Cardio vs Weight Lifting

​Cardio vs Weight Lifting which is best, and do you really need to do both?

Most doctors and fitness professionals recommend cardiovascular exercises to improve or maintain heart health, blood circulation, and overall health. However, skipping the weights can limit your chances of reaching your fitness goals.

If you want to lose weight, you may need to learn more about the benefits and limitations of both cardio and strength training.

Cardio and Weightlifting Both Help Burn Calories

When you want to lose weight, your primary concern is your body fat; to lose fat, you need a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit occurs when the total calories that you consume minus the calories that you burn are lower than the calories your body needs to maintain the same weight.

Both cardio and weightlifting help burn calories. However, the way that these exercises burn calories is different. With cardio, you burn more calories during your exercise session. With weightlifting, you may increase the number of calories you burn throughout the day.

Cardio vs Weight Lifting

Most forms of cardiovascular exercise provide continuous movement to burn calories throughout the session. For example, if you cycle for an hour, you are burning calories the entire time. When you lift weights for an hour, you may burn a moderate number of calories. However, the real gain comes from increased muscle mass.

Your muscle tissue burns through more calories when you are at rest than other tissues in your body. By increasing your muscle mass, you burn more calories. This increased metabolic rate helps you burn more fat. That is why you should include strength training in your routine even if your primary goal is to blast the fat.

Exploring the Advantages of Cardio Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise helps improve the health of your cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system, also called the circulatory system, is responsible for circulating blood through your body and is powered by the heart.

When you perform cardio exercises, you work the organs connected to the circulatory system, including the heart and lungs. Performing 30 minutes of cardio five times per week can improve heart health and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke while also improving your circulation.

The improved circulation also limits the risk of stroke and heart attacks along with reducing the risk of developing arthritis and diabetes. By adding more cardio to your exercise routine, you may also experience better sleep and more energy. While these are fantastic advantages, you still need to pay attention to your muscle.

The Benefits of Including Strength Training

Without strength training, your muscles may not get the exercise they need. Cycling or running may help maintain the muscles in your legs. However, these exercises may not help you maintain the muscles in your upper body. If you skip weightlifting, you risk losing muscle.

A reduction in muscle mass leads to a minor reduction in your metabolic rate. If you do not keep your existing muscles, you may have difficulty burning fat. Studies also show that people who perform strength training exercises are more likely to keep the fat off after losing weight.

Besides helping you lose more fat, strength training helps reduce bone loss. Bone loss is a problem associated with older individuals. However, it is never too early to begin protecting your bones. By adding strength training to your routine, you may lower the chances of bone loss later in life.

Common Excuses for Avoiding Weightlifting

There are two main excuses that people use for reasons why they do not want to lift weights. Some women may be afraid that weightlifting will result in large muscles. They skip the weights because they do not want to increase their bulk. They may just want to tone their bodies or lose body fat.

There is no possibility of building large muscles unless that is your specific goal. You will not wake up with massive biceps after lifting weights. To build larger muscles, you need to consume significantly more calories and develop a strength training regimen that pushes your muscles.

The second excuse for avoiding weightlifting is the worry of pulling a muscle or injury. You can reduce the risk of injury by ensuring that you practice proper form and technique for all weightlifting exercises.

If you need assistance with strength training exercises, you may want to consider joining a gym or working with a personal trainer. If you are performing the exercises at home, perform them in front of a mirror to pay attention to your form.

Combining Cardio and Weightlifting Exercises

To get the best results, you should include a combination of cardio and weightlifting in your routine. This is recommended regardless of your fitness goals. If you want to bulk up, you still need cardio to maintain your heart health and proper circulation. If you want to slim down, you still need weight training to prevent muscle loss.

You should also consider several types of weight training. Weightlifting is not the only way to include strength training in your routine. You can also perform resistance training, total body circuit training, or high-intensity interval training.

When you include both weight training and cardio, begin your session with the weight training. Studies show that you continue to burn additional calories for several hours after lifting weights or working your muscles. The increased metabolic rate may help you get more out of your cardio exercises.

You should also include stretches after your cardio. Stretching aids muscle recovery and helps prevent sore muscles. While some fitness experts recommend stretching before your exercises to warm the muscles, there is little research to back this recommendation. Instead, use your strength training to warm your muscles before performing cardio and finishing your session with stretches.

Choosing Between Cardio and Strength Training

You should not have to choose between cardio and weight training. In fact, both types of exercise work together to help you improve your fitness. They both provide benefits that may improve your overall health whether you want to burn fat or build muscle. If you want to get better results, start creating a fitness routine that combines the benefits of both cardio and weight training.

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