Cycling or Inline Skating: Which Is Better for Exercise?

Time to get rolling.

Time to get rolling.

Tired of boring workouts? Cycling and inline skating are fun activities that just so happen to also be very effective workouts. Both burn calories and provide an aerobic benefit. Plus, both exercises are low-impact, so stress on the joints is less than running or jogging. The health benefits of cycling and inline skating are pretty comparable.

Intensity

The biggest factor influencing which exercise – cycling or inline skating – is a better workout is your workout intensity. Increasing your workout intensity will help boost the number of calories burned and the cardiovascular benefit. So, the best exercise for you may be the one that you feel more comfortable ramping up the workout intensity on a bit.

Calories Burned

Cycling and inline skating both help burn a decent number of calories, but cycling has a slight advantage. A 150-pound person cycling at a moderate pace of 12 to 14 mph burns about 297 calories every 30 minutes, according to HealthStatus.com. The same person skating at a moderate pace burns 171 calories per 30 minutes. Skating at a vigorous pace increases the calories burned to 311 calories, while increasing your cycling speed to 14 to 16 mph burns about 360 calories.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Benefits

In terms of aerobic benefit – heart and lung health benefits -- inline skating is slightly better in this regard, according to the International Inline Skating Association. Inline skating is also a better muscle-strengthening exercise. The skating motion helps strengthen all the muscles in your upper legs, including the glutes, hamstrings and hips. Skating also works out the arms and shoulders, since you naturally swing your arms back and forth while skating. Cycling is still very effective at strengthening the leg muscles, but isn’t quite as effective as a full-body workout.

The Verdict

It’s tough to choose one over the other. On one hand, cycling burns more calories on average compared to inline skating. On the other hand, inline skating is a better aerobic and anaerobic workout. Since both exercises are fun, low-impact and great for your health, deciding which is better really comes down to personal preference. You can’t go wrong with either one.

 

About the Author

Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images