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Strength Training Vs Cardio Exercises: Know Which One Is Better For Weight Loss

Weight loss is a common goal share by many. But what are the best exercises for weight loss? Let's find out here.

Strength Training Vs Cardio Exercises: Know Which One Is Better For Weight Loss

Weight loss: A combination of cardio and strength can help you lose weight effectively

Once we have embarked on our transformation journey, one of the trickiest situations is selecting the best workout format for ourselves, which is sustainable for long-run. One may experience advises/recommendations of only going for cardio exercises, to focussing solely on lifting weights or a mix of both. In this never-ending debate, it is easy to get confused! However, it is true that both - cardio and weights can be important for your exercise regime and play different roles in the overall transformational journey. Each have their own benefits to help one build a better body composition and have stellar health.

Importance of cardiovascular exercise

Cardiovascular exercises popularly known as aerobic or cardio exercises, challenge both our heart and lungs by increasing the heart's ability to pump blood and the lungs and heart's prowess to move oxygen throughout the body. Cardiovascular exercises can help us burn calories as well as increase endurance levels of a person. Exercises such as running, brisk walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, dancing, climbing stairs, playing sports, or doing burpees are some examples of cardio exercises with varying intensities. It is recommended to inculcate a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in one's daily routine as it helps shed few pounds and improve your overall health.


Please note: The number of calories one burns while exercising depends on their body weight and the intensity of the exercise.

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Cardio exercises can help you burn calories and lose weight
Photo Credit: iStock

Importance of strength training

Strength training also known as resistance training, uses resistance to build muscle, strength, and muscular endurance. It helps to increase lean tissue in our body and also improves body's metabolism. When lifting weights, we overload the relevant muscles, and it works to adapt us to lift more weights in that exercise next time. The way the muscle adapts is by increasing myofibril size (the contractile units of the muscle). Strength training stimulates this growth, which leads to an increase in muscle mass over time. More muscle also helps body burn more calories, which is important if one wants to lose weight and gain/maintain the strength.

Resistance training exercise includes free weight exercises, machine exercises targeting different muscle groups, resistance bands exercises, bodyweight exercises like squat, push-up, pull-ups etc., among others. To squeeze maximize benefits out of strength training, one should practice it for about an hour, three to five times per week.

Why select one?

When one thinks about weight loss, the first thing that strikes their mind is either cardio workout or weight training. Ideally, if fat loss is the goal, one needs to burn calories and maintain muscle mass which can be achieved by incorporating both types of exercises in their fitness routine, along with a calorie deficit diet.

A cardio workout burns calories and improves cardiovascular health. While the weight training helps burn calories, retain/build muscles and keeps our metabolism high.

Thus, to improve body composition and stay fit, it is recommended to include both cardio and resistance training in one's fitness regime while eating right.

(Bala Krishna Reddy Dabbedi is a fitness expert and Co-founder, Director at Fittr)


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