In this current climate, women need to put themselves first and take care of their mental and physical health. Exercise has many incredible benefits and can help you achieve this! It helps keep the lockdown blues and coronavirus anxiety at bay, and it supports your fat loss goals as well as improve your health.
For some women, exercise eases the symptoms of specific conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), prevents diseases, and it might even spur them to quit smoking. Working on your fitness can be daunting when there are two different teams, Cardio vs Weights. But is one better than the other? These two forms of exercise can offer various benefits and can come together for the greater good and excellent health.
Cardio vs Fat Loss
Cardio (short for cardiovascular conditioning) is an aerobic activity that uses oxygen to increase your breathing and heart rate. Running is often the preferred activity for cardio. Still, any exercise makes you breathe harder and faster and increases heart rate counts.
So, how does cardio help fat loss? Well, it helps regulate appetite! If you are prone to snacking (who isn't?), a cardiovascular workout might be the thing to curb snacking. A study made by Dr. Andy Blannin discovered that people who did a high-intensity cardio workout ate less in the 24 hours following! That's because exercising at such an intensity causes your body to circulate more blood to prevent overheating; blood is diverted away from your stomach and around your body which can curb your appetite!
Cardio will also add to the calories your body burns during the day. Many factors, including your body weight, will affect how many calories you burn. Another plus for cardio is that you'll burn more calories during your workout than you would when weight training. According to Harvard Medical School, a person weighing 155 pounds burns about 112 calories when lifting weights for 30 minutes and 372 calories when running at an average 10 minute per mile pace for the same amount of time. That's a big difference!
Cardio is the queen of burning more fat and faster weight loss. A 2012 study from Duke University and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute looked at three groups of adults who did cardio strength training to see the effects of both on weight loss and discovered that cardio kick butts at reducing fat and body mass! So, that's cardio. What about weight lifting?
Weight Lifting vs Fat Loss
Weight lifting (a.k.a, strength training, resistance training) is an anaerobic activity. This includes lifting free weights such as barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells or using weight machines. Anaerobic exercises break down glucose for energy without relying on oxygen, as cardio does. More energy is used in a short amount of time. So, how does this help fat loss?
Weight training still burns calories. While cardio workouts will help you burn more calories during a session, weight lifting or strength exercise enables you to keep burning those calories throughout the day. The muscle you are building with weight lifting increases your resting metabolism, for example, your body's ability to burn calories while watching Netflix; muscle helps your body burn more calories when at rest than fat does.
You can also prevent injury. Lifting weights helps increase bone density which affects the strength of your bones. If you are regularly lifting, you are on your way to stronger bones, which can help prevent breaks and features. Stronger muscles also help your joints!
Both cardio and weights can help you become healthier and more fit. Why choose when you can do both? Combining strength training and cardio, you get the best of both worlds: fat loss and muscle gain. Combining the two can give you a greater improvement in heart disease risk factors than just doing one of the other, and your heart will be thankful either way.
How Can You Structure Your Cardio and Strength Training?
When you combine the two training methods, you'll have a few options.
You can dedicate sessions separately to each goal, so you can go for a run or cycle ride one day and hit the gym the next, alternating which you do each day.
You can do your cardio in the morning and your strength session later in the day or the evening. You can also create a workout plan where your sessions include both. For instance, after warming up, you can go through your strength exercises and then follow it up with at least 20 mins cardio on one of the machines. You could also run to the gym, do your workout and run home.
What's best for you will depend on your lifestyle, fitness level and other circumstances. If you'd like a tailored plan designed by an expert coach, you can always get in touch for a commitment-free strategy call.
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