Spinning Vs Running – Which is Healthier and Burns More Fat?

Spinning Vs RunningMany fitness enthusiasts discuss the benefits of using the indoor cycle vs running.
Let us understand which of these workouts is the best to lose maximum weight and burn fat in the minimum possible time. If you have tried both it would be evident both offer a great cardiovascular workout. Both have their benefits and both exercise different sets of muscles in a different manner.

Here is a comparative study that discusses the number of calories burnt, the benefits to the joints and cardiovascular system. In addition, how it helps improve mental health and posture beside build muscles. Then the discussion leads to the benefits elaborating why it is best to cross-train with both.

Calories Burnt

An adult of 155 pounds will burn 350 calories if they run for 30 minutes at the speed of 6 mph. While spinning they will burn 260 calories. If spinning is intensified from a leisurely 5 mph to 8 mph the number of calories burnt can be boosted from 600 – 800 per hour.

The American College of Sports Medicine and Center for Disease Control & Prevention consider both spinning and running as vigorous high-intensity workouts as they burn more than 7 calories per minute. So, if a person, spins or runs at an average of 7 calories/minute they would have burnt 420 calories per hour.

If they increase the intensity of the workout by covering 8 mph this would take the rate of burning up to 800 calories. In addition, if the person keeps the cadence for up to 2 hours they would have covered 15 – 20 miles and burnt 1600 calories. Resting for an interval of 5 minutes during running and spinning ramps up the calorie burning process.

As in both the cases, you are breathing deeply and each muscle is consuming more oxygen. This oxygen is carried by your blood to each muscle that is using the fat to fuel itself. In other words, the fat combines with the oxygen to fuel the muscles releasing heat and mechanical energy while workout. The enhanced ability to burn fat and utilize nutrients is the secret of an improved metabolism.

Benefits the Joints

It is said that running is stressful for the joints if you suffer from hip, knee or ankle pain. Spinning is a gentler yet as vigorous form of exercise for such cases. But if you are cross training, land your forefoot and then roll the foot through to the heel. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) spinning exercise intensity rates between 15 – 18 on the Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion.

The exertion rating scales from 6 – 20 as spinning is more than just pedalling. Each bike comes with levels of resistance that simulate terrains such as declines, steep hills and flat smooth trails. This means higher the Borg’s Rating the more difficult the terrain. This means more exertion thus more calories burnt.

Whether is it is spinning or running begin at your own pace. If you are spinning, begin in a leisurely manner. If you are running, begin by walking for 20 minutes then steadily increase your tread as your muscles warm up. Then run for a few seconds, this cycle will also help build endurance.

Posture and Mental Health

Running and spinning help tone and build muscles. Even though spinning requires bending forward to activate the quadriceps. It can also lead to a bad back, hips and posture. This can be corrected by keeping a neutral stance that helps develop a strong supple spine. Also, stretch your legs, bend forward and backwards at the waist at the end of each session.

Because the blood and lymph are flowing, the breathing is deep and the body is well oxygenated. The toxins are flushed out improving mental health.

The heart is pumping while every nook and cranny of the body is washed out. The kidneys and the bowels are revved up to relieve constipation. This cleansing of the body leads to toned muscles and overall feeling of wellbeing thus better mental health.

If you are looking to improve the aesthetics of your legs or build large muscles these are perfect workouts for you. If you are a professional athlete, cyclist or a footballer spinning and running are great ways to cross training eliminating boredom.


Besides a great cardiovascular exercise, these workouts also improve aerobic fitness. The heart pumps blood and lymph while the lungs expand to their maximum capacity. You can further facilitate the process of flushing by sipping water throughout the day.

Moderate workouts such as walking and spinning for pleasure or leisure are safe for most adults. However, beyond the age of 40 – 50 get a medical check-up to know the condition of your heart and joints before you take up high-intensity workouts.

Instead of comparing workout the on indoor bike vs running, cross-train with both and reap the benefits. Running is a weight-bearing exercise that builds your bones and muscles. Running outdoor staves off boredom especially if you change routes. While spinning is a minimal impact workout that exercises your joints. The overall effect on the health is a reduced risk of chronic diseases, better posture and carriage and a longer healthier life span.

About the author


    Eugene has been a fitness enthusiast for most of his life and has always believed in the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. He loves encouraging people to live healthy lives and to empower them to feel strong.