight-bearing exercise.
  4. The risk of injury rate is higher in running when compared to cycling.
  5. Running involves the entire body but in cycling, the lower body is engaged more than the upper body.
Difference Between Running and Cycling



Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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9 thoughts on “Running vs Cycling: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I think this article does a great job of explaining the differences between running and cycling and the health benefits of both. The article has underlined the pros and cons of both activities, which opens up a debate on which one is better. I’m still not sure which one is the best option for me, but I will consider all the factors mentioned in this article.

    • It’s true that this article does highlight both the pros and cons of running and cycling. I think one of the most important things to remember is that the best exercise is the one that you enjoy, and this article provides all the information necessary to make a well-informed decision about which activity to pursue.

  2. I applaud the author for emphasizing that consistency is the key in fitness as it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But I would argue that there are other forms of exercise that are equally beneficial as running and cycling. Nevertheless, the article is very informative about the benefits of running and cycling and the differences between the two.

  3. I find it quite amusing that the benefits of cycling have been emphasized, yet the article also highlights the cons of cycling. Similarly, the benefits of running are outlined, but so too are the drawbacks. It’s good to see balanced information, but someone still needs to decide which activity will get them the best fitness results.

  4. The article is very informative about the benefits of running and cycling. It’s great to know the differences between these two kinds of exercise and how they can complement each other. Whether someone prefers running or cycling, there are clear advantages to each, which makes it a win-win situation no matter what.

    • I completely agree. I think that the article does a great job of emphasizing the benefits of both activities and the need for a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always been more of a runner, but after reading this, I might consider cycling as it seems to have a lot fewer injuries. Thank you so much for sharing this information.

    • Running and cycling are really the best way to keep the body and mind healthy. I found the benefits of running and cycling in great detail in the article. It provides a lot of good information and answers most of the questions that people might have when considering these activities. Really good read!

  5. The article is interesting as it presents a comparison between running and cycling. However, I think it’s important to consider other exercises as well, as those who may not be able to run or cycle would find it useful to know about alternative activities. It provides good information, but it would be more comprehensive if it included other fitness regimens.

  6. The article is informative but seems rather biased towards running. It’s good that it provides a comparison of both activities, but it should present a more neutral stance and not favor one over the other. In any case, whether you prefer running or cycling, both are excellent exercises with numerous health benefits.


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