The cardio vs. weight training debate has been going on for a long time. Very often, you will find articles blatantly stating that one is better than the other. In reality, however, a
combination of cardio training and weight training is the best strategy for accomplishing any fitness goal,whether it's losing weight or building muscle mass. This is because cardio training and weight training give you totally different health benefits, all of which are needed for an overall healthy body.
Let's look at the different benefits that cardio and weight training has on the health of your body:
Benefits of Cardio Training
- The biggest benefit of cardio training is that it can burn calories really fast. While this is not necessarily a good thing in and of itself, it's certainly a great perk when you are trying to accelerate your weight loss. A moderate-to-high intensity cardio workout will help you burn between 650 and 800 calories per hour, which is pretty great for your weight loss goals.
- Cardio training does a really great job in improving your overall cardiovascular health (which is why it's called "cardio" training). Better cardiovascular health means that your heart will be stronger and can pump blood to your body cells faster. This results in overall increased body efficiency, which means you have increased energy for all physical (and even mental)activities. You will get tired less often and feel much more energetic and alive.
Benefits of Weight Training
- The most obvious benefit of weight training is that it increases your muscle mass. Increased muscle mass results in a better-toned body, and makes you feel stronger and more confident.
- Weight training increases your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is the number of calories that you burn when you are at rest. More muscle means that your body needs to burn more calories to keep those muscles working. So if you burn,on average,60 calories per hour of watching TV,you will burn 80 calories per hour instead for up to 36 hours after a moderate-to-high intensity weight training workout. Those increased numbers really add up over time, and can drastically decrease the risk of sudden weight gain in old age.
What training should you choose for weight loss?
It's a common misconception that cardio training should be used only for weight loss, and weight training should be used only for building muscle mass. However, as we have seen from these benefits,weight training gives you results that are just as effective (if not more effective)than cardio training. Hence,you should definitely focus more on weight training for weight loss.
Does that mean you should ignore cardio training altogether?
Definitely not! As we have seen, both types of training have different kinds of benefits for your body. So,in pursuit of general overall body health, you should adopt a workout that combines both weight training and cardio training. This way,not only will you be achieving your goals, but you will also become much healthier and increase your resistance to diseases in old age.
So,in the interest of pursuing a fitter and healthier body,you should integrate both weight training and cardio training in your workout regime. You don't have to figure it out alone. My clients have both cardio and weight training integrated into their " 7 Week Challenge health and fitness plan.
Here is to a fitter and healthier you for life!
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