What Burns More Calories Running or Biking?

There are those who take their running exercises seriously and can boast of incredible results – calorie-burning included – after some time of dedicated work on the track. There are also those who take cycling to heart, people who would never miss their biking routine each day.

These guys can also give great testimonies of how their engagement in constant cycling has kept them fit and helped them to reach their calorie-burning goals. Because of how much success has been recorded on both the running and biking sides, you might be having trouble choosing which exercise is better for you.

To be honest, you can always get the results you’re looking for from either of the exercises. If you pick running as your routine exercise, it’s just as good as also picking biking to be your routine exercise. It basically depends on your personal preference – maybe you think running makes you look cooler or cycling is more fun than running.

There are various analyses of both activities (running and biking) that are aimed at giving a comprehensive comparison of the two. Keep on reading as James from BikingBro.com will show you more in this article.

Detailed Breakdown of Both Activities

While both running and biking are done by millions of people across the world, both for competitive purposes and exercising – they are just hobbies for some people. There are great benefits that both activities will give you.

  1. Biking

Biking is a great outdoor (and sometimes indoor) activity that lots of people enjoy. There are many benefits that come with cycling. Even if you’re not an enthusiast of the exercise, you can still benefit greatly from it.

Aside from biking serving as a form of exercise or sport, it is also a means of daily transportation for lots of people globally. You can also join in on this utilization of bikes while enjoying the exercise-related benefits at the same time.

Depending on personal preference, timeframe available, and strength, you can decide to do short-spanned intensity cycling or wide-spread low-cadence cycling.

For those who want to enjoy the comfort of their home and exercise at the same time, you can adopt indoor cycling as a form of exercise. There are advantages, like protection from rain and sunshine, which come with cycling indoor.

Below is a quick outline of cycling miles per hour and the related number of calories burned:

  • 502 calories an hour when mountain biking
  • 236 calories an hour when riding for less than 10 miles an hour
  • 944 calories an hour when riding for more than 20 miles an hour
  • 590 calories an hour when riding for about 15 miles an hour
  • 708 calories an hour when riding for 17 miles an hour
  • 413 calories an hour when doing stationary cycling

When compared to running, cycling isn’t as straight forward. Running is natural and doesn’t require learning.

However, biking requires more training and equipment. There are also more possibilities of getting hurt while biking compared to when you’re running.

  1. Running

The equipment associated with running are easy to get. These include running shoes, proper leggings, sports bra, and adequate space to run within.

The very nature of running, as a form of exercise, makes it an efficient method of burning unwanted calories. Based on a person’s personal profile and gender specificity, calories are burned differently.

Females weighing averagely 60 kilograms lose about 472 calories in a 60-minute timeframe – this is achieved at a rate of 12-minute miles.

For those that want to strengthen their bones and prevent certain bone-related disease, running is a great option. This is due to the weight-specific nature of running.

For those who are also looking for ways to improve the health status of their heart, running is a good choice. This is because running gets your heart pumping and beating with a great rhythm.

Because of the amount of contact that’s constantly made between the ground and your foot, running may cause a number of painful after-effects in that region.

Just like most other exercises, it’s important for you to start with low-intensity muscle-engagement. If you’re just starting a particular exercise, you cannot go all out. Going all out as a beginner will only cause a lot of pain and unnecessary strain.

Start your running exercises slowly and then pick up the pace later on. You don’t have to schedule runs every day as a beginner. Start with a few days of the week and then gradually add more days to your running schedule. The hardness of the running path also determines how much stress is transferred into your limbs. Try to run along softer paths.

Running isn’t recommended for those who are plus-sized and are just trying to reduce their weight. It can pose risks of injury for people in this category. However, these individuals can begin with cycling exercises – even swimming.

What Else to Consider?

You should also ask yourself these other questions:

  • Budget

Clearly, you would have to spend more money if you want to choose cycling as a form of exercise. Compared to running, there’s a lot more to purchase – a bicycle and several other biking gears.

But based on how much you’re into running, there are also expenses associated with running. If you care so much for running as a form of exercise or as a sport, you can spend your money on high-end running kicks and professional-grade clothes.

Based on experience level and interest, you can save up some cash if you’re looking to choose between cycling and running.

As a beginner cyclist, you can choose to lend a bike from a friend before purchasing one later on. If you just want to pick the cheaper exercise between both running and cycling, you should go for running.

  • Conditions

For people that have chronic health conditions, this factor will determine whether they should take up cycling or running. Your health consultant will help you decide.

Generally, both running and cycling are great activities that work efficiently. Based on personal preference, interest, and strength, you can make a choice.


Both of these activities are great forms of exercise and they can help you achieve your body improvement goals. You should take note of the downsides that are associated with both running and cycling – like how cycling costs more than running.

You will also notice that you will do better at an exercise that personally interests you than one that doesn’t. Personal preference is key.

At the end of it all, what really matters is dedicating the right amount of time and work to whichever of the two exercises you choose.