Training & Nutrition - Whats better for overall health?
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12-26-03, 08:56 PM
ive been wondering...which is better for overall health: running or biking?
12-26-03, 09:06 PM
You know you'll never get a conclusive answer to this ?
Cyclists will tell you biking because it's easier on the body. You know, less stress on the joints & all. Runners will say running because it can be done on the sidewalk or a track thereby avoiding traffic.
12-26-03, 09:35 PM
i'll take the non weight bearing exercise every time. when they prescribe biking as rehab for knee and hip replacements and for other MCL and ACL injuries i'm going with biking.
12-26-03, 09:55 PM
after constantly biking for 4-5 months, i jump on the treadmill and couldnt run a mile. my stamina was pretty low considering all the biking. after running for couple of months i felt that my stamina was at all time high.
12-26-03, 10:02 PM
I'll sit on the fence on this one and say that a healthy balance of weight and non-weight bearing exercises is the perfect mix...
12-27-03, 12:38 AM
biking is definitely better for overall health.
however, i must say that running does wonders for your body, in terms of weight loss, and building aerobic endurance... you get much faster and much more dramatic results.
They are different.
When I run, I find that "loafing" is much harder to do. When I loaf when I am running, I am going SLOW. If I run at a reasonable pace, I get an intense aerobic workout. I believe it is much easier to get an intense workout running then cycling. It is also much easier to injure yourself running. Running is high impact and most people have only so many miles of running. The high impact also limits the amount of running one can do. A marathon is about the limit and you can not do that day after day. Also being high impact, running is not a suitable exercise for overweight individuals.
With cycling, it is harder to get an intense workout. Many people cycle without really pushing themselves. It is very easy to "loaf" while cycling. Cycling being low impact is also suitable for overweight individuals. Cyclists can really pump out the miles and the energy burn far in excess of what runners can ever even think of.
It is very easy to "loaf" while cycling.
Not on a fixed gear.
12-27-03, 08:33 PM
Running is good, it helps to increase bone density. Bicycling though provides less of these benefits. I do love cycling a lot, don't really like running but when it comes down to the facts, running does better. Definitely cycling gives you like long hours of workout but that is probably it. It's more possible for us to use our legs running than cycling in our daily lives. Cycling away from a dog?? Not unless you have a bike with you, and unless you are not wearing shoes, you should be fine.
Either way, there was a estimate that there is a 5:1 ratio, cycling to running. Where 5 miles of cycling is equivalent to running, only the aerobic part, not the bone-building part. However, I feel really messed up now... it's like I have forgotten how to run after cycling for so long, even though there are cycling and running days in my week. Cycling outweighs my running and now I really can't run fast.. God bless me please.
To balance it off, cycling is good, so is running. We should get in our regular doses of both, if you hate running, maybe you can try skipping rope, gets to build your bones too. hehe
12-27-03, 08:45 PM
However, I feel really messed up now... it's like I have forgotten how to run
Some of us, as we get a bit older, start having knee problems from the running. I did, they would get swollen and hurt. Therefore, I power walk - does not seem near so jarring to my knees.
Yes, I know what you mean about forgetting how to run. I started running on the treadmill (cushioned to prevent the jarring) a few weeks back just so I could get it in my memory again!
Have been increasing the running about a minute a week when I use the treadmill. Walk real fast (about 4.2 mph) and then go into a run for a short time. I am now doing 4 minutes of continuous running, and hope to get up to about 10.
I used to love running. would go for 7 miles or more (once did 14). Was never very fast, just enjoyed jogging slowly along.
Perhaps on the cushioned treadmill I can get some of that back!
Running is harder for me, but cycling is more fun. I do both. They're both healthier than sitting on the couch, watching Survivor, and eating Cheetos.
I can only run every other day without injury or severe leg fatigue, but I can go for a 2 hour mountain bike ride 6 days per week without issues. So, I alternate trail running and riding.
12-28-03, 12:35 AM
I can keep my heart rate up for 5 hours a day on the bike, but not on the run.
By the way......... what about swimming?
12-28-03, 01:48 AM
By the way......... what about swimming?
Oh yeah...swimming is very good for you. It works your stamina not to mention just about every other muscle in your body.
But i dont think everyone has access to a pool unless their gym is that swanky that it comes with a pool.
good for the soul. Better exercise than you might think.
Ah, another point on the which is better debate. It is pointless.
I recall an anecdote of a fitness guru having an argument with a gentleman who was obviously in superb shape. When asked how he maintained his fitness, the gent said "I play racket ball". Apparantly, he played a WHOLE BUNCH of racket ball. The guru could not believe that anyone could be in great shape without running so he kept questioning the gent and the gent kept saying "I play racket ball.".
The point being, that any form of exercise that you DO is far better then any form of exercise that you don't do. Also, quantity has a quality all its own. One can argue about the merits of various kinds of exercise, but I have seen people keep pretty fit doing all sorts of things. The main thing is to get out there and keep moving. It doesn't matter what you do, if you keep moving long enough, you will probably be in good shape. So do what you like.
12-28-03, 02:59 PM
since the original question was 'which is better for overall health'
i take the word overall to include:
-over the long haul
-to include risk/severity of injuries (knee,foot,etc)
-over all my life
i take the word health to mean:
-free of illness
-free from injury
-a lifestyle that i can endure for years and years
i'll concede the stamina/endurance part to running and i do run, but it is very hard on your body.
12-28-03, 07:37 PM
Running too can go on for the long run. It's probably more because of people having injuries that they do not go on for as long. Any sport so long as you ease yourself into it should let you have a long run of any sport. Strengthening yourself up and taking precautions to injuries, you should be fine.
Cycling definitely has a lower rate of injuries since your muscles don't get the damage from absorbing shockwaves running through your muscles when you pound the floor. Then again, if you do not get a proper fit on your bike, you probably have just as much injuries.
It comes down to how you approach the sport, true that running might not last as long, but we never do know that if you stick to lower mileage, it might just last you your entire life. You will definitely be much fitter than those couch potatoes, either way you would just be fine.
I really wonder if we are built to exercise, sure we can adapt, but probably we should not stick to only one form of exercise. It's a interesting question, we probably love our sport too much to ever think much about it.
01-02-04, 11:59 AM
Runners are much more likely to develop knee problems or muscle injuries because of the harsh movements. This damage can be reduced with proper shoes, good form, and a lot of easy jogs to build strength before ever going into a sprint on pavement.
While knee injuries are less common with cyclists, they do occur. I've been having slight pain in my left knee for months, after my saddle was a little low for a single track race. Cyclists can also have back/neck pain from the position, as well as hand injuries from holding the bars so long.
Another thing to consider is injuries from accidents, falls, etc. It is extremely rare to fall or crash while running, but quite common in cycling - and the results are typically worse. In XC running I've only seen one fall, which she immediately jumped up from, laughed, and kept on going. In cycling, I've seen many more crashes... and they typically don't get up as fast.
In the end, there is no "better" choice. They are two very different activities, and a preference depends on the individual person.
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