Cardio or Weights: Which is Better?
As the New Year starts, I see alot of people getting on their treadmills or counting steps or doing other cardio in the quest to drop weight. This is a great start as the body needs movement. Blood needs to be moved around. Muscles need to be utilized. The heart needs to be stressed a bit but the thought that you can out run that bag of cookies you ate is misleading. Most of us could never burn that many calories on the treadmill and frankly that is not how the body works.
A cardio is extremely important for many reason but to get the body burning fat - weight training is very important as well. Weight training helps to build muscles, shape the body after fat loss giving it a svelte appearance (think six pack abs or great looking arms), and burn more calories/fat throughout the day.
Weight training is extremely important as we get older as it strengthen bones (preventing fractures), aids in insulin regulation and lowers inflammation, prevents falls, aids in balance and posture, promotes better sleep and moods, and most importantly it aids in metabolism.
While cardio burns muscles (think of a runner physique), weight training burns fat. Both are extremely important in our quest for health.
Alternating days of cardio and weight training is ideal still leaving 1 day off for rest. Workouts do not need to be more than 20-30 minutes for either cardio or weight training. Start out slow on both types of exercise as your body will feel it. After a few workouts - push your self a bit - go fast, lift heavier. You are stronger than you think!