What Burns More Calories, Walking, Or Biking The Same Distance?

Last update: 2021-09-10

Which way of burning calories is more efficient – walking 5 miles or cycling 5 miles every day?

Although both of these exercise methods result in your fitness and health improvement, I think not just you but everyone also wants to optimize their time and effort to develop a better daily cardiovascular exercise routine.

That’s why in this post today, I’m going to give you the best answer to “what burns more calories, walking or biking the same distance?”.

Difference Between Walking And Biking

In terms of the strain put on your body, walking and biking are fundamentally different.

What Burns More Calories, Walking, Or Biking The Same Distance?With walking, you are weight-bearing, therefore, it trains your joints and bones to be stronger. Unlike biking, although the bicycle pedals move up and down, not the entire of your body weight is put on these pedals.

In other words, this exercise is just a partial-weight-bearing activity.

What Burns More Calories, Walking, Or Biking The Same Distance?While both activities make most of your muscles move, walking is more chill for them by putting less pressure on the medius, gluteus, core, calves, and shoulders (if your walking style is like people in a military parade).

This is an extremely efficient biomechanical exercise.

While biking, your quadriceps and glutes keep working their best (if clipped into the pedals, your feet and lower leg muscles are also well-exercised, too). That’s why biking helps tone up one’s body but walking can’t do that.

What Burns More Calories, Walking, Or Biking The Same Distance?During the very first weeks or months, you’ll find that your body loses fat and gains some muscle mass. But after a couple of more months with the same walking routine, your body still keeps losing fat but hardly gains any muscle. This leads to the final results that you lose weight literally.

Benefits Of Walking And Biking

Whether the amount of calories burnt off each exercise method is different from each other or not, walking and biking share the benefit of:

  • Improve the health of your cardiovascular system
  • Lower the risks of disease
  • Extend your life

Above all, they’re low-impact exercises that are perfect for obese people or those who have back pain or lower-body joint pain.

The Answer, Pros, And Cons Of Each Exercise Method

I tested it on myself by walking and biking on a flat ground; the distance of both tests was the same - 7.5 miles.

With walking, my pace averagely was 4MPH, it took about 113 minutes to travel the distance. My bodyweight was 180 pounds at that time and after the walk, I burnt 793 calories.

Meanwhile, at around 15MPH of biking, it only takes 30 minutes (nearly 3.5 times faster than walking) to finish the same distance. And I burnt only 432 calories (nearly 1.5 times lesser than walking).

What Burns More Calories, Walking, Or Biking The Same Distance?The results obviously say that walking at the same distance will help you burn more calories than biking.

Want to know the reason?

Well, it’s because of the longer amount of time it took you to finish the distance. Walking requires more time, meaning for more exercise volume and you burn more calories.

That said, walking isn’t the best option for all people who want to lose weight or burn calories. Here is the pros and cons of each exercise method:


Walking

Biking

Pros

Burn more calories at the same distance than biking

Not require any equipment

Lower BMI and body fat

Burn more calories at the same time than walking (more time-efficient)

Allow you to explore more

Cons

Take time

Interior in calorie burning to walk if compared at the same distance

Require some certain equipment like a helmet, knee pads, and maintenance cost for your bike

Best for

People who love walking

A budget-friendly and universal option to lose weight (anyone can go for a walk under most conditions)

People who only have a certain limited amount of time per day for exercising

Lose weight faster in a shorter time

By the way, if you want a quick comparison between biking and walking at the same time, here is a detailed report from my personal test.

I spent 30 minutes walking at 4 MPH, and the result was 211 calories burnt. At the same time for biking at 15 MPH, I could burn 432 calories (more than twice in comparison).

Walking is a moderate exercise while biking is a vigorous one, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s best for everyone to spend at least 150 minutes walking and 75 minutes biking per week.

Conclusion

Above is the answer to the question “what burns more calories, walking or biking at the same distance?”, along with other practical pieces of related information that I provided. Hope that you will find the right exercise method for your physical health conditions and preference.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy Lang
Nancy Lang

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