I have been an avid cyclist, as well as an avid jogger at different points in my life. I have gotten an extreme amount of benefit from both. This article is my personal experience in comparing these two sports, in particular for those looking to take up a form of exercise. I’d recommend either one as a great way to stay in shape and feel good about yourself and your life. However which one I would pick at which time, would depend on the current circumstances of my life.
The Benefits of Both Cycling and Jogging
Both cycling and jogging are good for the heart provided you do them regularly for at least 30 minutes each. They are also great for your cholesterol level and just your overall health in general. You look and feel great! Look at someone who jogs or bikes regularly for the last 20 years and you will usually see someone who looks a lot younger then their age, unless they have abused themselves in other ways, including over exposure to the sun. Both sports also do a wonderful job at clearing the head, and get your attention off the problems of the day.
The Unique Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is one of those sports that has very little negative draw backs to the body. Most sports do give some wear and tear in the long run, including the constant pounding of your heel to the ground or cement that comes with years of jogging. For this reason, if you do jog, it is better to choose natural surfaces like forest trails and wear good shoes, but you still have to be a little careful. With cycling you don’t have to worry about this. The smooth fluid motions that come with peddling are not a problem.
Cycling also works as a form of transportation. In other words, you don’t just get exercise, you can actually go somewhere while getting exercise. This is helpful for those of us that are too busy to exercise regularly. You just ride your bike to the post office, corner store, or wherever else you have to go and get your daily chores done at the same time.
Cycling also allows you to see the countryside or explore new areas more easily. It allows you to go to work, join riding groups and get into bicycle maintenance if that is your interest. The whizzing by of the scenery is also just plain fun.
The Unique Benefits of Jogging
Although statistically there are equal health benefits to both cycling and jogging, I personally have never felt better after pushing myself on a long run. It gets your heart really pumping in a way that you can’t do easily on a bike. There is also something very natural about just using your body, and jogging through the trails of a forest. You break a sweat more easily and require less gear. A bike can break down and so can your body. With jogging, you only have to worry about your body. I do not have medical evidence to back this up, but based on my life experience, I would say jogging keeps you at your optimal weight level better, although cycling is good for this too.
For me, if I have access to some safe forest trails that don’t go up or down hills too often, I would pick jogging. Perhaps an avid mountain biker would disagree, but there is nothing better for me then my memories of jogging through the clean forest air. It clears my head and makes me feel very connected with nature.
However if I am lacking in time, or if I am restricted to exercising in the city, I would pick cycling hands down. I can get places, don’t have to worry about my feet pounding on cement, and for me cycling is just more fun through the city than jogging.
The key to any exercise is to keep it fun and regular. It is also easier if you do it with a buddy as it is much more motivating. I have had points in my life where I have been active doing both of these sports, and times when I am doing neither, and I am far healthier and happier when I am active in one of these wonderful activities. Source