Cardio vs weight training, but which one is better?
Now more than ever we have more time to spend at home, and many of you are likely to be working out indoors by lifting weights to maintain muscle, or getting out and about by jogging or running. But which method is best for losing fat? Whether you want to lose weight in quarantine or in the long term, we find out which method is best for fat loss.
Cardio burns more calories per workout
For most exercise activities, as a general rule, the more you weigh means the more calories you will burn per session. For a person that weighs 73kg, 30 minutes of jogging will burn around 250 calories, running at a slightly faster pace for the same amount of time would burn around 365 calories. If that person was to lift weights for the same amount of time, they may only burn around 130-220 calories.
Therefore, typically speaking a cardio workout burns more calories than a weight training workout of the same duration of time.
Weight training burns more calories over time
Weight training is great for building and maintaining muscle, but typically doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio per session. As muscle burns more calories than some other tissues though, including fat, it is typically said that building muscle is the key to increasing your resting metabolism (how many calories you burn at rest.)
It is reported that metabolism at rest can stay elevated for up to 38 hours after weight training, where as with cardio there is no research to suggest the same. Therefore, we can say that weight training burns more calories than cardio, over a period of time.
What are the benefits of cardio?
If you’re looking to curb your lockdown snacking, doing a cardio workout might be just what you need. Jogging, running or any form of cardio causes your body to circulate more blood to prevent it from overheating, as blood is pumped away from the stomach and around the body, it curbs your appetite in the process.
Improves heart health
This one is pretty self-explanatory but by doing cardio exercise it improves your cardio-vascular health i.e your heart health. The more we exercise our heart the more efficient it becomes at doing it’s job. If you’ve taken up running during lockdown you might have noticed that you felt like you might pass out the first few times you ran? But after a while your heart gets better at pumping oxygen around the body, making it easier to breathe and taking away that “omg I’m going to die” element.
Protects the immune system
Protecting your immune system is just as important now more than ever, but by getting a dose of cardio in each day, it can help keep your immune system ticking over nicely. Regular and moderate exercise has shown to have benefits on the immune system by increasing the amount of “immunoglobulines” the body produces, which are molecules made to protect your immune system and made from white blood cells.
What are the benefits of weight training?
Any form of weight bearing exercise can help to promote good bone health, whether you like to keep it light with dumbbells or really pump some iron with deadweight lifts, it all helps to strengthen your bones. For those of us who work in an office and have less than active jobs, we could use a little more help than most to help keep them in check.
Walking, jogging and squatting are all good examples of weight bearing exercise, but it’s important not to excessively train as this can be bad for our joints.
As we know, working out isn’t just beneficial for your physical health, but your mental health too. Lifting weights can make you feel strong, resilient and can help push our everyday stresses to the backs of our minds.
To conclude, cardio and weight training are both beneficial when it comes to fat loss, they just burn calories in different ways over varying lengths of time.