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Why Cycling is Better than Running for Weight Loss?

When it comes to shedding those extra pounds, there are numerous workout options available. While running has long been a popular choice for weight loss, cycling, especially with the assistance of an electric bike (e-bike), has emerged as a superior alternative. In this article, we will explore the reasons why cycling, particularly e-biking, is more effective for weight loss than running.

Which is better for weight loss, cycling or running? How long can you ride to lose weight? What cycling tips can help you lose weight… So when it comes to weight loss, who is better, running or cycling?

Friends who enjoy sports know that both running and cycling are aerobic exercises. In terms of weight loss, which one is better? The key to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. The calories burned depend on the intensity of the exercise and your body weight. For example, a person weighing 200 pounds (about 90 kilograms) can burn 755 calories by running on a treadmill at a speed of 5 miles/hour (about 8 kilometers/hour) for 1 hour, while a person cycling can only burn 364 calories. Although the calorie burn varies for each individual, generally speaking, cycling burns only about half the calories of running.

In addition to calorie burn, running is also more beneficial for fat breakdown. Fat oxidation is a key step in breaking down fat molecules. A study conducted by the University of Cape Town in 2010 showed that running at the same intensity can effectively accelerate the rate of fat oxidation compared to cycling. However, cycling is a low-impact exercise as our feet are fixed on the pedals during the ride, so it puts less strain on the knee joints compared to other forms of exercise. Therefore, long-term cycling is less likely to impact the knee joints and may be beneficial in protecting them from injury.

Running methods vary from person to person. As a result, running is an open sport that has a relatively high impact on the knee joint. Especially for people who do not do warm-up exercises before running, the impact will be greater. Therefore, people with bad knee joints are advised to run as little as possible.

Although bicycling is a very simple exercise, overuse can be detrimental to the body. Therefore, it is best to limit cycling to about 40-60 minutes. If you ride for less than 40 minutes, you may not achieve the results. Although it has a fat-burning effect, if it is overdone, more than 60 minutes will cause damage to the body, so you should control the exercise time.

Riding speed can be adjusted according to your physical condition. Take 15 kilometers per hour as an example, if it is lower than 15 kilometers, it belongs to moderate intensity exercise, suitable for most people. If it exceeds 16 kilometers per hour, it is actually a high-intensity exercise, which is more suitable for people with better cardiorespiratory fitness. We must choose according to our own physical condition, not blindly, and ultimately harm the body.

What Cycling Tips Can Help You Lose Weight?

  1. Set Your Goals: Before you embark on any weight loss journey, it’s essential to set clear and realistic goals. Determine how much weight you want to lose and set a timeline for achieving your target. By having a clear goal in mind, you can stay motivated and track your progress effectively.
  2. Incorporate Interval Training: Interval training is a fantastic way to burn more calories and boost your metabolism. Alternate between periods of high-intensity cycling and recovery periods of lower intensity. This approach helps maximize fat burning and enhances your overall fitness level.
  3. Optimize Your Bike Setup: To maximize your cycling experience and avoid unnecessary strain, it’s crucial to optimize your bike setup. Adjust your seat height, handlebar position, and pedal cleats to ensure a comfortable and efficient riding position. This will not only prevent injuries but also allow you to ride longer and burn more calories.
  4. Explore Varied Terrain: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of terrain. Try to explore a variety of routes, including flat roads, hills, and off-road trails. By varying the terrain, you engage different muscle groups and challenge your body in new ways. This variation keeps your workouts exciting and aids in weight loss.
  5. Fuel Your Body Right: Proper nutrition plays a vital role in any weight loss journey. Before a ride, ensure you fuel your body with a balanced meal containing carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. During longer rides, carry healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or energy bars to keep your energy levels up.
  6. Track Your Progress: Monitoring your progress is essential to stay motivated and make necessary adjustments to your training routine. Use fitness apps or cycling gadgets to track your distance, speed, and calories burned. Celebrate your milestones and use them as stepping stones towards your ultimate weight loss goal.


  1. Low-Impact Exercise: Running is a high-impact activity that places significant stress on your joints and muscles. In contrast, cycling, especially with an e-bike, provides a low-impact workout that is gentle on your joints while still effectively burning calories. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals who may have joint issues or are recovering from injuries.
  2. Longer Duration and Increased Endurance: One key advantage of cycling over running is the ability to sustain the exercise for a longer duration. With an e-bike, you can extend your rides and cover more distance, thus burning more calories. Additionally, cycling helps improve cardiovascular endurance, enabling you to push your limits and gradually increase your workout intensity.
  3. Enjoyable and Sustainable: Unlike running, cycling offers the opportunity to explore various scenic routes and locations while enjoying the outdoors. With the assistance of an e-bike, you can effortlessly navigate hills and long distances, making the workout less strenuous and more enjoyable. This increased enjoyment translates into sustained motivation and adherence to your weight loss journey.
  4. Full-Body Workout: While running primarily targets the lower body, cycling provides a full-body workout. Pedaling engages your leg muscles, including quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, while also activating your core muscles for stability. Additionally, e-biking requires the use of your upper body for balance and control, further increasing the calorie burn.
  5. Versatile and Customizable: Cycling offers a wide range of options to suit your preferences and fitness level. Whether you prefer road cycling, mountain biking, or indoor cycling, you can tailor your workouts to fit your desired intensity and challenge. With e-bikes, you can easily adjust the level of assistance, allowing beginners to gradually build stamina and seasoned cyclists to challenge themselves further.

When it comes to weight loss, cycling, especially with the aid of e-bikes, surpasses running in several aspects. The low-impact nature, longer duration, full-body engagement, and enjoyable experience make cycling a more effective and sustainable choice. So, if you’re looking to shed those extra pounds, consider hopping on an e-bike and discover the joy and benefits of cycling for weight loss.



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