Cardio or weights? Runners and people using dumbbells.

Cardio or Weights?

Find what works for you

When it comes to exercise it’s important to find what works for you.  There are a million different studies out there, one says to focus on cardio and the next on using weights, and then there is the combination of both.  You need to find what works for you and what you enjoy and will continue doing.

Cardio - pros and cons

If you are just starting your fitness journey, cardio will give you a lot of “bang for your buck” meaning you will burn the most calories during the time you exercise.  This may result in quick weight loss.  On the con side of cardio, you may hit a plateau quickly.  To continue to see benefits from cardio-only workouts you will need to exercise longer and at a more intense rate.

Exercising with Weights - pros and cons

Using weights to exercise will help tone your muscles while you burn calories.  This type of exercise helps increase your muscle mass which increases your metabolism while at rest.  If you are looking for the scale to change, using weights may actually cause the scale to increase.  The way your clothing fits is a better indication of your fitness progression.  It will take longer to see changes in your fitness when you exercise with weights, and you will burn fewer calories during the workout.

Combining both cardio and weights

There are a lot of workouts that combine both cardio and weights.  Some have you using lighter weights while keeping yourself moving quickly to increase your heart rate at the same time.  Some include bursts of cardio combined with slower paces of using weights.  These combined workouts hit both the higher calorie burn during the workout while toning your muscles for more calorie burn after the workout.  

When all is said and done, it is most important to try different types of exercising and to do what works best for you.  It’s all about being healthy BEFORE you NEED to be healthy, so find something you enjoy, mix it up, and never stop trying different things.

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