Is Walking or Biking Better for Weight Loss?
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more
Is walking or biking better for weight loss? Well, I cannot say that biking is better than walking or vice versa. Both are excellent exercising activities for weight loss, although you burn more calories when you go biking, especially if you commute to work with a commuter bicycle regularly.
Based on which you prefer between walking and biking, you can pick either of the two to be your weight loss exercise. Regardless of this, we will still be looking at walking vs biking for weight loss.
Biking vs. Walking for Burning Calories
I want us to compare the rate at which calories get burned while biking to the rate when walking. Let’s take a look at cycling first. Harvard Health Publishing says that if you weigh 155 pounds, you can burn 320 calories if you cycle for an hour at a speed slower than 10 miles per hour.
Sounds great, yeah? Now let’s look at walking. If you maintain a walking speed of 3.5 miles per hour for one hour, 298 calories get burned.
You should also know that there’s a similar relationship between speed and calories burned in both walking and cycling. This relationship is a direct proportionality. This means an increase in speed leads to an increase in calories burned.
So, if you cycle at 12 miles per hour and increase your speed to 16-19 miles per hour, the calories burned while biking consequentially increase from 596cal to 892cal. In the same respect, if you walk at 4 miles per hour and increase speed to 5 miles per hour, calories burned go from 334cal to 446cal.
Just as I said earlier, you don’t need to stress much over which is better for weight loss between biking and walking. Pick one of the two based on your personal preference. The only difference is that biking burns more calories, but both are almost equally efficient.
What is Interval Training?
Take note that we have steady-state exercise and interval training. You’re probably wondering, what is steady-state training? What is interval training?
In interval training, you may start out with a low-intensity routine, along the line you switch up to a higher intensity. You continuously make this switch at constant intervals during the whole exercise session. Interval training facilitates fat burning in the body.
To get the best of interval training when walking, you need to run at some point. This will boost your heart rate. Also, in cycling, you need to do some intense drills like riding up a slope or pedaling faster to get your heart pumping at full capacity. A pair of quality cycling shoes will help in this case.
Biking is a High Tempo Exercise
High tempo means a shorter duration. This phrase says it all. Basically, the higher your work rate, the lower the time you need to spend on the exercise. Biking and walking require different durations for the same tempo.
If you maintain a certain tempo, let’s say 15 miles per hour, the amount of time spent/duration if you’re biking is lower compared to when you walk at the same tempo. If you spend 200 minutes biking per week, you might need to spend double, 400 minutes, on walking per week. This is attributed to the fact that biking burns more calories.
One of the upsides to walking and biking is that they don’t cause as much joint pain as other rigorous exercises. So, you can comfortably pick between walking and biking without worrying about joint pains and you can use a Garmin unit to measure your stats.
To wrap this all up, what really matters in choosing between biking or walking is your personal preference. Go for what you like. Some people feel more confident when walking than on a bike.
Besides, walking is a skill that you have learned since infanthood. At this stage, you don’t need to start learning how to walk, because you already do, but you might need to start learning how to bike and how to boost cycling speed if you haven’t learned it before.
Also, for those that might have some phobia for biking or the circumstances that surround biking, like speeding cars on the road, you should just stick to walking. Remember that regardless of the fact that biking burns more calories, both exercises are almost equally efficient in weight loss and other exercise goals.
Go on and make your choice. It’s all up to you now.