Running and cycling both have health benefits; they help torch calories, build lean muscle mass, and promote weight loss and maintenance. Cycling, also known as biking, is one of the most popular leisure activities and transportation means.
And running is among the most practiced and popular sports worldwide. But should you choose cycling or running for belly fat?
The answer to cycling or running for belly fat will depend on which one you enjoy doing more. Both running and cycling help burn calories, improve heart health, and you can practice them as indoor and outdoor exercises. In general, you burn a similar number of calories when you run or cycle.
However, as with all physical activity, the actual calories your burn will depend on the workout’s intensity and duration. So to increase the number of calories you burn, you can either increase your speed, add hills or try interval training, changing between periods of speed and recovery periods.
Read on to discover cycling vs. running for belly fat, whether is running good for burning belly fat and how you can use cycling to reduce belly fat.
- 18 Amazing Benefits Of Using An Exercise Bike
- 10 Benefits of Running – What Does Running Do to Your Body – Science Backed
Table of Contents
Cycling or Running for Belly Fat
Cycling and running are the best and cheapest forms of exercise you can do to stay fit and healthy. They are both accessible, and you can incorporate both of them into your daily routine. For instance, you can ride to the shops, your workplace, or school.
Besides helping you burn belly fat, both cycling and running can help you reduce your risk of serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, depression, and some cancers, according to research.
The table below summarizes the calories burned in 30 minutes while running or cycling; as you will notice, losing belly fat is dependent on several factors: weight, type of exercise, intensity, and length. A combination of a healthy diet and physical activity is indeed the most effective way to lose weight and belly fat. If you want to stay fit and healthy, you need to be physically active regularly.
To help you burn calories faster, running is excellent exercise. However, neither running nor cycling works directly on belly fat; no physical activity does. Losing weight all over is the only way to burn fat around your belly. Cycling is also an effective workout to add to your fitness routine if you want to burn belly fat and attain your weight loss goals.
The main difference is running is high-impact, and cycling is low-impact exercise. In other words, as a low-impact exercise, cycling can be enjoyed by people of all ages, including young children and older adults.
Cycling and jogging will not help you lose belly fat if you do not change your eating habits. Running is also excellent for boosting your metabolism. Belly fat can also be linked to stress.
The table below shows the number of calories burned in 30-minute running or cycling:
|Activities||125-pound (56.69 kg) person||155-pound (70.30 kg) person||185-pound (83.91 kg) person|
|Bicycling, Stationary: Moderate||210||252||294|
|Bicycling, Stationary: vigorous||315||278||441|
|Bicycling: BMX or mountain||255|
|Bicycling: > 20 mph||495||594||693|
|Running: 5 mph (12 min/mile)||240||288||336|
|Running: 6 mph (10 min/mile)||495||360||420|
|Running: 10 mph (6 min/mile)||453||562||671|
Running vs. Cycling For Heart Rate
Performing cardio exercises, including running and biking, teaches your heart to pump even more efficiently in the long term. Doing exercises that raise your heart rate will help you burn fat faster.
Cycling not only boosts your heart rate but also can burn significant amounts of calories, according to health experts. Cycling consistently and regularly will help you burn calories faster, which means you will lose body fat, including your abdominal fat. Remember, having too much fat around the waist is harmful to health.
Maximize your calorie burning on a bike by heading uphill or adjusting the difficulty level on a stationary bike.
When you are running, try to train at 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. To determine the maximum rate, subtract your age from 220. If your heart rate drops below this, you might want to pick up the pace to get better results from your exercise.
See also: Optimal Fat Burning Heart Rate For Weight Loss
Running vs. Cycling Which One Builds More Muscle
Cycling can help you build muscle in your lower half, while running can help you develop stronger, toned muscles.
Running may also be better for toning muscles since you use your whole body and burn more calories while running.
Burning belly fat usually results from overall body fitness; therefore, you cannot pick where your body gains or loses fat; however, you can choose which muscles you build.
See also: 10 Pros and Cons of Running for Weight Loss – Science-Backed Studies.
Caloric burn Running vs. Cycling
Most of the time, the amount of calories you torch in running or cycling depends on the length of time and the intensity you spend doing them.
Generally, running burns more calories than cycling because it uses more muscles. But cycling is gentler on your body, and you can cycle longer or faster than you can run.
See also: Benefits of Exercise Bike Versus Treadmill – Which One Is Best for You?
Running vs. Cycling For Weight loss
In general, losing weight is the correct balance between the number of calories you consume (not too many or too few) and the number of you burn through exercising and regular physical functions.
The potential to lose weight by running or cycling will depend on which sport you enjoy the most, and consequently, you will perform consistently and longer. And most importantly, how you combine your fitness routine with healthy eating and other habits.
Both cycling and running suppressed appetite in young men found in a 2012 study. In other words, running and cycling may help control cravings and prevent overeating.
See also: Does Running Burn Fat: Helpful Running for Weight Loss Tips For Beginner.
Cycling or Running for Belly Fat?
To burn belly fat, you will need to burn more calories than you consume in a day, and both running and cycling can help you achieve this.
You can perform interval training with running and cycling to help you increase fat burn. For instance, you can include a five-minute warm-up into your interval training session, accompanied by one minute of vigorous cycling or sprinting, then two minutes of recovery or a lower-intensity workout. You would repeat this cycle for 20 to 25 minutes.
Adding strength training workouts to your running or cycling routine will help you torch belly fat.
Building muscle helps boost your resting metabolic rate, which maximizes fat burn, found a 2018 study issued in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Drinking water may significantly lose body weight and fat over time, found a 2012 study in overweight dieting women.
Regular cardiovascular exercise lowers your heart disease risk, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure and helps with weight loss or maintenance, according to the American Heart Association.
Is Running Good to Burn Belly Fat?
Running is one of the most accessible and effective calorie-burning exercises. In addition to burning calories fast, running improves lung capacity and cardiovascular efficiency.
Running can be richly rewarding, giving you higher physical, mental, emotional, and even social benefits than other forms of workouts as long as you do it properly. It is essential to learn the proper running technique and proper running because the high impact can be hard on the feet and joints.
Running is a high-impact activity, which means it brings a higher risk of injury than low-impact forms of exercise such as walking. Try mixing running with other activities such as weight training, rowing, cycling, hiking, and staying active most days of the week. Those who succeed in losing weight participate in 250 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Any aerobic activity performed at a high enough intensity for an extended period will help you burn belly fat. That includes running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and even dancing. Also, your diet plays a significant role in how much belly fat you will lose.
Women who added sprint interval training into their running program experienced a notable decrease in their body fat mass, waist circumference, and blood lipids, according to a study issued by Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. The study found that their body fat levels were reduced by about 8 percent in just six weeks.
See also: Here’s How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape – 12 Simple Tips.
Tips for Running to lose Belly fat:
- Sprint Training Intervals: Sprint training in intervals can significantly reduce your body fat overall.
- Proper Form: Make sure your posture is good and that you listen to your body, and don’t run to junk foods right after your workout.
- A clean Diet: (healthy eating – more fruit & veg than anything else) is also crucial in burning belly.
- Consistency: To lose belly fat, you will need to be consistent in your training, especially running. Running is a vigorous sport. It may not be easy to run every day or even every other day. However, you will not reap the benefits if you exercise only occasionally.
- Set SMART Running Goals: Here is an article to help set and reach your Running Goals.
Can You Lose Belly Fat by Cycling?
Similarly, with running, the number of calories you burned your bike depends on many factors, including your weight, fitness level, speed, and distance. For example, 150-pound individual cycling at 12 mph may burn around 540 calories in 60 minutes. However, if you are fit, your caloric spent will be lower because your body is more effective at using energy.
Remember, consistency, enjoyment, and intensity are key to burning more calories.
Sprint-interval cycling decreases body fat levels and increases endurance to a greater extent than moderate-intensity cycling, according to Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Studies showed that cycling for more than an hour and a half per week was associated with lowering body fat, weight, and waist circumference in clinical trials.
How Will Cycling Help Reduce Belly Fat?
- Consistency: When it comes to losing belly fat, consistency is vital. Whether you decide to run or ride your bike, you will need to be consistent with the type of exercise you adopted; you will see results by staying consistent.
- A clean diet: healthy eating – more fruit & veg than anything else) is also essential in burning belly fat.
- Stress-reduction activities in your fitness routine include meditation, deep breathing, and anything to reduce stress during the day.
See also: 32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast – Based on Science
Overall, cycling and running are among the two most efficient cardio exercises you can perform. Only you can determine whether cycling or running for belly fat depending on your health goals, any preexisting injuries or health conditions you have, your budget, and most importantly, what type of workout you enjoy more.
You can permanently lose belly fat by making a permanent change in your lifestyle:
- Move more
- Eat less.
- Cut the sugar
- Cut the carbs
- Drink green smoothies