When you are working towards a weight loss goal, fitness or just general health, the question on everyone’s lips is “Should I be doing cardio or weights?”
For a long time, cardio has been seen as the no-brainer.
Push yourself hard and fast, work up a sweat, and check the calorie count on your polar watch after.
However, in recent years light has been shed on strength and weight training, and not just for the bodybuilding fanatics.
The best way to assess which is right for you, is to look at the benefits of each:
- Regular cardio improves both heart and lung health.
- Fat is the first port of call as fuel during cardiovascular exercise, which is key when embarking on a weight loss programme.
- Great stress relief. As well as pumping up feel-good endorphins, cardio forms of exercise can act as meditation. When you are focused on the task at hand, daily worries and stressors seem to fade away.
- Strength training burns fats AND builds muscle. More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and in fact strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent — which can really jumpstart a weight loss plan.
- As well as protecting your muscle mass, lifting weights can improve your bone density and help to prevent osteoporosis.
- By rectruiting more muscle fibres, you will see an improvement in your balance and posture. By standing taller, you’ll feel more confident and instantly look more lean!
There are health and weight loss benefits to both types of training, but if you are looking for long lasting and more effective results; strength training is the way to go.
As with everything, balance is key.
If you are a cardio junkie and strength training is new and unfamiliar to you, simply add some body weight exercises like squats and lunges after your regular workout!