Want to win the battle of the bulge? Check out the health benefits of walking and cycling. When comparing the weight loss benefits of cycling vs walking, you might wonder what burns more fat walking or biking. Both are excellent and effective forms of exercise for weight loss, but which is superior as far as losing weight is concerned? Let’s find out!
Which is Better? Cycling vs Walking for Belly Fat
There is no straight answer to the question ‘Which is better for you, cycling or walking?’. Would you lose more calories by walking 5 miles or cycling 5 miles? There are several variables that could affect the answer this way or that.
The Variables in Cycling or Walking
What burns more calories walking or biking the same distance? The answer depends on the variables. Distance is just one of the factors. Keeping distance the same, other variables could tilt the scales in favor of cycling or walking.
- The number of gears on your cycle.
- Whether you are cycling or walking uphill, downhill or on a flat surface. Downhill would mean you lose fewer calories. ( Walking 5 miles flat will be more beneficial for weight control when compared to cycling 5 miles on a flat surface. Cycling 5 miles will take less time as compared to walking 5 miles, so the workout time is increased in walking).
- The type of surface you are cycling on. A walk on the treadmill, where you can increase speed, incline and so on will result in burning more calories compared to stationary biking.
- Your cycling and walking speed. For instance, brisk walking burns more calories when compared to slow biking. For two people with the same body weight, if A bikes at 5.5 miles per hour, he burns around 300 calories an hour, whereas if you walk at a brisk pace of 5 miles per hour, you lose 714 calories.
Tip: The ideal biking speed for weight loss would be around 12 to 14 miles per hour, which will burn around 200 calories an hour for an average sized person.
- Your body weight can be a major factor while considering cycling vs walking options. For a person with a larger body weight, strenuous walking could strain the joints and cause knee problems. Excess weight really does not matter much while cycling on plains.
Tip: For an aerobic effect, cycling is better, as you can reach the training threshold easily, whereas it is not practical or feasible to walk at a very fast pace.
Comparison Between Cycling and Walking
Advantages of Walking Over Cycling
- It is a safer mode of exercise. You are more in control and there is less likelihood of accidents. The risk of injury is more in cycling.
- When considering cycling vs walking, you do not need additional gear, such as helmets, a good cycle and so on. It is, thus, a more affordable option, as you just need a good pair of shoes.
- You can also fit in walking even within your daily work schedule. Just take the stairs, for instance, whereas biking requires you to access a bicycle and the outdoors.
Advantages of Cycling over Walking
- While considering cycling vs walking, the former helps lose calories faster.
- While considering walking and cycling health benefits, cycling helps in building muscles, such as glutes and hamstrings. Cycling tones your lower body and you gain muscle, whereas you’ll look pretty much the same with walking and might even start losing muscle mass as your weight decreases.
- Cycling has another advantage in the debate over cycling vs walking. You can cycle for several hours, thereby burning more fat, whereas you cannot cover that much ground with walking.
Tip: Find the accurate energy expenditure while exercising with the top fitness trackers for cycling.
- Cycling is a high intensity workout, as you can increase the speed and the incline while cycling.
- It works the lower body and if you wish you can also get an upper body workout by leaning forward. Walking, on the other hand, exercises the lower body exclusively, unless of course you carry weights or swing your arms vigorously.
The Lancet published the results of a study stating that cycling is the best exercise for losing calories.
Which is better, cycling or walking for belly fat? As far as burning calories is concerned, you can burn calories faster by cycling. For instance, a person who is 68 kgs can burn around 600 calories an hour by cycling for an hour, whereas he could only burn around 300 calories by walking for the same time. (Both at reasonably acceptable speeds). This is simply because cycling is a more strenuous or harder type of exercise and thereby wins the debate over cycling vs walking to reduce calories.
- If you’re wondering about cycling vs walking for weight loss, cycling increases hormones that suppress your appetite, in the short term. This helps in weight loss.
- Walking can also suppress appetite, but it is a gentler form of exercise and less intense, whereas cycling is more rigorous and has a better effect on reducing appetite.
Note: While cycling, you exercise harder and this pulls more blood from the gut, with more blood being supplied to your heart and muscles, so the digestive system remains abandoned temporarily. However, the cravings might kick in later on.
The Style Factor
- You feel like you’re flying in the air. This factor can keep you motivated to continue with the exercise.
- Biking includes snazzy outfits, gloves, vests, caps, helmets, glasses and so on. All of these are style components that are quite exciting and motivational.
- You can go at insanely high speeds that adds that whee factor to your exercise.
You May Like – Fat Trap: How to Avoid Putting on Those Extra Pounds
Both cycling and walking are great cardio exercises for losing weight. They are also suitable for all ages.
It ultimately depends on which form of exercise inspires you more. Incorporating both cycling and walking in your fitness regime seems to be the best idea. It will offer you variety, as both of them can exercise your full body and the blood pumping.
Your decision would also depend on your age, the road conditions, affordability, the kind of neighborhood, your body weight, physical abilities, convenience and so on. Cardiovascular exercises are excellent for fitness and losing weight, but you have to pick a suitable option and stick to it. Moreover, you must combine your cycling or walking with a healthy diet to lose belly fat and reduce weight.
The best option for you would be something that you enjoy, so that you do it consistently. Cycling and walking use different set of muscles. Whatever you opt for, wear the specified safety gear for your exercise.