The Fitness Debate: Cycling Vs. Hiking

debateIt’s been a big debate for fitness nuts for decades and now, the debate has reached boiling point. So, which is better for you: hiking or cycling?

Cycling First

Ok, let’ start with cycling. So, we all know that, cycling is one of the most effective ways known to man of both losing weight and staying fit and healthy. Whilst it is difficult to estimate exactly how many calories you will burn whilst on the bike as this depends on your weight and how long you cycle for, I estimate that, you can burn between 300 and 440 calories if you cycle at a leisurely pace for an hour. One of the great things about cycling is that it works a lot of muscles in your body. It works: your legs, abdomen and hands and back. This makes it great for toning up your body. Cycling is great for people who want to make their exercise fun and leisurely rather than intensive like running.

If you’re keen to keep your muscles long and lean, cycling is not for you as it builds extremely muscular and toned legs. Another minor drawback which I should mention is that, to cycle, you do need a bike. It sounds obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many people seem to think that they can just borrow a bike to use every day of the week. You don’t necessarily need an expensive bike unless, you’re a pro. Cycling can also be quite high impact (although not as high impact as running) so, injuries can happen if you start trying to push it too hard.

Over to Hiking

Now onto hiking. Hiking is a brilliant way of staying fit and healthy and, you don’t need much to do it. Whilst you probably could hike on a gym machine, it’s far easier just to get out into the great outdoors and climb some mountains or, perhaps hills to start off with. Walking is also quite low impact and safe unlike if you happen to be cycling like a maniac on a busy road. At a rough guess, the average hiker could probably manage to burn around 650 calories for every hour of hiking although, most hikers tend to be out and about for more than just an hour. Because walking is low impact, it causes less injuries than cycling and running so, it’s great for those who are either prone to injuries or slowly recovering from one. You do need to invest in a good pair of hiking boots though, there are some good resources for reviews out there.

The problem with hiking is that, you do need to live near somewhere which is open so, if you live in the city, it’s not for you. Hiking probably won’t get you fit as quickly as cycling does either so, if you’re looking for a quick fix, hiking probably isn’t for you. Another drawback is that, to go hiking, you have to make sure that you have hours of spare time as hiking isn’t exactly a quick activity.

Whilst both of the exercises are great for keeping fit, cycling probably just pips hiking when it comes to all-round fitness although, people argue that, hiking is more enjoyable.