Is Cycling King of All Cardio?

HALLAH Tribe! In current events, everyone is either riding their bikes or planning to buy one. From notable celebrities to communities, cycling is a positive trend that has garnered a lot of mainstream attention since lockdown.

But is cycling truly the ultimate cardiovascular exercise, or just another fad? Let’s measure it up.

Cycling vs Running

Running has been glorified in movies such as Rocky; understandably so, it is a form of anaerobic exercise that increases your physical health and is an effective fat burner.

Running does burn more calories than cycling. Running is a full-body workout that incorporates more muscle movements, engaging more of the core muscles; thus, it burns more calories in general and is more effective at losing body fat. But, the number of calories burnt heavily depends on the amount of time spent and intensity performed.

Although running is a faster way to burn calories, it increases your chances of injury due to the accumulated stress and intensity towards the body along with its high impact nature. Cycling, on the other hand, provides a low-intensity alternative which reduces the chances of injury and can help you burn more calories in the long run. Since cycling is much gentler on the body, it allows you to cover longer distances for even more time, thus burning even more calories!

Meanwhile, both running and cycling are much more intense when done uphill, also as a brownie point, going uphill tremendously reduce the impact and chances of injury too.

Cycling vs Swimming

Both cycling and swimming are low impact cardio exercises, causing minimal stress towards our body; thus, injuries will be the least of your worries. But just because they are low impact doesn’t mean they can’t give a robust workout that will leave you gasping to catch a breath.

Swimming can seriously upgrade your upper-body game by working on your shoulders, back, chest and arms. Swimming regularly can give you that tapering V shape body that many desire. Swimming also has a variety of strokes such as backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly; which you could always alternate and keeps things interesting so as not to feel monotonous while burning those calories. But one small problem – the learning curve. Swimming isn’t exactly welcoming towards beginners as performing the perfect stroke requires a steep learning curve which takes time to master.

On the other hand, cycling does wonders to your lower body! It works your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves; you could even gain lean muscle mass by increasing resistance while riding your bike. In addition to that, cycling also offers a bone-strengthening effect, while swimming lacks the bone bearing weight.

Both swimming and cycling work different sets of muscles, but if you wish to build an all-round muscularity for both upper and lower body, then you could try alternating between cycling and swimming as they complement each other very well.

Cycling vs Jump Rope

Ever had to go on a diet and end up cheating just because you felt hungry? Happens way too often, and luckily jump rope can fix that. According to ‘Healthline.com’, studies from Japan suggests that exercises which involve horizontal movements may suppress the feeling of hunger. Researchers involved have also added that as we move up and down, it changes the ghrelin levels, which are the hormones responsible for making us feel hungry.

In addition to that, if you travel a lot, jump rope is a perfect option for you. Jump Rope is like a mini gym that can accompany you everywhere. Also, it requires less space, meaning that you could exercise almost anywhere.

Sounds perfect right? But it is still a high impact exercise that may cause stress towards the knees, especially if you’re rather heavy. On the other hand, cycling is much more friendly and less taxing towards the knees as it is a low impact sport. You can cycle around for hours, without hurting your knees and still sweat a lot. Jump rope is also a stationary exercise, whereas cycling has its thrill when you explore new routes and terrains.

Going by pure numbers, cycling burns 450-750 calories/hour, running burns 636-816 calories/hour, swimming burns 590-931 calories/hour and jump rope burns 730-1090 calories/hour. So which one is the best?

It all comes down to what your goal is. If you aim to have all-round health, whichever you enjoy the most is the best choice as it will help you stick around longer. We recommend to mix things up with all the cardio for great overall fitness; after all, variety is the spice of life.

But if you are looking for a low impact workout that will enable you to go the distance on the ground, then cycling is the absolute king and a trend worthy of hopping on, literally.

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