Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More
We all have been told at some point that exercise is needed to stay healthy, and there is truth to this. Exercise can greatly benefit your body. One of the benefits of exercise is better mental health, improved heart health, and better sleep. There is no better time to improve your health than now. It is never too late to start doing some exercise.
However, if you are a beginner at fitness yourself, you might be wondering which exercise should you start.
Do you start with cardio, which is running, swimming, jogging, and cycling? Or do you start with resistance, which is lifting heavyweights? It depends on what your goal is.
If you intend to do exercise with the intent of losing weight quickly, you might not know which exercise to choose. This topic of which is better for losing weight is also highly contested in the fitness communities.
They have argued using their own experiences as a basis on which is better.
In this article, however, we will look at what science says about this. Which is more efficient in losing weight? Cardio or resistance exercise? But before we get into the answers themselves. We want to look into it deeper. Let’s first discuss how both resistance and cardio does to your body.
What is Cardio?
Cardio, or also known as aerobic, is an exercise that includes repeating the rhythmic process from low to high-intensity activities for lengthened periods. This exercise elevates your heart rate and the body’s use of oxygen.
Cardio or aerobic includes the utilization of oxygen to meet the body’s energy requirements.
So when you do a cardio exercise, your body is adapting. It becomes more proficient in utilizing oxygen and energy. The more proficient your body is, the less oxygen and energy your body will require.
During a cardio workout, you begin to inhale quicker and deeper than when you are at rest. Your heart rate also increases to deliver oxygen faster to your muscles. Both of these processes are needed to maximize the use of oxygen in the blood.
Cardio, for the most part, is a simple workout. There is nothing complicated in doing cardio. You don’t have to learn some muscle techniques or know how to use any gym machines.
All you have to do is find a wide-open area and go around it for a run. Likewise, you can also do your cardio indoors by using a treadmill.
A Cardio also offers a lot of health benefits. Some of the benefits are improved cardiovascular health, better mood, better sleep, lesser prone to diseases, and weight loss. Of all the benefits of cardio, the one most people like is its weight loss benefits.
What Is Resistance?
Resistance exercise is any activity that applies an external load to muscles causing them to stress and contract. The main goal of a resistance exercise is to improve strength and muscle mass. People commonly associate this exercise with weight lifting, but it is not limited to it.
Resistance training, as most people are accustomed to, includes using your body weight and weight machines to build muscle mass and strength. By gradually increasing the load in weight machines, the muscle is then slowly adapting to the stress.
This adaptation leads to an increase in muscle mass and strength performance. This exercise also specifically targets muscles or muscle groups to improve their overall performance.
One might think of resistance training as only for those bodybuilders. They picture these bodybuilders using resistance exercises to develop their strength and muscle mass for competition.
Although the benefits of resistance training are worth the effort, it is not limited to it. Resistance training will also help you lose weight!
How resistance training helps in weight loss is quite simple. As your body’s structure changes due to the pressure applied to it, your metabolism likewise also changes. Resistance training builds muscles.
The more muscle you have, the more energy it wants to take in. It takes energy in the form of calories. This is why, even at rest calories, are still being used.
Which Is Better For Weight Loss?
Now that we understand what cardio and resistance do to your body, which is better? It is quicker for you to start losing weight by doing resistance training. So why not cardio? Isn’t it true that cardio uses calories and burns fat away?
Yes, to a certain extent, cardio does use calories and burn fat away every time it is being performed. However, it is not the main energy source. The main energy source for cardio exercises is oxygen.
That’s why your body starts to inhale deeper to compensate for the energy requirements needed to continue. It does use many calories and fat to continue the exercise.
There is another caveat to doing cardio, especially when doing it too much. Too much cardio can also result in the reduction of muscle mass and increases the risks of injuries. The reduction in muscle mass can lead to fat gains.
The lesser muscle mass you have, the less it will use calories. The unused calories will be stored as fat instead.
On the other hand, unlike cardio, resistance exercises require the use of calories and fat as their primary source.
Not only will you burn calories and fat while doing resistance exercises themselves. But you will also burn away calories even at rest due to the increase of muscle mass!
The most efficient way of losing weight is resistance exercises. It will not only build your muscles but also lose weight at the same time. But this does not mean you should stop doing cardio. Cardio also offers benefits to the body that are worth the effort to put in.
Finally, some safety tips before you go ahead and do resistance exercises. Make sure that when you do some resistance exercises, properly follow their guidelines.
Resistance training is a lot more complex than cardio since it specifically targets specific muscles or muscle groups. If you fail to do it right, you will only expose yourself to injuries.