If you ask us, running is boring and just too damn hard. Plus, talk with any runner for five minutes and for sure you’ll hear about her injuries. It’s just part of the running life. That’s why we vastly prefer cycling, and why we built the Myx program around a bike, not a treadmill. Riding is fun, most people can do it longer than they can run and thus burn more calories, and it’s much easier on your body. Take it outside and you’re seeing the world and getting around in a way that’s good for both you and the environment.
Don’t believe us? Here are four ways cycling is better than running.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Bill Rodgers once held the American men’s record for the marathon; he won both the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon four times. He was a great one for signing autographs, and when people came up to him and said, “Bill, I don’t know if you remember me, but we met last year in Boston and…” Rodgers would say, “Sure! How’s the injury?” That’s because the only thing runners wanted to talk with the legendary champion about was their multiple and non-stop aches and pains.
It’s simple physics: The repeated impact of your foot on the ground as you run, and the shock it forces up through the knee and hip, can create real problems. It could be something as simple as a rolled ankle, but more likely it will be a knee, hip or lower back injury.
Cycling, on the other hand, offers no impact and doesn’t jar the lower body or spine at all. You’re going to need to position yourself properly on the bike—bad set-up can hurt the knees or back—but once you do, you’re going to be able to get on a bike and break a sweat without risking an injury.
Easy to Learn, Easy to Progress
Unless you’re training for the Tour de France, cycling is pretty simple: make sure you’re in the right position on the bike and spin the pedals. That’s pretty much it. Obviously, there’s some technique to learn, especially around positioning and pacing, but it’s a very simple activity to start. Keep at it, and you’ll see rapid improvement. You can slowly add time or mileage—never add more than 10% per week—or increase resistance on your ride to challenge yourself and speed up progress.
Strengthen the Lower Body
Cycling is a great way to strengthen the muscles in your lower body. If you’re cycling properly—with your knees, hips, arms and spine in the right position—you’re going to make positive change to the legs. If you’ve cycled before you probably remember the dull ache in your legs after the ride, especially in the quads and hamstrings, a positive sign that you’re working hard. Training these commonly-used and essential muscles also strengthens the knees and hips, and reduces the risk of joint injury as you age. Plus: buff legs are sexy as hell.
It’s a Burner
You can burn around 300 calories an hour by cycling at a reasonable pace. We figure you’ll burn about 500 calories during a typical Myx workout. But if you want a longer burn, fire up your favorite show or movie and settle in for a long ride. You’ll build leg strength, cardio endurance and you’ll burn calories, all without stressing your joints. What more could you want?