When exercising for either weight loss or to improve overall health, it’s important to devise a workout plan that is tied to your goals. And when considering cardio and weight training, both are important and necessary for optimum overall health.
Additionally, planning on how to use both methods is important. Doing so can mean you reach your goals sooner, avoid injury and have a better chance of sticking with your workouts.
Cardio vs. weight training for weight loss
When trying to lose weight, what kind of exercise is best? The answer is both.
Cardio is important not only to burn calories at a high rate, but also to strengthen your heart and keep it healthy. Many fitness benefits can be achieved through cardio, such as:
- As your heart becomes healthier from your cardio workouts, you may see improvements in your blood pressure. As your endurance increases, blood pressure often decreases.
- Cardio can be done without any equipment. So, if budget is a concern, a good workout is free simply by walking near your home, running on a track at your local sports field or following an aerobic workout video online.
- Cardio improves your overall health through a stronger heart and also improves sleep.
- Even a quick walk around the block at lunch or after work can help you reduce stress
- Many studies show that regularly participating in cardio workouts can keep your brain sharp.
- You can boost your immune system and body’s ability to fight off infection by working out.
Weight training has valuable benefits, too. Stronger muscles mean a stronger body that can do lots of things.
Training your muscles protects you from injuries in everyday activities. When a person injures their back or knee, they are often advised to improve the muscles around the joint or affected area to add support and aid in preventing a future injury.
Building muscle improves your health in the following ways:
- Building muscles helps you maintain a healthy weight. Muscle mass does burn more calories than fat, so by building muscle you might raise your resting metabolism. Increasing metabolism naturally means burning more fat.
- Weight training also helps to relieve stress through exertion. It can improve sleep, too. When you’re sleep deprived, stress often increases. So, work out to relieve the stress and sleep better to help your body be better equipped to manage stress in the future.
- Weight training leads to strong bones. Bone health is often overlooked. Moving and bearing weight on your legs helps to build and maintain strong bones. This is especially important if you sit most of the day.
How to effectively pair cardio and weight training together for success
When should you do each type of exercise and in what order? Is cardio better before or after weight training?
Most experts share the opinion that both cardio and weight training are important parts of fitness. Here are some things to consider to get the most out of your workouts.
- If combining both types of exercise on the same day, hit the weights first and wrap up with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio.
- Exercising different muscles can lead to a higher rate of calories burned as your body is always challenged.
- Mix up your cardio. Try different workouts to avoid overuse, which can lead to injury. Performing the same routine workout can also lead to boredom, which might reduce your commitment to exercise.
For fat loss, weight training is a bit better for getting results. However, cardio not only burns fat, it improves endurance and overall health. Combining the two makes the most sense as part of an active lifestyle.
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