Cardio or Strength Training or Both?
Many people who’ve decided to lose weight find themselves stuck with a tricky question — should they do cardio or lift weights?
They’re the two most popular types of workouts, but it can be hard to know which is a better use of your time. Scientists have researched how many calories people burn during various activities. Based on this research, you can use your body weight to estimate how many calories you will burn during different types of exercise, including cardio and weight training.
In general, you’ll burn more calories per session of cardio than weight training for about the same amount of effort. The number of calories you burn during exercise depends on your body size and how intensely you exercise. Typically, a cardio workout burns more calories than a weight training workout of the same duration.
Although a weight-training workout doesn’t typically burn as many calories as a cardio workout, it has other important benefits. For example, weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest than some other tissues, including fat.
Because of this, it is commonly said that building muscle is the key to increasing your resting metabolism — that is, how many calories you burn at rest.
Weight training and building a little bit of muscle won’t make your metabolism skyrocket, but it may increase it by a small amount. However, weight training also has other important calorie-burning benefits.
Specifically, research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session, compared to a cardio workout. In fact, there are reports of resting metabolism staying elevated for up to 38 hours after weight training, while no such increase has been reported with cardio.
This means that the calorie-burning benefits of weights aren’t limited to when you are exercising. You may keep burning calories for hours or days afterward. For most types of exercise, a more intense workout will increase the number of calories you burn afterward.
The Bottom Line
Both cardio and weights can help you become healthier and more fit.
A cardio workout burns more calories than a weight-training workout.
However, your metabolism may stay elevated for longer after weights than cardio, and weight lifting is better for building muscle.
Thus, the ideal exercise program for improving body composition and health includes cardio and weights. It is best to do both.
31 Oct, 2017