Is It Better To Walk For An Hour Or Cycle For An Hour?

Cycling and walking are two amazing forms of exercise, both of which generate significant health benefits. Choosing which one is better the 2 may come with looking at what each one of them is best at. The more pleasure derived from an activity should see participation increase. 

Although there are certainly some obvious differences that can be pointed out in a walking vs cycling comparison, such as the need for equipment by way of a bike for cycling, there are also more nuanced differences that can be helpful to know when you are trying to decide whether walking or cycling is a better workout for you. 

This article will help you to decide which is better for you, especially when you have a time frame of one hour to work out; cycle, or walk.

Read also: The Best Time Of The Day To Cycle

1. Time

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Ordinarily, walking takes more time than cycling. Walking 10,000 steps can take an average person about 8 km (5 mi). If we consider the average speed of walking, 5 km/h (3 mph), then it would take roughly 1 hour and 36 minutes to complete the daily amount of steps. So if you have limited time to work out or get to where you want to go, then cycling might be the best for you.

2. Burning Of Calories 

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Biking burns more calories than walking. An average walking speed of 5 km/h (3 mph) makes the average person burn approximately 232 kcal per hour. So the whole distance of 8 km, or 10,000 steps, will make you burn about 371 kcal in total. Cycling at a moderate speed of 20 km/h (12 mph) burns approximately 563 kcal per hour. And the difference is even bigger when we increase the intensity. A fast walking speed of 6.5 km/h (4 mph) burns 352 kcal per hour, while a fast cycling speed of 30 km/h (19 mph) burns 844 kcal per hour. 

3. Weight Loss

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For losing weight, Cycling is a bit more intense than walking, and it takes a little bit more time and effort than walking would. Although, consistency of exercise to stimulate weight loss and to keep it off is the key. So, choose the activity that works best or rather do both if each is comfortable.

4. Blood Pressure

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The best way to help prevent high blood pressure is by having a routine and sticking to it, be it cycling or walking. Both walking and cycling as a form of commuting are convenient sources of routine activity, as they require less ‘dedicated’ time. If we have to commute for work or study, the activity you choose is simply substituting the time sat on public transport, or in a vehicle. Brisk walking is preferable over slow walking to reduce blood pressure. But then, also note that urban cycling could be considered more stressful than walking, and stress contributes to blood pressure levels.

5. For Cardio

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Both walking and cycling to work are the best ways to prevent heart attacks. A study showed that for people who walked to work in 2011, there was a 1.7% reduction in heart attacks in the following two years. Both walking and cycling will raise the resting heart rate, and there’s much to be said about exercising to the point where it’s hard to maintain a conversation. For people sedentary at a desk sandwiched in between their commute, then walking and cycling are vital for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Read also: Why Are Bicycles So Expensive?

6. Obesity Prevention

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Researchers have found a relationship between various commuting methods and obesity risk. Data from 150,000 participants revealed that both walking and cycling showed better results than taking a car and public transport. Walking was associated with significantly reduced BMI and body fat but to a lesser extent than cycling. The average study participant who cycled to work would weigh about 5 kg less than a similar person commuting by car.

7. Diabetes 

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A study by Harvard Health Publishing says that “bicycling is considered superior to walking for weight control and other obesity-related health outcomes, such as diabetes”. Regardless of whichever you want to use, active commuting is associated with a 30% decrease in the type 2 diabetes risk.

Read also: What Side Of The Road Should Bicycles Ride On?


1. What is better for you cycling or walking?

Cycling is more efficient than walking, so you’ll probably work harder by walking briskly and probably exercise your heart, lungs, and major muscles more. On the other hand, cycling is probably less hard on your hips, knees, and ankles than walking.

2. Does cycling reduce belly fat or walking?

Cycling is an excellent cardio workout that helps one shed weight and lose belly fat.

3. Does cycling build more muscle than walking?

Biking is typically a better workout than walking In terms of its ability to be more vigorous, burn more calories, and increase aerobic fitness and muscular strength to a more appreciable degree in a minute-per-minute comparison to walking.

4. Why does cycling burn more calories than walking?

When you are cycling, your fat-burning metabolism is low compared to walking. So, the fat-burning process is also low. Walking, on the other hand, involves all the work while bearing full body weight.

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