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TOPIC: Walking vs. Biking

 
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May 14, 2012 1:23 PM
Alright MFP's! What is the better workout? Walking (and periodic jogging), or biking? I feel like biking is easier to do (aside from your bum aching for the first week or so), but do you think it's just as effective?
May 14, 2012 1:33 PM
Obviously it'll be different for everyone, but my own stats from back in January say that I burned around 34 calories a mile cycling, whereas I burn around 100 calories a mile on foot. However, my bike rides would have me doing 2 miles in 15 minutes, whilst I covered 1 mile in 20 mins when walking.

So, I could walk for an hour and burn 300 calories, or I could cycle for an hour and burn 272 calories. Not all that much different, at that level.

As a reference, I burned 167 calories per mile running today, so that's over 1.5 times what I burn when I walk.
Edited by runnercheryl On May 14, 2012 1:37 PM
  14644573
May 14, 2012 1:38 PM
I think MFP is pretty generous with the calories burned. When I go for walks with intervals of jogging, I feel like I've had a WAY better workout than hen I go for a bike ride. I think I cheat a little when I ride my bike. It's way too easy to coast if you get tired. Also the effort you have to put forth changes drastically depending on what gear you are in. I think walking is a better workout. There's no cheating, and the only change in effort is to switch from walking to jogging.
Have you tried using a heart rate monitor?
I only have a little cheep-o watch one, but it can give you a MUCH better idea of how good of a workout you are getting if you can know where your heart rate is during your walk/ride.
  8647135
May 14, 2012 1:41 PM
It all depends how much effort you're putting into each, how much wind resistance thre is if biking outdoors (I can bike the exact same route but burn a significant amount different depending on how windy it was) how hilly the route is, etc.

Why not do a little project, choose a route and bike at the speed and endurance you feel comfortable with and see how it compares to your walks...of course this will only work if you have an HRM though. But I am pretty sure biking is the better work out for me.
  58501
May 14, 2012 1:43 PM
Generally speaking walking is going to give you more "bang for your buck"
May 14, 2012 1:44 PM
It's all a matter of heart rate (up to a certain point). If your heart rate is higher biking, you'll burn more calories biking than if you spend the same amount of time walking or jogging. It might be worth it to invest in a heart rate monitor, that's what I did.

For me personally, I have found that they are a pretty even match. I live in an area with a lot of hills though.
May 14, 2012 1:47 PM
QUOTE:

Alright MFP's! What is the better workout? Walking (and periodic jogging), or biking? I feel like biking is easier to do (aside from your bum aching for the first week or so), but do you think it's just as effective?


Depends on how high you get your HR, and which allows you to do that for the length of time you desire and have available, and which allows you do to something the next day again.

Biking is great on the joints, and hills makes it automatic intervals if you press up them, and recover on downside. Pushing off hard from a stoplight/sign in partial intervals too.
So once your bum gets used to it, you can do it the next day.

It's only easier if you make it so, it can actually be much harder than walk/jog interval routine.

I can easily burn 800 cal/hr on outdoor bike ride, once I get out to the country roads.
May 14, 2012 1:47 PM
Although this may not be of concern for you, for a lot of people (especially women of a certain age!) it's important - weight-bearing exercise is an important factor in slowing the loss of bone density. And jogging/walking is weight-bearing, but biking isn't.. So for me I stick with the weight-bearing alternative, and benefit my health 2 ways instead of just one!
May 14, 2012 1:48 PM
I enjoy both walking and biking, but I have to say that I get a better workout while I am biking.

Now, it IS going to vary with the speed of the bike, flat land vs. rolling hills, and even the type of bike, as road bikes just go faster than hybrids (less resistance with those skinny tires). Also must consider wind!

However, I keep myself motivated by tracking my speed with a spedometer and I challenge myself to ride at specific speeds, trying to break my personal records for timing and average speed of my favorite routes, etc. I also enjoy the wider variability of scenery that I find while riding.

Walking is fine, too, but I don't see as much, and it is too easy for me to slow my pace down if I am tired or if I am walking/talking with someone else.
  534154
May 14, 2012 1:50 PM
I do both and I prefer biking because my perceived exertion is lower, meaning for the same heart rate it doesn't feel as tiring. That's likely due to the no-impact nature of cycling versus walking and jogging. Thus, I can run my heart rate up to 80% of max and sustain it without getting out of breath, while doing the same thing while walking/jogging is rather uncomfortable. When I bike my limiting factor seems to be lactic acid in my legs. Of course, I go all out and average 17 - 20 MPH on the flats.

The best exercise is the one you can do for long periods of time and consistently. Find one you like and do it every day.
  8183594
May 14, 2012 1:50 PM
I run and cycle on alternate days, and love both. But I find cycling to be the far better choice to burn a lot of calores. I can burn 650 to 750 calories an hour cycling (per Runkeeper, not MFP, at around 15 mph) and can ride for three or four hours. This is serious fitnes riding, not leisurely around the block stuff. My more serious cycling friends ride farther and faster and burn far more calories than I. I get a good burn running but an hour or so is all that I can do. I also like to hike, but it does not compare to the burn I get cycling. So I don't choose either or, I go for both and. But for burning calories and losing weight nothing comes close to the results I get from cycling. It takes some work to get conditioned to the point where one can ride at speed for an extended time, but once fit and conditioned it is so much fun and so much easier than other forms of exercise. I highly recommend cycling - in addition to walking/hiking/running.

PS: I noticed someone above mentioned weight bearing exercise for promoting bone density. I agree and this is my main reason for running. I am turning 60 soon (shudder) and bone density is suddenly important. It is even more important for women. So again, I recommend doing both. Longer bike rides and shorter runs are a fantastic health and fitness combination.
Edited by johnwhitent On May 14, 2012 2:38 PM
  5809008
May 14, 2012 1:52 PM
I personally think biking is better. You can get your heart rate up and you can burn more than walking if you work hard at it. Plus your getting a great leg work out. :p I wish my bike worked.
May 14, 2012 1:52 PM
Maybe it depends on the person. When I walk, I'm no where near the intensity I bike at. For me, my calorie burn would be walk<swim<bike<run, but having done a stress test where they kept upping the incline and I walked at a hard pace, I can see that walking can be very high intensity.
May 14, 2012 1:54 PM
What kind of biking? How intense? What kind of bicycle? When I get on my hybrid bike and ride 50 miles in hills, I KNOW I'm burning some serious calories. I enjoy pushing my limits on my bike because the scenery goes by faster, so I know I'm getting a more intense workout than walking, which I don't enjoy as much.

In my case, it also replaces driving to work, which with a 13 mile each way commute would be impractical any other way. So for me biking is 100% more effective under those conditions. Biking also tends to be a little easier on the joints and the feet.

However, a BRISK walk burns a lot of calories, requires a lot less equipment, and if you carry some weights you can easily engage a few more muscles by doing a little arm-lifting at the same time. It's also easier to walk with a friend because any kind of distance cycling is generally done on the road where you have to single-file.

More importantly, which one do you ENJOY more? Whatever you enjoy you'll tend to want to do, and any exercise you do is more effective than the one you don't do.
Edited by myfitnessnmhoy On May 14, 2012 1:56 PM
  20407831
May 14, 2012 1:55 PM
I think it's whichever one you are more likely to do. I do better with biking because my feet hurt. On the other hand, it can be more convenient to walk, since you don't need do do anything other than stand up and get going! However, biking can be done at a range of intensities,whereas intense walking become jogging.
Edited by Espressocycle On May 14, 2012 1:57 PM
  10021161
May 15, 2012 6:36 AM
First an foremost, you need to do what is best for you. If you have ailments that prohibit you from one thing to the next then you need to listen to your body....i.e. if the knees hurt then you shouldn't jog. Then you need to pick something that you enjoy and will actually do. There is no point picking one vs the calories for the effectiveness if ultimately you don't do it anyways. Then, finally, it all depends on you. Some people will burn more than someone else will in a particular exercise. Then it's also important to know the right intensity you particularly need to work at (heart rate training) in order to burn the right type of calories (you obviously want to burn your fat storage instead of from all of your carbs which in turn will deplete your everyday energy or muscle cause then you will burn less calories throughout the day).
March 20, 2014 12:47 PM
I walk the same 3 mile route every morning. A few small hills, but I don't loose my breath on my walks. I'm 54 and I have not biked in a long time. I think biking would work out muscles that you don't use in walking. Exercising is supposed to be fun. There are some great "Rails to trails" here in Florida, and I think I would enjoy riding a bike further on them for an hour than just walking.
If you are going to bike, do it at a good brisk pace, you are not out on a leisure joy ride. Walking is great, and biking is great. Its nice to have a little variety.
March 20, 2014 1:08 PM
QUOTE:

I run and cycle on alternate days, and love both. But I find cycling to be the far better choice to burn a lot of calores. I can burn 650 to 750 calories an hour cycling (per Runkeeper, not MFP, at around 15 mph) and can ride for three or four hours. This is serious fitnes riding, not leisurely around the block stuff. My more serious cycling friends ride farther and faster and burn far more calories than I. I get a good burn running but an hour or so is all that I can do. I also like to hike, but it does not compare to the burn I get cycling. So I don't choose either or, I go for both and. But for burning calories and losing weight nothing comes close to the results I get from cycling. It takes some work to get conditioned to the point where one can ride at speed for an extended time, but once fit and conditioned it is so much fun and so much easier than other forms of exercise. I highly recommend cycling - in addition to walking/hiking/running.

PS: I noticed someone above mentioned weight bearing exercise for promoting bone density. I agree and this is my main reason for running. I am turning 60 soon (shudder) and bone density is suddenly important. It is even more important for women. So again, I recommend doing both. Longer bike rides and shorter runs are a fantastic health and fitness combination.



What John said. I usually cycle and average about 19 mph and my Garmin says i've burned around 900 or more calories per hour. Of course it varies per person but I've found that biking is better for your body and knees. I really hate running and I always get shin splints. I guess my feet are too big my body, lol.
Edited by rhd1607 On March 20, 2014 1:09 PM
March 20, 2014 8:47 PM
I rather bike than walk any day. Better calorie burn, less stress on the body, and you can't beat getting out and exploring, while exercising! Ride every other day and try to ride between 15 to 20 miles.
  58521273
March 21, 2014 4:16 AM
I definitely feel the burn more when biking. It might be because my routes are pretty hilly

Do whichever activity you like the most or just alternate between them.

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