Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Bike and How Exercises Compare

How Do Different Exercises Compare?
This is one of the biggest questions I get. I talk a lot about running and someone will say, I want to walk or ride a bike or swim. So if I talk about running a mile, what is the the equivelant of in walking, biking, and swimming? This is not an easy answer and experts disagree. Since triathletes run, bike, and swim; I am going with data from triathlete trainers and experts.

1 mile running = 4 miles biking
1 mile running = 2 miles walking
1 mile running = .5 miles swimming

So this leads to more questions Lets see if I can just give you answers.

Yes! You must walk twice as far a someone would run to get the same benefit even though it takes twice as long. So when people tell me that they walk 2 miles every day and it takes them an hour, they could just run 1 miles in 15 minutes and get the same benefit.

Yes! You should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Even though walking for an hour is a long time and it id good for you, it is really only worth 15 minutes of a regular work out.

Yes! cyclist work out just as hard or even harder than runners when they work out. There is a big difference though. Biking is truly a muscle work out. Look at cyclists and their legs! Now here is what people don't realize, If I bike regularly on flat ground, there is no difference between me riding with as little weight as possible and riding with a 100 lbs pack. It's physics. If you are truly running, there is a point at which both feet are in the air. You literally through your body into the air with each step. If you weigh 200 lbs it take 4 time the energy to do that than someone who weight 100 lbs. That is also physics. When walking, one foot will always be on the ground and half the time, two feet will be.

Yes, professional cyclists have supper ultra light weight bikes. They save those bikes for the mountains, when weight DOES actually matter.

Yes, a half a mile swim is long. but the effect on the bike, is even more so swimming, the entire exercise of swimming is resistance against the limbs you move.

Yes, you can break your work out into different times and still benefit, but studies show you will burn 3/4 the calories as you would if you did them together. So instead of walking for two hours, walk for one hour in the morning and one at night.

It take a lot of consistent energy drain over a period of time in order for your body to think "O crap! I am running out of fuel! I had better start burning Fat!"

My last bike Ride Saturday I decided to ride my bike again. Still having some knee pain (unrelated to running, more to do with being over weight and out of shape and running.) So the week before I ran 2 miles, that would mean I would need to bike 8 miles. I only had one day to do it, so I biked 8 slow miles and it took me 1 hour and 27 seconds. Not bad. It was hot too! 85 degree and 70% humidity! I was wet! After that ride, my legs felt funky, so I took a warm shower, cleaned up, then slowly dropped the temperature until only the cold water was on. Plug the drain and let the water fill the tub. I felt great after it was done. Totally less muscle soreness than I would normally had.

Now this week, I may add some biking and running! I will keep you posted!


Shiloah Baker said...

Great post~

Mindy and Jason said...

Miss you guys already!

Mindy and Jason said...

PS you need to teach jason how to get the webcamm to work!!

Anonymous said...

One note on your comment about there being no difference to a cyclist if they ride with no weight or a 100 lb pack. That is incorrect.

If you think of riding a bike in terms of physics, you are really pushing the bike along the road. So on flat, or anything besides downhill, you indeed are working harder if you add weight.

larsen0966 said...

Not to get into a discussion of physics, but if you are interested go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance

Becky said...

Thanks for all the information on walking vs running, etc. I've been trying to start running, and I was curious about that. You said that walking for 1 hour was like 15 minutes of running. Does that assume you only walk 1 mile in an hour? If you walk at a faster 4 mile/hr pace, do you know what the equivalents are then?