By Jeff Nexder
Getting in shape is no walk in the park, but perhaps that’s because walking in the park doesn’t burn many calories. If you’re serious about getting healthy, the key is to make the most effective use of your exercise time. Running and indoor cycling are two very popular options, and in fact both of these routines can help you to achieve your fitness goals, but the questions remains, which one offers the competitive edge you need?
Running is perhaps the oldest workout on Earth, and it still holds up as well as ever. Daily running can help you to burn calories, eliminate or prevent obesity, maintain a healthy heart, relieve stress and even alleviate depression. That’s because rigorous cardiovascular exercise results in the release of endorphins, which are pleasure signals from the brain. The number of calories burned during a run depends largely on the size of the runner and the amount of effort put forth, but according to research, 155-pound person running at 6mph can burn an average of 704 calories in an hour.
Spinning classes have become exceedingly popular over the past couple of decades, and it’s not surprising. This challenging workout—performed on stationary bicycles—provides all of the same benefits of running, but without the risks. While running places a lot of strain on the joints, indoor cycling is safe for just about anyone. According to experts, indoor cycling offers a comparable—and possibly even preferable—calorie-burning workout, with a 155-pound person burning an average of 739 calories per hour during a vigorous session. Indoor cycling also offers an appealing social element, as Spinning classes are great for making new friends and staying motivated in a structured environment.
Running places more stress on the body, which can mean greater potential for injury, but indoor cycling can get expensive if you don’t already possess a stationary bike or gym membership.
Find Your Perfect Workout Today
If you have never tried indoor cycling, find a class in your area today and see if it’s a good fit for you. If you’re interested in running, consider challenging yourself by training for a 5k, 10k or even a marathon. The important thing is that you get out there and be active. Start burning those calories today!
– Jeff Nexder has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California Riverside, and has been writing professionally for the past decade. His articles have appeared in publications as wide- ranging as Livestrong, The Houston Chronicle Business and the San Francisco Chronicle. He currently contributes content to Spinning.com. In his spare time, he enjoys working out and attending rock concerts.