Which is actually better for weight loss – Cardio vs. weights

What is Cardio?

Cardio falls in the category of aerobic exercise that includes activities like walking or biking. Aerobic exercise needs oxygen. A steady supply of oxygen is required while performing aerobic exercise. This helps in burning fats and carbohydrates for energy. Your heart rate will increase and remain high for longer time while performing cardio.

The exercise forms such as walking, jogging, running, swimming and cycling comes under aerobic or cardio exercise. Sports such as soccer, tennis or basketball are good from of cardio activities.

Cardio

Pros

  • During the exercise session calories burn in high intensity, but falls of after it ceases.
  • You can incorporate other activities with cardio.
  • Best form of low intensity exercise for fat reduction e.g. walking.
  • Less time for recovery or rest as compared to weights.

Cons

  • Using running as a cardio workout is good, however over running can result in strain and injuries.
  • Unfit people cannot perform this exercise. Cardio at very low intensity is suitable for unfit individuals.
  • Cardio performed at moderate or intense level is not suitable for individuals with hormonal imbalance, especially for people with an increase in cortisol levels.
  • Difficult to achieve balanced physique with cardio alone.

What is weights?

Weights is a form of anaerobic exercise. The activities that involve weight lifting and other similar form are good example of weights or anaerobic exercise. In this form of activity there is a short burst of powerful movement that involves carbohydrates to burn to get energy. This form of exercise do not require oxygen.

Weights includes activities that involves intense workouts or strengthening activities. Lifting free weights, resistance bands, or training with weight machines all comes under weights that strength your muscles. Some people use own body for performing weights, this form includes lunges, crunches, or push-ups. Plyometric exercises and short sprints exercise also come under this from.

Weight Training

Pros

  • Quickly help to increase muscle mass.
  • Leads to increase in metabolism, which helps to reduce calories even after the completion of exercise.
  • Unfit individual cannot perform weights training.
  • Helps to increase muscular ability and reduce weight simultaneously.

Cons

  • Takes lot of time for recovery. Intense weights session may lead to injury or could be counterproductive.
  • Compared to cardio it burns less calories.
  • Lack of knowledge and bad information regarding weights sessions in the market caused poor results.
  • It increases hunger, thus strict diet is needed to gain weight reduction.

With cardio you can reduce the risk of health issues such as cardiac and vascular diseases. It also helps to improve cholesterol levels and decrease in systemic inflammation. Cardio also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, certain type of cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Whereas, weights helps to form lean muscle mass eventually decreasing body fat and risk of developing disease such as hypertension, heart disease, and obesity associated cancers. It also helps to reduce type 2 diabetes and risk of developing osteoporosis.

However, weights or strength training has little edge over cardio, as it helps in improving strength, joint stability, flexibility, balance and coordination. It also has huge impact on bone health.

Health experts suggest a mix of both the forms of exercise, as they have their own advantages and dis-advantages. Mixing both weights and cardio in your fitness regimen will help in weight loss and to maintain ideal body weight.

After knowing how these workout routine affects our body, you can create a workout regimen that suits your body type.

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