Is a Stationary Bike Better Than Running: Bike vs Running?

I wanted to get back into fitness and was wondering: Is a stationary bike better than running?

And if you’re at this stage and also wanted to know whether to go for Stationary Bike or to run, you will find tons of valuable insight in this article.

Cycling and running are both hobbies and exercises that most of us tend to enjoy. Both are ideal forms of aerobic exercises that will help you keep fit. Therefore, whether you are looking to slim for the next beach trip or want to stay healthy, you might consider running or hopping onto a stationary bike.

While the two forms of exercise are ideal for keeping fit, they tend to differ significantly. And as a result, you might find one activity being much better depending on your primary goals. Choosing between a stationary bike and running can be challenging, especially if you are a newbie to the world of physical fitness. Therefore, to help with that, I shall be answering the question; is a stationary bike better than running?

Is a stationary bike better than running?

When it comes to burning, shedding excess weight, running will be the best option; on the other hand, a stationary bike is ideal for building endurance.

While running is ideal for burning a significant amount of calories on average, a stationary bike is much gentler on your joints, allowing you to exercise for an extended period burning a significant amount of calories overall.

However, how efficient a stationary bike is compared to running will depend on what you want to achieve.

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See also: What is a Good Speed on a Stationary Bike?

Is biking harder than running?

Yes, biking is a lot harder than running at a Maximum Aerobic Function Heart Rate (MAF HR). This is because exercising at the same heart rate or MAF HR tends to feel much easier when running than cycling.

Is cycling better than walking

Cycling is way more efficient than walking, and as a result, you will probably work much harder while walking briskly and exercise the lungs, heart, and major muscles. However, it becomes relatively less hard on the hips, ankles, and knees than walking when it comes to cycling. In addition to that, walking tends to take more time compared to cycling. Furthermore, you will burn more calories cycling for a short distance than walking for an extended distance.

See Also: Are 20 Minutes on an Exercise Bike Enough for Weight Loss?

Cycling or running for belly fat

The number of calories you will burn in either exercise will depend on your exercise routine’s length and intensity. However, running is the best for burning belly fat; this is because you will burn more calories while running than cycling since you will be using more muscle while exercising. You can still lose belly fat while cycling, but it will not be as efficient as running. Your stomach will not be working hard enough to burn a significant amount of belly fat when cycling compared to running.

Cycling vs. running for abs

When it comes to abs, cycling is not the ideal exercise for achieving a perfect six-pack. This is because cycling does not put your abs through an array of motions making it challenging to develop abs. On the other hand, running is ideal for developing abs. With consistency and strength, you will be able to carve out six-pack from both slow, long runs and short, fast runs. Running helps in building your muscle core, making it excellent for developing abs.

Running vs. cycling calories.

Since running involves engaging your whole body, it is an ideal activity for burning a significant amount of calories compared to cycling. When running, you will have high-intensity levels that help burn calories, which is the primary factor in losing weight. For instance, running at a pace of 5 mph, you will burn 606 calories every hour. On the other hand, cycling at the speed of 10 mph, you will burn 292 calories every hour, making running overall the best exercise for burning calories.

Cycling vs. running for endurance

Cycling is considered a low-impact exercise that is ideal for building endurance as well as stamina. As opposed to running, building and maintaining stamina is much easier when cycling due to muscle soreness and delayed damage due to a reduced impact.

See also: Treadmills vs Exercise Bikes for Burning Belly Fat?

Is stationary bike gentle on the knee than running

Yes, a stationary bike is much gentler on the knee than running. Since cycling a stationary bike takes place within a controlled environment, the chances of falling or even hitting an object are eliminated. Furthermore, stationary biking often does not entail a jarring impact with the solid ground, which might cause some common running injuries like a stress fracture or shin splint. However, since running isn’t a contact exercise, it features a lower risk of injury than other sports.

Furthermore, when it comes to running, a knee injury is a typical case. In addition to that, you might experience injuries in your pelvis, foot, back, and leg. Due to this elevated risk of injuries, stationary biking is considered a safer option and gentle on the knee.

Is a stationary bike better than a treadmill?

The treadmill is ideal for burning lots of calories and offers an intense workout; however, it will put you at risk of injury in several cases. On the other hand, a stationary bike does not burn a significant amount of calories; however, it offers greater strengthening benefits and has reduced injury risk factors making it a better option than a treadmill.

How much cycling is equal to running?

A general rule of thumb is there is approximately a 1:3 run to bike ratio. This means that every one mile of running at moderate effort is equal to three miles of cycling at an equal effort level. Therefore, running four miles is equivalent to cycling 12 miles, while the effort level is equal in both forms of exercises in the general sense for your cardio fitness.

How many miles on a stationary bike equals a mile running?

Just like an ordinary bike, the run-to-bike ratio on a stationary bike is 1:3. This means that every one mile of running is equal to three miles of cycling.

Do exercise bikes make your bum bigger?

No, cycling will not make your bum any bigger; however, it might give you one that is shapely since it’s a cardio and muscle-building benefit. Usually, cycling will work out both your legs as well as glutes, particularly when climbing. However, this will not last for an extended period or offer enough resistance to building a bigger bum.

Final verdict

Is a stationary bike better than running? The answer to this question is that neither running nor stationary biking stands out as a better option than the other. Therefore, picking between running and stationary biking will highly depend on which suits your lifestyle best.

Suppose you are looking at achieving a specific result like muscle toning or weight loss. In that case, you might consider working with a personal trainer who will formulate an exercise routine tailored to your vital needs. With that said, I hope that you have found this article beneficial and that the question, is a stationary bike better than running, has been answered accordingly.


  1. What Are the Benefits of Cycling vs. Running?
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  3. Because both make me sweat buckets.

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