Cycling Vs. Running: Which One is Better for Cardio?

This is the age old question: what is the going to impact my cardiovascular more and provide me with the best overall workout?

It’s tough to answer without knowing the person asking the question, but since it’s asked quite a bit, we’ve decided to write an entire article about it to explain the differences and which one might be better for you personally to do.

So which is better and which should you do over the other for your primary cardio exercise?


Cycling is awesome. It takes a large amount of effort to push those pedals at high speeds, and then you also have to use more energy when going uphill. It burns a lot of calories, and you can even sit and watch TV while you’re doing it. What’s not to love?

In addition, since you’re in a seated position and not putting as much pressure on your joints and knees, it’s softer to do cycling than other cardio exercises.

On average, if you do a full hour of cycling at medium intensity, you’ll burn close to 400 calories, and that’s pretty solid.

Who should use cycling as a main cardio exercise? Well, basically anyone. But if you’re older or your knees aren’t as good as they used to be, this is your best shot.


Running is the ultimate cardio exercise for many, and it allows you to get a real good pump for your legs.

Running also requires the most amount of energy to do, as it’s nearly a full body motion. Therefore, this exercise burns the most calories and will burn fat at a more rapid pace.

But this extra fat burning power comes at a price. Running puts tremendous pressure on your knees, ankles, hips, and other key joint areas, and if you’re a serial runner who often does it, you may eventually slow down.

On average, with medium intensity, you can expect to burn roughly 700 calories per hour when running.

Which is Better?

Like I said, it depends on your body. But for most people, it depends on what they want to do. Cycling and running both burn plenty of calories.

But if you’re looking for maximum caloric burn and want to lose fat as fast as possible, running is most likely your best option.

Feeling a little lazier one day? Take a seat on the cycle and pedal your brains out while watching a sports game.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with either one. But the edge goes to running.

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