April 24, 2024
Health & Fitness

Cycling vs. Walking: Which Is the Better Workout for You?


Walking and cycling are two accessible cardiovascular exercises that can be done by people of all fitness levels and have many positive health effects. Whether you favor walking’s ease of use and adaptability or cycling’s speed and efficiency, each sport has advantages of its own. In order to help you decide which exercise is best for you, we’ll compare walking and cycling in this blog post. We’ll look at how they differ in terms of calories burned, cardiovascular benefits, impact on joints, convenience, and overall effectiveness.

1. Calorie Burn

  • Cycling: Cycling at a moderate pace can burn a significant number of calories, especially if you incorporate hills or intervals into your ride. On average, a 155-pound person cycling at a moderate pace (12-14 mph) can burn approximately 298 calories in 30 minutes. Cycling is a versatile and efficient form of exercise that can burn a significant number of calories, especially when performed at a moderate pace or with added intensity such as hills or intervals. For a 155-pound individual cycling at a moderate pace of 12-14 mph, approximately 298 calories can be burned in 30 minutes. However, it’s important to note that factors such as body weight, intensity of cycling, terrain, and cycling efficiency can influence calorie expenditure. Cycling at a higher intensity or incorporating challenging terrain such as hills can increase calorie burn even further. Intervals, where you alternate between periods of high-intensity cycling and recovery, can also boost calorie expenditure and improve overall fitness. Additionally, individuals with higher body weight may burn more calories while cycling due to the greater energy expenditure required to propel the body forward.
  • Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that offers numerous health benefits, including calorie burning, cardiovascular conditioning, and improved mood. While walking may not burn as many calories as cycling due to its lower intensity, it still provides a valuable option for individuals of all fitness levels. For a 155-pound person walking at a brisk pace of approximately 3.5 mph, around 149 calories can be burned in 30 minutes. However, it’s essential to note that factors such as walking speed, incline, and individual fitness level can influence calorie expenditure. Walking at a faster pace or on hilly terrain can increase calorie burn, while walking at a slower pace will result in fewer calories burned.

2. Cardiovascular Benefits

  • Cycling: Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular workout that strengthens the heart and improves lung function. It challenges the cardiovascular system by increasing heart rate and promoting blood flow to the muscles, which can improve overall cardiovascular health.
  • Walking: Walking is also beneficial for cardiovascular health, although it may not elevate heart rate to the same extent as cycling. However, regular brisk walking can still help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease.

3. Impact on Joints

  • Cycling: Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for individuals with joint pain or arthritis. The smooth, circular motion of cycling reduces stress on the knees, hips, and ankles, making it an ideal workout for those with joint issues.
  • Walking: Walking is also a low-impact exercise, but it may exert more stress on the joints, particularly the knees and hips, especially when walking on hard surfaces or uneven terrain. However, walking is generally well-tolerated by most individuals and can be modified to reduce impact as needed.

4. Impact on Joints

  • Cycling: Cycling requires access to a bicycle and may be limited by factors such as weather, traffic, and terrain. However, cycling can be a convenient mode of transportation for commuting or running errands, allowing you to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
  • Walking: Walking is one of the most convenient forms of exercise, as it requires no special equipment other than a pair of comfortable shoes. You can walk virtually anywhere, whether it’s around your neighborhood, at a local park, or on a treadmill indoors.

5. Overall Effectiveness

  • Cycling: Cycling offers a high-intensity, full-body workout that targets the lower body muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes) as well as the core and upper body to a lesser extent. It provides a greater cardiovascular challenge and may lead to faster improvements in fitness and endurance.
  • Walking: Walking provides a lower-intensity, lower-impact workout that is suitable for beginners and individuals with mobility limitations. While it may not burn as many calories or challenge the cardiovascular system as much as cycling, walking can still be an effective way to improve fitness, manage weight, and enhance overall health.


Both cycling and walking offer valuable health benefits and are effective forms of cardiovascular exercise. The choice between cycling and walking ultimately depends on your personal preferences, fitness goals, and physical abilities. If you enjoy the speed and intensity of cycling and want to challenge your cardiovascular system, cycling may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you prefer the simplicity and accessibility of walking and want a low-impact workout that you can do anywhere, walking may be the preferred choice. Ultimately, the best workout is the one that you enjoy and can stick with consistently over the long term.