FEELING GREAT: Comparing health benefits of running and those of cycling

Let’s get back in the saddle! Last week I wrote about the health benefits of cycling.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:00 am
Cycling is a good overall muscle workout as it uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
Cycling is a good overall muscle workout as it uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.

This time, I’m going to compare two of our most popular exercises: running and cycling.

We have all spotted runners and cyclists galore over the last year and lots of my staff here at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms regularly enjoy time doing them both.

You’ll feel a lot healthier if you vary your exercise habits and training or fitness plans and remain alert to the impact that doing the same thing night after night is having upon joints and muscles (it’s nearly always negative).

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This type of regular exercise can be as intense as you want – cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or if you are feeling unfit, but can be built up to a more intense physical workout.

Here are some facts on bike riding vs running…

Now let’s abolish a myth about bike riding: many people think that to have the same positive impact on your health as say going for a run, you have to do much more when riding a bike. I’ve found this confusion to be one of the most common objections when I suggest people should consider cycling.

It’s true that to get the endorphins and the feel-great rush you’re wanting from exercising, you do have to sit on your bike for a bit longer than if you were just going to head out for a run. However, cycling is a good overall muscle workout as it uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.

Someone who weighs approximately 12 stone will burn roughly 650 calories from doing an hour’s bike riding.

With a typical 20-minute run, you will probably be lucky to burn 300.

So, although it might not feel that way, you’re working just as hard, only much more safely in terms of the reduced impact on your knees and hips.

Something to think about. When the numbers stack up like this, you can see why more and more people aged 50+ are getting back on their bikes to keep healthy and feel and look great.

Do you enjoy cycling?

Maybe you cycle to stay active, cycle for a hobby, or you might even cycle to work?

We help lots of patients in the clinic that are struggling with aches and pains, but that love to cycle and are eager to get back in saddle… specially with the weather being so glorious right now.

For more tips and advice, get in touch for a FREE copy of my book The Healthy Habit. It is essential reading people aged 50+ in the North-East, and for anyone that would like to improve their own healthy habits. Please call 01429 866771.