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Published on the 20th October 2020

Cycling vs Walking: Which One Burns More Calories

Reading Time: 5 min read

Working out is the truest form of health insurance you can have to keep yourself fit and disease-free. On that regard, both walking and cycling are excellent exercise options as both activities get your heart working harder and boosts circulation throughout your entire body. But, which one of them burn more calories?

Even though both cycling and walking are on the good books of doctors, these two activities do have their individual strengths and weaknesses. To find out which one of them works best for you, you need to know your priorities and see which one of the two suits your profile the best. 

In this article, we will limit our discussion to calorie burning. We will break down the role of calorie in human physiology and why you need to burn some to stay in shape. And of course, compare the amounts of calorie you can expect to burn from cycling and walking. 

Is Calorie Bad For You?

As people are so obsessed with burning more and more calories, it might make you wonder- ”Is calorie bad for my body?” No, it isn’t. On the contrary, calorie fuels each and every single of our physical actions. Without any calorie, our body will become completely dysfunctional. 

Food gives us the calorie we require to conduct our daily lives. All food items replenish our calorie stock, but not essentially in the same degree. Some foods are rich in calorie, like peanuts, eggs, potatoes. And some foods are branded low-calorie such as apples, cabbages, and broccoli. 

So Why Burn Calorie?

If calories are so important for the sustainability of our bodies, then why do we need to burn it in the first place? We burn calorie every second of our lives. No matter what we do, we are burning a certain amount of calories. We even burn calories doing nothing else but breathing! 

But, we need to burn some extra calories to eradicate stored fat. If you have excessive body fat and fall in the “obese” category, you would be considered high-risk for many types of diseases. Heart disease and diabetes have been heavily linked with low-calorie burn and high levels of body fat. Even health insurance premiums would be higher. 

When we exercise, calorie consumption in our body increases. But, this calorie-burning does not necessarily mean that our body fat will get trimmed as well.  You need to increase your oxygen intake to set off body fat burning. Exercising increases our heart rate and our oxygen inhalation, which ultimately diminishes body fat.

Cycling Or Walking: Which  One Burns More Calorie? 

If you want to lose a substantial amount of weight within a short period of time, cycling would be a much better option than walking. Cycling involves a greater physical commitment, and it would grant you results even faster. Walking is a great form of exercise too, but it’s not as intense as cycling. 

Let’s say, you walk at an average speed of 5 km/h. It would take you more than one and a half hour to walk 8 km. You would be burning around 350 kcal after walking that distance. You can cover that distance much faster riding a bicycle, but would still burn more calories than walking. 

From the calorie-burning point of view, cycling has a clear advantage here. You get to burn more calories in less time. Cycling at a speed of 20km/h would result in a calory loss worth 563kcal in an hour. A cyclist has to move his leg muscles faster, which needs more blood pumping, which amps up the calorie reduction count. 

We must reinstate that walking is very good at helping a person maintaining ideal Body Mass Index weight. However, it fades in comparison to cycling. More rigorous efforts are mandatory to achieve immediate results. If you are in urgent need of fat removal, cycling is the go-to pick. 

Cycling has also proven to be a more effective exercise for diabetes patients. A  University of South Australia study reveals that women with type-II diabetes find it easier to manage their ailment when they are pursuing cycling rather than walking as their choice of physical activity. 

As cycling calls for a faster flow of blood throughout your body, it improves blood circulation in your body. Walking has a positive impact on our blood circulation as well. But, it can’t act as rapidly as cycling, since walking never gets the heart rate to levels as high as cycling does. 

Another reason to love cycling is its flexibility. You can alter the paddling speeds regularly to cycle at various speeds, hence the calorie toll would fluctuate as well. But, while walking, the amount of physical input remains somewhat the same. So, you would be spending almost the same levels of calorie all the time. 

*GasanMamo Insurance Limited is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA