For such a long time many have held the belief that you’ve gotta get your body moving in a major way to lose weight. That is true, actually. If you lead a stagnant lifestyle, getting up and moving is certainly going to help you start shedding some fat cells.
What it doesn’t mean, however, is that all that moving and shaking is the only way to reduce your body’s fat percentage. Cardio is a great way to improve your health, trim down, and boost your energy. But, so is weight lifting.
Answer? Both. Cardiovascular exercise and weight training will both help you lose fat but in different ways:
Cardio exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, fitness classes, hiking, walking, etc. will help you lose weight as long as your heart rate climbs high enough to get in your target zone. Cardio helps you burn off calories so that by the end of the day you’ve burned more calories than you consumed. The result… weight loss.
Cardio also targets large muscle groups, helping strengthen them, and strengthening the cardiovascular system, which is so important for living a longer life.
Don’t count weight lifting out though. You may be surprised by just how beneficial it is. Here’s why. A pound of fat burns 5 calories a day. A pound of muscle burns 10 to 20 calories a day. By working your muscles on a regular basis you’ll not only burn calories, but you’ll also build more muscle.
The result is a body that needs more calories and will get them from stored fat if you don’t feed it enough each day. This doesn’t mean you have to become a bodybuilder or worry about one part of your body getting too big. Weight lifting can be custom-tailored to your needs and goals. You may find that weight lifting is so much more enjoyable than you ever thought it could be.
In addition to balanced nutrition, a combination of both weight training and cardiovascular programs are a great way to lose unwanted fat. What you chose to do, though, is completely up to you. If you find that running four times a week is all you need, go for it. If you find yourself addicted to the routine at the local Crossfit gym, then have a blast. As long as you keep your body moving, you can’t go wrong.
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
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