Which is better: Cardio or strength training?

Cardiovascular, or aerobic, training alone is great for weight loss. However, there’s a benefit to strength training as well.

You probably already know the answer: Both.

Cardiovascular, or aerobic, training alone is great for weight loss. You burn more calories and experience more weight loss over a shorter duration of time doing cardio than you do with strength training. It also improves your stamina.

However, there’s a benefit to strength training as well. Strength training is exercise that uses weights or your own body weight to build muscle. It also helps with weight loss because muscle burns more calories, even at rest, than fat does. Therefore, by increasing your muscle mass, you also are increasing your body’s ability to burn more calories.

Whether you are trying to lose weight or just want to stay fit, the key is to create a workout routine that incorporates both cardio activity and strength training.

The ideal workout routine

  • 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (such as walking or running) four to five times per week
  • Two to three days of strength training per week

If you’re new to weight training, seek the assistance of a trainer or experienced weightlifter to learn proper form and avoid injury. Start with an amount of weight that allows you to complete eight to 12 repetitions. Gradually increase the weight as you build muscle.

If you have never exercised or are getting back into exercise after a long break, first get a checkup with a primary care physician.

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