For many of us, exercise is a priority when it comes to our weight loss journey. But which type of exercise is best for burning calories and losing weight: cardio or weight training?
The short answer is, both. The longer answer is that each has its benefits and drawbacks, and both are needed to achieve real results. Should you focus on cardio or strength training? The answer isn’t as simple, a more specific answer will depend largely on your health goals, body type, and lifestyle. Here’s how they both work.
What are cardio exercises?
Cardio exercises (also known as aerobic exercise) are any exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing. Some examples of cardio exercises include running, cycling, rowing, swimming, and walking.
This type of activity uses large muscle groups to perform sustained and rhythmic movements and it increases the body’s need for oxygen. Cardio exercises help burn calories and reduce fat stores. It also helps improve cardiovascular health and endurance, which can lead to lower blood pressure, less stress on joints and bones, and reduced risk of heart disease. In addition, studies show that aerobic exercise can improve cognitive function and mood by increasing levels of endorphins (natural painkillers produced by the brain).
Cardio exercises are very efficient at burning fat because they use large muscle groups, which means you’re working out more muscles in your body at once. This also means that your body will use more energy (calories) to perform these activities. The more intense the activity, the more calories it will burn. But don’t worry if you’re not an athlete or super fit: even walking briskly for 30 minutes can have positive effects on your body (and your waistline).
What are weight training exercises?
Weight training or strength training exercises are any types of physical activity that build muscle mass. This can be accomplished through a variety of exercises, ranging from resistance bands to free weights at the gym. While they may seem similar to cardio exercises because they involve moving your body through space and you breathe more quickly during them (especially if you’re lifting heavy weights), weight-lifting is an anaerobic exercise.
Weight-training exercises are also considered resistance training because it takes effort for your muscles to contract against gravity; this causes them to flex, thus building strength so that over time your body becomes accustomed to handling heavier loads without feeling fatigued or exhausted by the activity.
Weight training exercises use resistance from weights or machines to build muscle mass instead of fat. They are done with heavy weights (at least 80 percent of your maximum load) with low repetitions (1-6) and short rest periods (30 seconds or less). Weight training exercises help you build lean muscle mass which helps increase your metabolism so that you burn more calories at rest throughout the day. This can lead to increased fat loss over time if combined with a healthy diet and enough cardio exercise every week.
Which is better for weight loss?
When it comes to weight loss, generally cardio exercise is the way to go. Weight exercise builds muscle and increases your metabolism, but when at rest your body will burn calories which are called resting metabolic rate.
Both types of exercises burn calories during and after your workout. While strength training exercises build muscle mass, which boosts metabolism and speeds up fat loss at rest, cardio exercise also helps strengthen your heart and lungs as well as improve fitness levels and lung capacity among other benefits.
Weight training exercises build muscles and help increase bone density while at the same time reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Muscle mass helps protect against injury, which can result in higher energy costs for an individual who takes up a sedentary lifestyle post-injury or illness
How to burn calories with cardio exercises.
You can calculate the number of calories you’ve burned by doing a cardio workout using either your heart rate or more advanced technology. Here are some ways to measure your heart rate during a cardio exercise:
- Use a pulse oximeter — This device, worn on the fingertip, measures oxygen saturation in your blood. It tells you if there is enough oxygen in your system as well as how fast it is flowing through your body (the higher the pulse, the better). A pulse oximeter measures both heart rate and blood pressure.
- Wear a strap around your chest — This strap contains electrodes that detect electric signals coming from the heart muscle (or ECG) and send them to an electronic monitor that displays results on its screen so that they can be easily measured.
- Heart Rate Monitoring System
How to burn calories with weight training exercises.
The benefits of weight training are many, but the most obvious is that it burns calories. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest and during exercise. You may have heard that cardio exercises are better for burning fat than strength training exercises because they use more muscle groups and thus increase your metabolism for longer periods after working out. This is only partially true: yes, cardio does burn more overall calories than strength training over time if you weigh the same before and after each type of workout. However, if one person weighs 200 pounds while another weighs 100 pounds before performing both types of exercises, then their respective metabolisms would be completely different after doing these activities!
If one person weighs 200 pounds while another weighs 100 pounds before performing both types of exercises, then their respective metabolisms would be completely different after doing these activities!
When it comes to weight loss, there is no single “best” exercise. The best thing you can do for yourself is to incorporate a variety of activities into your workout routine. Cardio exercise and weight training are two very different ways to burn calories and lose weight. There are a lot of benefits to doing both types of workouts, and the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to do both!
That was a lot of information! But hopefully, you now have the knowledge you need to decide which form of exercise is best for your body type and goals. If you’re considering both cardio and weight training exercises, that’s great! Even if you only choose one or the other, exercising will help improve your health in so many ways. So get out there and do your thing!