To run or cycle? – that is the question!

Cyclists and runners

Both cycling and running are great forms of exercise - however we believe cycling may just swing it! We’ve highlighted the pro's of both sports, so have a read and see if you agree!

Benefits of cycling

1. Cycling improves mental health- Ride away the stress and boost your mood with the release of adrenaline and endorphins, either independently or by cycling as a group- expanding your social circle. Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which can reduce the chances of you experiencing several health problems such as depression and anxiety. In addition it can help minimise your risk of developing serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.       

2. Cycling encourages weight loss – Cycling of course burns calories, with research showing between 400 and 1000 calories can be burnt per hour- depending on the intensity. Cycling therefore burns body fat by raising your metabolic rate, ultimately increasing your cardiovascular fitness.

 

3. Cycling improves muscle strength – Cycling builds muscle, especially around the glutes, calves, quads and hamstrings. It not only helps to strengthen your bones, but cycling is not weight bearing which therefore means injury rates are lower. Additional benefits include increased flexibility, balance, stamina and improved joint mobility. As well as both improvements to your posture, coordination and navigational skills. Those suffering with osteoarthritis may find cycling an ideal form of exercise due to its low impact and so little stress is placed on your joints.

4. Cycling is easy!- Unlike many other sports cycling does not require a high level of physical skill therefore it’s aimed at anyone, at any age. You can also make your ride easier by using an electric bike with power- assisted pedalling, enabling you to climb them hills a little quicker. Cycling is a tailored sport in the sense that you have complete control over the intensity and duration of your ride. Cycling also saves time! You have the advantage of filtering past traffic, helping the environment with pollution levels and saving money on fuel. 

Benefits of Running

1. Quick – All you have to do is grab a pair of trainers and you're off! Limited equipment is required, as well as little preparation. 

2. Weather implications - Whether the sun's shining, the rains pouring or snow is falling, you can still go for a run! The weather should not control your running schedule!     

 

3. Raises your IQ- Running can lead to both improved focus and alertness. Research shows that exercise increases the production of key brain chemicals, which enables the lines of communication between the brain and body to develop. Running is therefore an ideal workout to boost your brain.

However, it must be noted that running is weight-bearing and therefore higher injury rates may occur, in contrast to non-weight bearing cycling. 

Additionally, looking and feeling good when running is important for many people. Yet, displaying your style whilst running is rather difficult as this can only be achieved through your outfit and additional accessories. Whereas cyclists can express themselves through not only their outfits but both their bike and helmet, enabling many creative opportunities.

Although both the advantages of cycling and running cross over, we still believe cycling wins the race!

But why not try a triathlon! Why stop at running and cycling, grab your goggles and get swimming! Combining all three sports will certainly challenge all of the muscles in your body and enable your skills and stamina to be improved.