Is cardio or weight lifting better for weight loss?
Every day this question is asked in gyms all across the country. While there are benefits to both types of exercise, the most recent research suggests that it depends on what goals you want to achieve. Both cardio and weight lifting should be done if you want to lose weight, get in shape and keep the weight off. However, if you can only fit in one type of exercise and weight loss is your ultimate goal, cardio is the key. If you have the time and wish to tone your body plus get lean muscle, you’ll want to incorporate weight lifting as well. It’s all about balance, your goals, and what your schedule will allow- doing some form of activity is always better than doing none at all.
Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any physical activity or any sport that raises your heart rate (i.e running, cycling, aerobics, skiing), which causing more oxygen to be pumped through your lungs and blood. With cardio workouts, you get your heart beat to a targeted rate, which causes your blood to pump faster and raises your body temperature, leading you to burn calories. Other than weight loss, cardiovascular exercises increase energy levels, raise exercise tolerance, and reduce insulin sensitivity, while improving sleep and reducing anxiety levels. This is beneficial to people who want to improve their overall body health and fitness.
You can also use weight lifting routines to lose weight if that is your preferred form of fitness, and it has some added benefits that cardio workouts don’t always have. One of the advantages weight training has over cardio is that you continue to burn more calories after the exercise is completed. This is because as you lift weights, making you build muscles and in turn increasing your resting metabolism, you burn calories even at rest. Another significant benefit is that it will allow you to reshape your body completely. With cardio exercises you will lose weight, which is a combination of both fat loss and muscle loss, so what you are left with is a smaller body.
When you are performing weight lifting training, you stand a better chance of losing strictly body fat, while helping to enhance the natural curves of your body. Weight lifting exercises are also vital to older people since we start to lose muscle mass more and more as time goes on. Weight training is required for maintaining lean muscle mass, strength, and fitness for everyday living.
In conclusion, cardio wins regarding calorie burn and weight loss; this is because cardiovascular training causes a loss in both fat and lean muscle mass, while weight lifting exercises show a fat loss with a gain in lean body muscle. Even after your initial successful weight loss, it is recommended to do both cardio and weightlifting combined with a calorie-restricted diet, which will yield better long term results. Take care of your body- it’s the only one you get!