You Should Be Running Or Cycling?
Some of the healthiest people in the world are runners and cyclers. Both are extremely beneficial. To determine which one is best for you would depend on your personal situation. Both can also be grueling, taxing sports that require one’s all, but the perks usually outweigh the pain. Before deciding whether or not to participate in these activities, it’s worth asking this question: what can running and cycling do for you?
Cycling – The Pros
Cyclists are a tightly knit community. Whether you reside on long country roads, dirt trails, bike paths, you’ll find them pedaling away. For so many people to be participating in cycling, it’s evident that they’re doing it for a reason; what is that reason?
The answer is that cycling provides massive physical and mental benefits. According to Harvard, the prolonged exertion of cycling is excellent for your aerobic capacity, which helps strengthen your lungs, improves efficiency of oxygen to your muscles, and makes you feel better as a whole. In addition to the aerobic benefits, cycling will help you build muscle, primarily in your legs. This is a muscle group in which many are lacking. By cycling, you’re doing yourself two favors; building endurance, and strengthening a commonly neglected area. Cyclists also enjoy fat burning as a result of the activity. This muscle tone and fat loss makes for the ideal body composition.
Cycling also wards off disease and joint issues. Coronary heart disease risk can be decreased by as much as fifty percent. Biking decreases injuries in the following ways:
- Putting weight on the pelvis instead of the feet
- Decreasing strain on joints
- Strengthening muscles around the joints
On top of all that, cyclists are in a better state of mind. Cycling has been shown to improve not only physical health, but mental health as well. If you don’t have access to roads or a bike, don’t worry; the benefits of riding a stationary bike are virtually the same as the ones you’ll reap from cycling on the road.
Running– The Pros
Running carries many of the same benefits of cycling, although it has some of its own exclusive perks. Runners, particularly those who go longer distances, are some of the fittest people on the planet. By running, you can build aerobic endurance while losing weight, making it a perfect supplement to any exercise program. According to Runners World, the weight loss properties of running are still working even after you’re done. In a study done in runners vs. walkers, the runners burned 90% more calories. Running isn’t just a weight loss tool, however; it also improves other important areas of life such as stress, sleep, and mood. Running also puts you into the same ideal state of mind as does cycling. Not only does it promote longer life, but happier as well.
There are two key benefits that make running appeal to a great many people; it’s inexpensive, and you can do it anywhere. A decent pair of running shoes will run you from $50 to $150, depending on your preference. Fortunately, they’ll last a good while, and are one of the only items needed to run. While other upgrades such as watches, technical clothing and sports drinks are available, they are not necessities. Anyone on a low budget can still afford to enjoy the benefits of running. The availability of places to run provides a great freedom for runners as well. Simply find a trail, road, sidewalk, or beach, and you’re ready.
Running – The Cons
Like any sport, running has its downfalls as well. The constant pounding on the ground does pose a risk of stress fracture, shin splints, and other overuse injuries. Runners can turn an ankle if they run on uneven ground. People with joint issues or weaker bone structure may want to be careful. Also, if you are a bodybuilder or someone who needs to keep up a certain heavier weight, longer-distance running may not be your ideal workout.
So Are You A Runner Or A Cyclist?
As you can see, the mutual benefits of running and cycling are longer, healthier life and an enhanced state of mind. Both aid in weight loss very well, increase your overall endurance, and decrease your risk of heart disease. Which should you do? If you’re someone who is prone to injuries, cycling would be a great pick for you. If you’re on a budget but still looking for a highly available and beneficial exercise plan, give running a try. In either case, the result will be a healthier, happier you.