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Army November 26, 2009
TO RUN or ride? That is a
question that a lot of peo-
ple looking at exercise
Undoubtedly, they are both very
beneficial to your overall health and
wellbeing and have similar benefits.
But they are also different in certain
key areas. Here is a guide of pros
and cons to help you decide what is
best for you.
Running can be one of the best
ways to lose weight and improve
your cardiovascular fitness due its
intensity and the overall workout
you receive. Cycling can deliver the
same results, with the difference
being in the type of training you do
-- whether it is cycling for recrea-
tion, intensive training or racing.
Any exercise is good for your
mind. Many runners take to the trails
for the purpose of mental release.
Some run to consolidate a day's
work or focus on the day ahead, to
burn off nervous energy due to an
upcoming event, or to just get away
from the phone and email. Runners
can also experience 'runners high'
-- a feeling where running becomes
effortless. Cycling has the same
mental benefits, but not the 'high'.
Both running and cycling can
be very social pastimes for those
who enjoy others' company while
exercising. It can also help you
judge whether you are improving
or stagnating. It is quite common
to see cyclists at cafes after a long
morning ride or runners in club runs
along bush trails and around lakes.
In urban areas, cyclists can save
time and money by ditching the car
and opting for pedal power instead.
Then, there are health costs associ-
ated with doing no exercise at all.
According to a government report,
approximately $2.4 billion a year
goes towards treating obesity. The
indirect costs -- lost work productiv-
ity, absenteeism and unemployment
-- are even higher at about $9 billion
This is one of the main differ-
ences between cycling and running.
Running is a high-impact sport
and can cause stress fractures, shin
splints, runner's knee and plantar
fasciitis -- a condition that causes
heel and arch pain. So, if you have
any pre-existing injuries or con-
cerns, then conducting a low-impact
exercise like cycling is probably the
better way to go.
Cycling and running have their good and bad
points, but both are better than not exercising
at all, writes LAC Aaron Curran.
Buy a pair of good running shoes
and you are ready to go. No expen-
sive equipment or registration fees
Unfortunately, cycling mostly is
not done on the cheap. You have the
bike, not to mention shoes, lights,
clothes, helmet and wear and tear
Pack your running gear into a
bag and you can run anywhere. With
cycling, you must buy a bike carrier
and go by car or aircraft.
Caution must be taken when run-
ning in extreme weather. There have
been huge improvements in sporting
apparel in recent years, so experi-
enced shop staff will be able to offer
you advice on what is appropriate
for your intended use.
If it is hot, make sure you wear a
hat and sunscreen, and take plenty
of water if you're going to be out
for an extended period.
Generally, it is suggested that
you drink 150-200ml every 15-20
minutes, but this will vary depend-
ing on your intensity, weight, tem-
perature and humidity.
Both cycling and running are
beneficial to your health, no doubt
about it. But it can come down to
what you enjoy the most, what suits
your body -- and your wallet -- and
to what best works for you while
minimising the possibility of injury.
Different strokes: Running is a good way to lose weight but can lead to more injuries, whereas cycling is a popular
social sport but can be expensive. Choose what's best for you.
Photos by LCpl Glenn Power and LAC Aaron Curran
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