Jogging vs Cycling–Which of the two is better at cardio training?

Jogging and cycling are two fairly low-impact training techniques that anyone can take part in it. Which of the two is more of a work-out?

I am a 54-year-old fit and heathy grandfather of 4 beautiful grandchildren. As an old man diagnosed with high blood pressure before my 50th birthday, my doctor advised me to get some exercise to add to the quality of my life.

Imagining the pain associated with exercise, I cringed at the thought but my daughter helped me find an instructor who helped ease all my worries. I found out there were a lot of people who like to train, stay fit and in shape but prefer to do low-impact training over the high-impact.

I started with light jogging and now, I am enjoying cycling with members of my Wednesday elders spin class. Maybe my experiences could help you today.

Jogging vs Cycling Comparison Summary

Training Concern
Which technique rules?
Stronger Leg Muscles
VO2 Intake
Building Abs
Cardio Workout
Strength Training
Calories Burned
Cycling at 500 calories
Least risk and danger
Best for terminal Illness


Jogging vs Cycling for weight loss 

Cycling will burn more calories than jogging making it better suited for weight loss.

Cycling is a great option for anyone suffering from chronic back pain or to a newbie who may need some time to familiarize themselves with more complex and high-risk equipment like the treadmill. Depending on the availability, there may be a choice between two stationary training bikes which are the upright bike or the recumbent bike.

As the name suggests, the upright bike resembles the normal bike with handles in front of you and the foot pedals below your center of gravity. It allows you to slightly lean forward as you pedal and to pedal while standing to make your workout more versatile in intensity and targeted muscles.

With all the versatility that cycling provides, you will burn about 500 calories in an hour if you push hard enough.

Jogging, on the other hand, has a higher impact training mechanism that requires you to put your back into it. Not only will this exercise help you improve your posture overall but the high impact it delivers to your body overall makes it the best option for weight loss.

To make this training effective for you, it is necessary to work out consistently for about 60 minutes on medium to high speeds jogging. This will also depend on your overall weight and your diet of course.

While jogging, you are guaranteed to lose anywhere between 200 and 400 calories per hour which is quite significant. Alternate between jogging on the flat plain and on an angle inclined angle for an uphill kind of jog. Mixing up your workout makes it more fun, helps you burn more calories, and increases impact on the target spots.

Jogging vs Cycling for stamina

Cycling will give you more stamina because it is comfortable and low impact which means you can do it for longer than you can do jogging which will build your endurance.

While you are out for a jog, your objective is to work up a good sweat, get your heart rate pumping and raise your temperature a bit. The same could be said for cycling. However, the duration you can spend doing exercise matters a lot to the number of calories you can shed in an hour.

It is then understandable to realize the need for stamina to keep you going when all your being wants to quit. When you cycle, you are working out your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. They get stronger as your revolutions per minute increase. This works up your stamina for cycling as the more your body gets used to it, the more it demands these intense workouts.

On the flip side, the more you work out, the higher your risk of injury. Considering the high impact of jogging with your body weight jamming against your lower back knees and ankles, cycling looks like a much safer bet.

You can cycle for long hours and days on the bike especially a stationary one and slowly build up the strength to go faster, harder, and longer every time. If you are into hard-core sports and cross-training, you should combine the two techniques and see how much more effective they make you.

Jogging vs Cycling for cardio exercises 

Jogging vs Cycling for cardio

Jogging is better suited for good cardio compared to cycling as more oxygen will be needed to power through your training.

Aerobic and cardiovascular exercises both have the same job, to get our heart rates up, get our body pumping, and our sweat glands working fast. These techniques will get your blood pumping hard which will supply more oxygen to your bodily organs like lungs, liver, kidney rejuvenating, and strengthening them.

While cycling, use the FITT technique of training which will focus on your Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type of exercise. This technique helps you identify how much you can and should do on your bike for the best results.

To work in good cardio as a beginner, the bike’s revolutions per minute should be set to 60RPM and if you are more experienced, and RPM around 70 would be great to work with. Remember to pace yourself on the bike by making sure you get a good warm-up to get your heart rate up and to loosen your joints and muscles.

Cycling for about 20 to 30 minutes for a beginner and up to 60 minutes for a more experienced individual at a medium to high-intensity level on the bike will get you sweating hard with a heart rate of about 133 BPM (beats per minute).

While jogging, the beginner should try the High-Intensity Interval Training technique or HIIT. This technique will encourage bursts of energy charged into about 30 seconds of jogging and 10 seconds of relaxation. This is done in repetition and with great consistency.

Doing this intense workout for 20 minutes daily will get your heart rate up to about 100 BPM and increase your aerobic capacity which is why you are able to work out without running out of breath. Of course, the most crucial piece of information to remember is to warm-up for at least 5 to 10 minutes to minimize injuries and muscle strains.

Jogging vs Cycling for belly fat

Cycling burns 200 more calories compared to jogging, making it better at dealing with stubborn belly fat.

To gain a flat or more tone midsection, you have to give your body an overall good workout and do this on a consistent basis. More than that, your diet is extremely crucial in reference to your belly fat. You become what you eat and eating a high protein, vegetable, fruits with limited carbs, and tons of liquids will get your body overall leaner and more energetic.

When working out to tone your stomach, of most importance is that you keep a straight back and a tight core. When cycling on an upright bicycle, you have the option of contracting your core while bent over resting on the handlebars.

Jogginggets your body jumping and all your being rattled. It is a holistic form of exercise that’s quite effective at converting your fat into energy and muscle. This repetitive and quick up and doing movements shake all excess fat in your body and this is why you feel pain in the impacted parts of your body.

Another way to target your core is to try cycling in an upright position and hands-free. This will have you focused and concentrating all your energy into your mid-riff muscles and joints. Which will struggle to keep peddling without your arms’ support? This is a bit difficult though and risky. Request help from your instructor.

Another way to improve the workout is to add the resistance or revolutions per minute on the bike and add an angle of elevation. Cycling at an inclined level adds a little challenge to the otherwise low impact exercise.

Coupling this with a vegetable and fruit-rich diet will guarantee anyone a lovely and healthy toned body and skin. It takes a few months to get into your ideal shape but once you do, managing it will be easy because you’ll have created a lifestyle of working out.

Jogging vs Spin Class Calories Burned

Spin class burns the most calories compares to jogging. At high intensity cycling, you can lose up to700 calories while with jogging you will lose as much as 400.

Important to remember that the more you weigh, the more calories you will lose in any workout. That being said, jogging is a light run and while you won’t lose as many calories as you would if you were running intensely, you still have the potential of losing anywhere between 200 calories and 400 calories.

In cycling, you can lose a good 600 calories with medium level energy. So, if your aim is to lose more calories in a shorter time, your safest bet is with the spin class options.

Taking them for an hour every four to five days a week will see your body improve tremendously. However, you may burn many calories in the gym but then come home and pile them on the back with the choice of food that you make or yourself.

It is best to have a meal plan that you are already happy and consistent with before signing up for training.

Jogging vs Cycling Muscles Worked

Both jogging and cycling build, tone and strengthen hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps but each has other small but important muscles it works.

Both cycling and running require you to use your legs to get your body moving, raise the temperature, and increase the heart rate. While this is true, both these techniques work different muscles on your leg, calf, thigh, and core.

When cycling on a stationary upright bike, the forward peddling motion works out the muscles on the front of the thigh and leg. These are the four muscles included in the quadriceps and the tibialis anterior muscle that is located at the front of your shin.

Also, cycling while standing and at an inclined angle allows your hip and knee extensors to get a good work out. Gastrocnemius and biceps femoris muscles at the back of your legs are also exercised on either an upright or a recumbent bike.

While jogging outside, however, the impacted muscles are still the same but with now greater intensity and faster results. A tiny muscle on your calf known as the soleus muscle is additionally activated while running as opposed to cycling.

Hamstrings while jogging are better impacted because of the intensity and frequency of foot movements while sprinting.

Running on an incline also adds to the initial benefits to the hamstrings, quadriceps, and the biceps femoris muscles. Your glutes will get a much-deserved stretch and stimulation which not only strengthens them but also gives them a beautiful shape and tone.

The drawback of Jogging and Drawbacks of Cycling 

Jogging is a cheaper training alternative because no equipment is necessary to train as compared to cycling which requires you to buy a bike or subscribe to a gym or spin class.

Cycling increases your expenditure as you have to purchase a good quality bike and the necessary protective gear to go riding across town.

The fact that you will be traversing the city roads filled with traffic and crazy, angry drivers, cycling is a bit riskier compared to swimming.

Cycle lanes and trails are missing in most states and this is an added frustration to the cyclers. Where to store or park your bicycle is another huge inconvenience because any minute you leave it unattended for too long you risk it getting stolen.

Distance in miles or kilometers you can go on a bike to gain the same calorie-burning activities the swimming pool can provide is limited out in the hazardous streets.


How Long and Far Should I Jog for A Good Workout?

Jogging about four to five miles every day in an hour or so will keep you in good shape and health. As compared to running, jogging is much more low impact which means you will have to work out harder and longer to achieve results.

Jogging, however scenic, is not easy, especially for a newbie. It takes time to grow your lung capacity to take in more oxygen which you need for energy. Start slow and build your way up. Also, alternate with other types of training to keep the momentum going and to avoid boredom.

Is Jogging Harder Than Cycling?

No. Either sport has its own level of difficulty and it just depends on which parts of your legs you enjoy stretching and which muscles are stronger on your legs. They both work the same muscles in the leg and thighs but they also each touch other muscles.

Other than hamstrings, quadriceps, that they both have in common, jogging also takes care of the hip flexors, glutes, and calf muscles while cycling develops gastrocnemius and soleus in the calf. Both these training have their varying intensities that depend on how much and how long you work them.

Can Jogging Replace Cycling And Vice Versa?

Yes, it is possible and it is even encouraged to cross-trainbetween jogging and cycling. It makes you inadvertently good at both for alternating one for another. If you normally jog ten rounds of 400m races around the track, you can switch this by taking ten sprints of the same distance on your bike while observing 90-second cooling breaks in between the sprints.

You would need to cycle on large flat fields though to minimize any chances of injury. Keep a track of your heart rate as well in both activities as it could be a good indicator of how much you have done. Though you may never sweat quite as much on a bike as on the track, it still gets the calories lower.

Is Cycling Good for Runners?

Cycling is a great training tool that could prove invaluable to most runners. Cycling has the ability to grow your muscles and increasing their capacity in strength and endurance while greatly minimizing the risk of injury.

With cycling working out most and more of the muscles that running does, it is perfect to have these training techniques mixed into your weekly workout timetable. Cycling provides some resistance type of cardiovascular exercise that’s able to warm-up our bodies and uplifts our spirits.

Taking a low to medium bike ride after a distance run will help your joints relax and will keep you from developing muscle tightness that is common with extreme sports.

Is Cycling Daily Advisable for Men?

No because repeatedly crushing the perineum leads to erectile dysfunction in most men.

As cycling gains popularity across the general public men has been cautioned against riding more than three hours per week on their bike. The “nose” part of the chair that they sit on is said to exert pressure on a man’s perineum which is where the penis’ nerve endings and arteries pass through.

It is yet to be confirmed as the only cause but general statistics indicate that a higher number of male cyclists complained of erectile dysfunction. Cycling daily for men is then not advisable.


While there is that last bit of a shocker that comes as a limitation to fans of cycling, the hope in it is that there are new and improved seating mechanisms on new bikes and as long you cycle for the fun of it, you should have the best time. Jogging is a safe alternative that helps you increase your VO2 intake which is perfect for endurance and strength training.