Cardio Vs. Weight training

Cardio or Weights?

Both offer different benefits…

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Many people who’ve decided to lose weight find themselves stuck with a tricky question — should they do cardio or lift weights? They're the two most popular types of workouts, but it can be hard to know which is a better use of your time.

Doing Cardio or Doing Weight training:

Cardio burns more calories throughout a workout than lifting weights does. This means that, most of the time, you will burn more calories doing 30 minutes of cardio than you would doing 30 minutes of weight training. However, an important distinction lies in what happens after your workout. About 10 minutes after you have finished your cardio workout your body is no longer burning extra calories. On the other hand, a weight training workout will continue to burn calories throughout the entire day as your body rebuilds the small tears in your muscles

Although weight training has a longer lasting effect when burning calories there is a way to make cardio more effective. This is through doing HIIT (High Intensity interval training) over steady state cardio. One of these is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), involves short bursts of very intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. Typically, a HIIT workout will take about 10–30 minutes. You can use HIIT with a variety of different exercises, including sprinting, biking, jump roping or other body-weight exercises.

Steady state or moderate intensity cardio is what many of us are used to. This involves exercising at a consistent speed and level of intensity for the entire workout. That would be at about level 4 to 5 on the perceived exertion scale.

HIIT is better than steady state cardio if you're trying to lose weight, you have to workout for longer periods of time if you want to burn enough calories. Doing the same motions over and over can also lead to repetitive stress injuries unless you do plenty of cross-training. Doing only steady state cardio workouts without changing things up could lead to a plateau. You need to challenge your body with new and different activities so it can constantly change and grow stronger.

Regular trips to the gym are great, but don't worry if you can't find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

Matthew Clarke