Biking vs Walking – What is Better? Are They Both Beneficial?

biking vs walking

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Biking and walking are classic exercises and pastimes that many people enjoy. Both can be done on nature trails or outdoors. And if you’re serious about losing weight, both activities can help you get rid of your excess pounds.

Walking and biking are particularly beneficial for those who are not fond of running or currently nursing injuries. But if you have to pick one between walking and biking, you need to understand first how they differ. So in this article, we’re going to compare biking vs. walking to help you pick the right activity that fits your needs.

Biking Vs Walking

Biking and walking use different groups of muscles. Some people find it more practical and convenient to bike, while others prefer to walk. Each activity has pros and cons, so let’s discuss the differences between walking and biking.

Also Read: How To Remove Bike Pedals

Calories Burned – Which One Can Burn More?

If we’re talking about calories burned, the victor of this walking vs. biking debate is usually biking. According to scientists, if you walk for an hour, you’ll be able to burn up to 300 calories. On the other hand, an hour of biking burns 600 calories.

Now, here’s the question. Is it possible to burn the same amount of calories if you’re walking instead of biking? The pace will be the deciding factor in this bike vs. walking debate. If you walk at around 3.5 mph, you’ll burn up to 298 calories. And if you bike at around 10 mph, you’ll burn up to 320 calories in one day.

In other words, you need to walk or bike faster to burn more calories. However, biking will rarely lose in this competition. You can burn more calories if you often encounter hills during your biking adventures.

bike riding vs walking

Building Muscle – Walking And Biking Use Different Muscles:

The muscle groups targeted by walking and biking are different. Biking relies on your glutes and quadriceps because these are the muscle groups that help you in pushing and pulling pedals.

On the other hand, walking depends on your gluteus medius and calves because these muscle groups are required to keep you upright. So if your goal is to improve your muscle tone, you’ll benefit more from biking.

After all, walking is a weight-bearing activity. If you lose weight, your legs will support fewer pounds. In other words, walking can reduce muscle tone instead of improving it. Biking is a non-weight-bearing sport, so it’s ideal for toning leg muscles. So if that is your objective, you already know which activity to pick in this walking vs. cycling dispute.

More Cardio – Which Activity Offers More Cardiovascular Benefits?

Walking can improve your cardiovascular system because this activity requires you to spend constant energy. A consistent walk will benefit your circulation and heart rhythm. Biking can also increase your heart rate but if you want to maximize your cardio workout, you’ll have to ride faster.

This exercise style works great when you’re walking, but what if you need to ride fast, slow down, and then speed up again? In other words, biking is ideal for those who prefer interval training.

On the other hand, walking is suitable for those who prefer activities that require continuous energy input at a steady rate. So the winner in this cycling vs. walking argument will depend on your goals.

Appetite Suppressant – Which Activity Will Reduce Your Appetite?

Both walking and biking can help control your appetite, but which one works better? Talking a walk will get you away from temptation, but it won’t quell your hunger. In fact, this activity could stimulate your appetite.

Biking is obviously the better choice. According to Dr. David Stensel from Loughborough University, you can quell the urge to eat for three hours by cycling. Just don’t overeat once the three hours are up. Otherwise, your efforts will go to waste.

So if you want to lose weight faster, biking is definitely the better choice. But since everyone has different preferences and situations, the decision will still depend on your needs.

walking vs biking

Diabetes – Which Sport Is The Better Choice When It Comes To Circulation Issues?

Type II diabetes will not just stop you from consuming sugar. It can also cause issues with your lower body circulation, so you can benefit from biking or walking if you have Type II diabetes.

Circulation problems associated with this disease might be the reason some people end up losing extremities. Biking offers more benefits than walking when it comes to this matter. Aside from improving the circulatory system, biking helps reduce blood glucose levels.

It can also help reduce strain on your joints. People with Type II diabetes are usually overweight. And if you’re overweight, even a few minutes of walking could make your arthritic symptoms worse.

Injuries – Which One Has A Lower Risk Of Activity-related Injuries?

Walking has a lower of activity-related injuries, but you could also suffer from mild cases of shin splints, inflamed tendons, and runner’s knee. Cycling has a greater risk of activity-related injuries, but running can render you out of commission as well.

Cyclists usually suffer from back and neck pain, as well as tendonitis. They might also run into obstacles, which is something that walkers don’t need to worry about. So consider this matter when comparing your exercise options.

After all, an injury can hinder your plans and prevent you from achieving your goals within your desired timeframe. That’s why you should consider the possibility of injuries when choosing between biking and walking.

See Also: Biking Vs Running

Motivation – Choose An Activity That You’ll Pursue No Matter What Happens

For some people, picking a victor in this biking vs. walking argument is easy. They only need to think about what’s best for them and that’s it. However, if you don’t have the drive to take action, you won’t get your desired results. Your failure to take action will affect your emotional health and aggravate existing conditions such as depression.

However, self-motivation is not easy for some people. That’s why you should never pick up any activity until you’re sure that you’re going to do it until the end. Each time you fail to ride your bike or take a walk, your confidence will plummet and the negative feelings that it brings can aggravate feelings of poor self-worth.

If you need a support system, you can join a walking or biking group so that you’ll have other people who will guide, support, and motivate you all the time. Many people have started their fitness journeys depending on these groups to help them improve or develop their biking or walking habits.

bike vs walking

Intensity – Your Effort And Commitment Will Affect Your Results:

Always remember that the faster and longer you do the activity you’ve chosen, the more physically fit and healthier you become. You’re also more likely to stick with your activity because you’re proud of your accomplishments.

But if you prefer activities that offer more intensity options, you’ll benefit more from biking. After all, you can slow down and speed things up anytime you want. But don’t worry because you can still achieve your fitness goals by walking.

You can do this by biking or walking in areas with terrain challenges. So if you want to lose weight faster, avoid flat terrains for your walking or biking sessions. Go for hills or rough terrains instead.

See Also: Bike Hand Signals You Must Know

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Walking and biking are two of the most convenient and popular ways to stay healthy and fit. And by considering the points stated above, deciding between these activities should be easy. But if you still want to learn more about this bike riding vs. walking debate, continue reading because we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these activities.

Q) Which can help you lose weight faster?

Biking can help you lose weight faster than walking. A 150-pound individual will burn about 600 calories after biking for an hour. On the other hand, he can only burn about 300 calories after walking for one hour.

Q) Can you eliminate belly fat by biking?

Biking is a great way to shed off excess pounds because it helps you burn more calories. It also improves your muscle mass and metabolism. Building muscle improves the body’s ability to burn calories, which makes it easier to lose and maintain weight.

Q) How can you maximize the benefits of walking?

To maximize the benefits of walking, try to do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking, five days a week. Adults usually need about two and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week. If you can’t get 30 minutes of walk in a single session, you can divide it into three 10-minute sessions.

Q) How long should you cycle?

It depends on your goals. For example, you can include a few brief intervals of high intensity in your biking sessions to lose weight faster. You can do a five-minute warm-up and 10 one-minute sessions with a two-minute rest in between.

Q) What bike size should you choose?

Choose a bike that allows you to easily reach the brakes, water-bottle cages, and pedals. If you have to adjust the seat post past or near its minimum insertion, consider switching to a bigger bike. Always try a bike before buying it so that you can pick the right size for you.

biking versus walking


Both walking and biking can promote health and fitness. So there’s no need to pick a winner when it comes to the biking versus walking debate. Your choice will depend on your goals, demands, lifestyle, and schedule. Whatever you pick, make sure that it’s fun and fits your current lifestyle.

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