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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cardio vs. Weights



Strength training versus cardiovascular exercises is a debate that takes into consideration weight loss and general health. There are those on one side of the debate and there are those on the other side of the debate.  For the person reading through the information bog they may get a little confused. Each has their benefits and merits but focus on two different but overlapping concepts.  Any fitness program should consider both of the benefits and adjust accordingly based upon personal goals.

Strength training does increase muscle tone and improves upon weight loss. This is beneficial for speed and ability. The calories burned during a rigorous weightlifting program are short-lived and generally subside about an hour after working out.  For every three pounds of muscle gained you will lose about 10 lbs. in a year (1).  That is good news for those who want to maintain their weight loss by incorporating such training into their routines.

Aerobic exercise is more efficient at weight loss (2).  A regular routine of speeding up and slowing down will help the body lose more calories than comparable time pumping weights.  Cardiovascular focus in fitness will improve upon your blood supply, endurance, and efficiency (3). This creates the ability to maintain weight loss and improve upon the overall functioning of the body.

The debate is not easily solved by just saying do weights or do cardio. Cardio is the fastest way to health and weight loss and should be the main part of a fitness routine. However, weight training also encourages enduring health and weight loss but at a lower level.  One improves upon power and the other upon efficiency. Any program should incorporate some of both.

Cross training is recommended by most specialists. If one were to throw out a percentage number of both it may be 60% cardiovascular and 40% muscle building. These percentages can encompass different types of activities. Cardiovascular exercise may include activities like walking, hiking, biking, swimming, sports, etc… while weight training may include weight lifting, rock climbing, chopping wood, etc…
 
The best program is one that is followed and gets done. Doing activities in each will help with boredom and maintaining the program into the future. It also affords an opportunity to round out one's life based upon interests and hobbies. Having fitness goals in addition to many other types of goals is important for self-fulfillment.

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