Guest Author - Terri Johansen
The history of this dilemma is long standing. In order for you to address it personally you should take into consideration, what is your objective; losing weight in total, having a toned strong overall body, or both. Let me explain the difference in the affect of cardio versus weight training on your body and fat burning, and then you can be the judge.
The Case for Cardio and Weight Loss
•Thirty minutes spent on cardio will burn more calories than lifting weights for the same amount of time.
•Cardio doesn’t particularly do a lot for muscle tone, except for the area used most in your cardio choice. Most cardio includes the lower body, such as: running, walking, biking, elliptical trainer, etc. You will probably have toned legs. However the rest of your body has not developed muscle tone.
•You do have control over burning fat faster with your cardio routine. You have the ability to decide on the intensity. Let’s say you walk for 30 minutes. If you walk at a brisk pace, maybe even throwing in a couple intervals, you will burn more fat than a slower paced walker who walked for the same 30 minutes. The slower paced walker may be able to burn the same amount of calories but it would probably take a minimum of 45 minutes of walking.
•A 2011 analysis studied the effects of cardio on fat loss in obese and over-weight people. The results determined that aerobic exercise was the type of exercise needed for fat loss.
•A 2012 study also found that cardio training was the most effective exercise for reducing fat.
•In a recent study performed by faculty at Duke Medical Center, it was shown that cardio exercise burned more calories than weight training.
Building a Case for Strength Training
•A Penn State study showed that dieters in a research group of cardio versus strength training both lost 21 pounds. The difference being that those who performed weight training lost 6 pounds of fat as opposed to just total calories loss of the aerobic exercisers.
•Studies have shown that doing strength training before your cardio will increase the fat burning during your workout.
•Strength and resistance training increase muscle mass. This is where you will see the results of a toned strong body giving you an overall better appearance.
•Resistance training will cause your metabolism to stay active longer after you have completed your workout. This statement is true but no one really knows how much affect this has on burning fat.
•You’ve probably heard that muscle weighs more than fat. This is true, so even though you are working out, building strong toned muscles, you may not notice a weight loss.
•Weight training has some very noteworthy affects on the body such as: increases bone density which reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Some studies have shown there are other health benefits such as improved insulin resistance, reduced risk of blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. However, aerobic exercise can claim these same benefits.
What is the Solution?
•Our bodies need both cardio and strength training. While they may provide many of the same health benefits it is in the bone and muscle that the difference lays. Weight training can strengthen muscles, bones, and joints that cardio alone cannot.
•Try circuit training. This type of exercise gives you a cardio and resistance workout at the same time. Workout for less time and get more benefits.
•Taylor your workout schedule to include both components. Try cutting back on the cardio and do a total-body weight training session 2x per week. This is called concurrent training.
•Another form of concurrent training is: if you’re hanging tight to the cardio burning calories workout, then try doing some weight training before your cardio. Do several exercises for your shoulders one day, arms on another, and back on another. In this way you can get the benefits of strength training in less time than a full weight training session.
There is only one true way to lose weight and body fat. It is very simple – eat less, exercise more. Working out consistently and following a health smart eating plan is the way to go.
Always check with a medical professional before starting any new exercise activity. If you are trying to lose weight you should check with a nutritionist also. Be healthy, be happy.
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