Cardio, Good for Weight Loss?

Cardio, Good for Weight Loss?

Is cardio the best option for weight loss?

There is a common misconception that cardio is the best option for weight loss. This is far from the truth. Sure, cardio is indeed important for overall health but not necessarily the best option for a weight loss journey. In the following, I will discuss the importance of strength training and why it is more beneficial for that goal over cardio but also the benefits that cardio does have to offer.

Cardio is any exercise that increases heart rate. These can range from bouts on the rower, running, or stair stepper just to name a few. The benefits of these types of exercises are to promote heart and lung health and to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.

So yes, cardio is important for proper health but nowhere in that description does it mention any changes to the metabolism. Our metabolism is the process of converting food into energy.

The most effective way to change one’s metabolism is to engage in strength training. Strength training boosts the metabolism by building lean muscle mass, preventing obesity, and limiting bone loss. Having more lean muscle mass can help increase resting metabolic rates which burns more calories at rest.

Sure, one may burn a ton of calories during a long run or a session on a rower but as soon as the heart rate comes down, that calorie burning session is virtually done. Whereas after a strength training session, overtime your body will continue to burn those calories long after that session has done. Essentially, you can turn into a calorie burning machine throughout your day-to-day life! (How cool is that?!)

How much energy (calories) you burn during recovery completely depends on how intense the work out is. The more muscle you build, the more fat your body will burn off. However, this all must be done over time. A foundation of lean muscle must be built for the body to burn off these extra calories throughout your day. But over time and consistency, your bodies’ Metabolic Basal Rate (the number of calories you burn as your body performs basic life-sustaining function) will increase.

If your goal is to train for overall health, then one should incorporate both types of exercise as both do have get benefits to health. Cardio and strength training alike are great ways to prevent disease, injuries, and promote mobility especially as we age.

I think it must be mentioned that even once your Metabolic Basal Rate has increased, nutrition is still going to be an important factor for weight loss. Weight loss is still going to come from a calorie deficit. Learning how to eat in a deficit can be very tough for a lot of people. It’s hard because learning how to get the proper amount of nutrients while staying at or below the calorie goal can be tough. If this sounds like you, reach out to the team at Success and we’ll get you squared away!

In conclusion, cardio and strength training are both great for overall health but as we discussed above, strength training and building lean muscle can be the better more efficient option to help drop some of that fat. Consider this during your fitness journey and stay consistent!!