Which Sport Burns Most Calories? Football or Cycling

Which Sport Burns Most Calories? Deciding between soccer and cycling for weight loss can be a tough choice, as both sports have their pros and cons in terms of energy expenditure, enjoyment, and practicality. In this article, we’ll compare the calories burned in football and cycling, along with various factors to consider, helping you make an informed decision.

Football and Cycling: A Comparison of Calories Burned

When assessing the calorie expenditure of physical activity, we commonly use the concept of MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task). MET allows us to compare the intensity of various exercises by representing the amount of energy expended at rest. The higher the MET value for a sport, the more calories it burns.

Calorie Expenditure in Football: A Closer Look

Football is an intense team sport that engages all muscle groups and challenges cardiovascular endurance. Based on several studies, football has MET ranging from 7 to 10, influenced by the intensity of the game and the player’s position on the field. As a result, a 70 kg football player can burn approximately 490 to 700 calories per hour of play.

Calorie Expenditure in Cycling: A Closer Look

Cycling is a widely embraced endurance sport suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. The MET for cycling fluctuates depending on factors like intensity and resistance (such as slope or wind). On average, cycling has a MET ranging from 4 to 16. For instance, a 70 kg person pedaling at a moderate pace can burn around 280 to 1120 calories per hour.

The Key to Optimal Health and Sports Performance

While the number of calories burned is a crucial factor in deciding between football and cycling, it’s equally essential to consider their impacts on overall health and sports performance.

The effects of football

Football offers numerous health benefits, such as strengthening muscles, enhancing coordination and balance, and developing lung capacity. However, it’s important to be aware of potential risks associated with the sport, including injuries resulting from impacts or repetitive motions. To minimize these risks, a thorough warm-up routine and adherence to safety rules are crucial when engaging in football.

The effects of cycling

Cycling is renowned for its positive effects on cardiovascular health, joint mobility, and muscle toning in the lower limbs. It is an excellent way to build endurance while being gentle on the joints due to the absence of impact on the ground. However, it’s worth noting that improper posture or excessive intensity in cycling can potentially lead to posture problems and lower back pain. Ensuring an optimal riding position and moderating the intensity can help mitigate these issues.

Football and Cycling Accessibility and Engagement

The decision between football and cycling can also be influenced by logistical constraints, available time, and personal preferences.


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Engaging in football typically involves being a member of a club or team, requiring regular commitments to training and matches. Additionally, access to suitable playing fields and adherence to the schedules imposed by sports facilities are essential. Despite these requirements, football provides a social and enjoyable aspect that is highly valued by enthusiasts of team sports.


Cycling offers significant freedom in choosing where and when to practice. Whether riding alone or in a group, on roads or in the mountains, for commuting or leisure, cyclists have versatile options. While there might be an initial cost for buying a bike and safety equipment, these expenses often prove worthwhile, considering the savings in transportation and potential healthcare costs in the long run.

A Closer Look at the Differences Between Football and Cycling

Football and cycling exhibit distinct characteristics in terms of energy expenditure, health impacts, and accessibility. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the best choice for burning calories. The decision depends on individual goals, needs, and preferences.

It’s crucial to emphasize that engaging in regular physical activity, regardless of the specific sport, contributes to overall health and well-being. Consider trying both sports to determine which one aligns best with your preferences and fits your lifestyle.

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