Cardio and Strength Training for Weight Loss

Usually when people think of exercising for weight loss they think of cardio,exercising 225x300 Cardio and Strength Training for Weight Loss but not strength training. However, for good health and for quicker weight loss, your exercise routine needs to include both.

Why Cardio is Important

Cardiovascular exercise (cardio for short) is an exercise or physical activity that improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system controls the movement and absorption of oxygen throughout the body.

The heart is the most important muscle in the body. A good cardio helps to strengthen the hear and lungs. The lungs absorb oxygen and the heart pumps it throughout the body. In addition, since heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for men and women, keeping the heart and lungs strong is vitally important.

The health benefits of good cardio include:

  • Weight loss by burning calories and fat
  • The reduction of stress and tension
  • More energy and less fatigue
  • A larger lung capacity
  • A reduced risk of getting diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a heart attack
  • Better moods
  • Better sleep
  • Better concentration and productivity
  • A healthier and nicer appearance

There are many different types of physical activity that can strengthen the heart and lungs. Examples of these different cardiovascular activities include:

  • Running, walking, or jogging
  • Climbing stairs
  • Riding a bike
  • Hiking

Why Strength Training is Important

Often strength training is overlooked when it comes to the thought of staying fit and losing weight. However, it is just as important. Strength training is the use of resistance or weights to work a certain muscle group to increase its anaerobic endurance and size.

The benefits of strength training include:

  • Slows down the decrease in muscle density that occurs during the aging process
  • Increases metabolism
  • Increases calorie burning potential
  • Burns calories
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Increases and maintains joint flexibility
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Tones and sculpts the body
  • Improves posture, balance, and coordination

The most common type of strength training is resistance training with weights or strength training machines. These can be performed at a gym or at home, with the required equipment. Another form of strength training are isometric exercises. These are exercises that required a certain position to be maintained for a period of time, such as the plank bridge, the static squat, and the side bridge.

Exercising for Weight Loss

Combining both cardio and strength training results in much faster weight loss. This is because with stronger muscles, more calories can be lost, both when doing cardio or when at rest. As a result, weight loss becomes more efficient since more calories are being burned while doing cardio and while at rest.

To combine both types of exercising, cardio and strength training would have to either be performed on alternating days or performed in zones.

Examples of the two types of methods include:

  • Alternating days: One day is used to do 20-40 minutes of cardio exercise. The next day is used for 30-40 minutes of strength training
  • Zones: Using zones allows you to perform both types of exercises in the same workout. With this method, incorporate low-intensity cardiovascular exercise with upper-body weight training one day, and then high-intensity cardio with abdominal and lower-body weight training on another day.

Ideally cardio is to be used three to five times a week in 30-50 minute intervals.  Strength training, ideally should be done at most four times a week to allow the muscles to recover.

Do something that you enjoy and before you know it you will be a happier calorie burning machine.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Muscles Magic February 22, 2010 at 4:16 am

Workouts are not endurance contests! The problem with developing a great bodybuilding workout is misinformation.

Good to see some useful tips.

Lucille Roberts February 27, 2010 at 11:24 am

This is a great article and very true. Most people will only do cardio or will only strength training but the correct way is to do both. When you find the right balance in your workout routine you will see results immediately.

Fitness equipments March 25, 2010 at 4:37 am

Yes absolutely right which is written in the post. Exercise and use of fitness equipment has become the high priority necessity for most of the people these days due to increasing problem of obesity and overweight. Right work out with right equipment gives you the fitness in a healthy way.

tummy tuck April 8, 2010 at 3:50 am

Its good that you have given such valuable information that why cardio is important in weight loss.According to me strength training is very important for staying fit and losing weight.Regular exercise is important for successful weight loss.There is good information in this post.

free71 July 21, 2010 at 7:50 am

Hey great article. Thanks for the info

Tanner Smith July 21, 2010 at 9:04 am

I’m a believer in Cardio and Strength Training for Weight Loss. I used exercise and healthy eating habits to lose over 150 pounds. It took me over two years but I am healthier with my new lifestyle

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