Which Is More Important to Weight Loss: Cardio or Weight Training?

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By: Lacey Sprouse NASM CPT
Spectrum Fitness in Central

Losing weight can be very confusing at times. People will tell you many different ways to lose weight.  Truth is best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy diet but, equally important is to get up and get moving. Cardiovascular training and weight training both have a very important place in a healthy lifestyle.  

            Cardiovascular training is important for weight loss and general health. From just a weight loss perspective it burns calories to help lose weight without having to decrease your dieting calorie intake to an unhealthy level. This just basically means that you could eat for example; 1500 calories and burn 300 calories through exercise and have similar weight loss results to someone eating 1200 calories without being as hungry.

What kind of cardio should I do? Well that depends on you as person and it may take trying many different kinds of cardio before you find something that you enjoy. If you like being outside you might think about walking your neighborhood or jogging/running at your local track. Some people prefer to use indoor equipment like a treadmill, elliptical or bike. The positive on these is a controlled climate and being able to see exactly how long you have been on the equipment. If you’re like me though and have a hard time pushing yourself and get bored doing cardio you might consider trying a Spin class (instructor lead bike ride) or a Kickboxing type of class. The best one to do is the one you decide you like enough to stick with because in the end the one you will get the most results with is the one you stick with consistently. 

Weight training is equally as important if not more important than cardiovascular training to body fat loss. Weight training helps increase lean muscle mass which will result in that more toned look people generally are trying to achieve. It fills out loose skin and gives the body shape. Weight training not only burns calories while you are doing it but also increases your over all calorie burn because at rest a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of body fat.

How do I go about implementing a weight training program? One option is to pick up a fitness magazine but the problem with that is that those programs are not made specifically for you and if you have any previous/current injuries or just do not know correct form you can end up injuring or reinjuring yourself. Another option is to get an assessment with a personal trainer. Most personal trainers will sit down and talk to you for free and then if you decide that it is something you would like to pursue you can purchase sessions from them and they can give you an individualized program. Most gyms also have someone that will take you around and at least show you how to use the machines. You could also try a group weight lifting class or a boot camp. The instructors that lead these programs will also be able to help you use correct form so as to not get injured. Same as with the cardio the best option for you is the safest one that you can do on a consistent basis.

So the most important type of exercise for weight loss is the one you enjoy and that you can stick with consistently. So have fun, be healthy and get in shape!

*Remember do not start any exercise program without first consulting a health professional.*

1 Comment

  1. Adele

    January 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Hello folks, if you want to lose weight you should type in google – Laerdhat’s weightloss
    it’s good point to start your fight with fat

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