3 reasons to choose cycling over running

January 20, 2015

Running is the most popular activity to burn extra calories, although cycling may actually be a better choice for a variety of reasons.

3 reasons to choose cycling over running

1. Impact

Every time your feet make contact with the ground, a force multiple times your weight is sent hurtling through your body, making running a very high impact sport.

  • Experienced runners are accustomed to these forces because their joints, muscles and ligaments have strengthened over time and can absorb the impact more effectively.
  • If you're overweight, and your knees and other joints are not used to running, launching straight into a running regimen is a sure way to injure yourself.
  • Cycling involves little to no impact, while strengthening your legs and back.

2. Less muscle damage and soreness

The impact from running and the way in which the muscles are forced to contract leads to extensive damage to muscles and associated inflammation and soreness.

  • Recovery time is much longer, and the body is placed under far more stress.
  • Cycling causes a vastly lower level of damage and soreness, which means you'll be ready to exercise again much sooner and will be less likely to become injured.

3. More control

You must exercise at the correct intensity to effectively burn fat stores. Contrary to popular belief, this does not involve lung-burning bursts in vast pools of sweat.

  • You'll be glad to learn that the fat burning intensity is actually a fairly gentle one. Sixty to 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate is perfect.
  • It's much easier to regulate this effort and remain within your target heart rate while cycling because you can cruise when necessary, especially going downhill.

Running is an extremely high-impact activity with an associated high risk of injury, and isn't the most efficient way of burning fat for most people. When picking a new form of exercise, there are a few reasons why cycling is a good choice.

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