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Cardio Vs. Weight Lifting for weight loss

Is Cardio or Weight Lifting Better For Losing Weight? The results just might surprise you!

If you're trying to lose weight you've likely asked yourself, is cardio or weight lifting better for losing weight?
We know your workout time is precious and you want results fast.  So let's have a look at what the experts are saying.

Spoiler alert, it's probably not what you think.

Cardio Burns More Calories But...

There are a lot of factors that determine how many calories you burn during a given workout.  For most activities, the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn.

Here are some basic numbers from the National Institute of Health.

For a 160 pound (73kg) person, you will burn around 350 calories jogging at a moderate pace of 6 miles per hour for 30 minutes.

Now, for a 30 minute weight training session with similar exertion on average you would burn around 200 calories.

You might be thinking, well duh it looks like cardio is the winner for weight loss!  Well not so fast...

Burn More Calories While You Sleep With Strength Training

While I am focusing on weight loss as a benefit to working out it's important to remember that there are numerous ways that working out improves your health.

Here are a handful of ways exercise helps us live a better life. (Source: National Institute of Health)

  • Increased energy and reduced fatigue
  • Manage and prevent disease like diabetes, heart disease, strokes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer
  • Improved sleep
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improved bone density
  • Reduce depression

So let's get back to those pesky calories we are trying to lose.

While at first glance weight training workouts don't typically burn as many calories as a cardio workouts, there's definitely more to consider.

Because weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle, you will see a greater increase in your resting metabolism with weight training - this is the amount of calories you burn at rest doing absolutely nothing.  Sounds pretty good right?

In addition, research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session when compared to a cardio workout.

Studies have even shown that your resting metabolism can stay elevated for up to 38 hours after weight training, while no such increase has been reported with cardio (1).

So unlike cardio workouts, the calorie benefit of weight training is not limited to while you are exercising.  Your body may keep burning calories for hours or even days afterwards.

Cardio Vs. Weight Lifting

While both can have a huge impact on your overall health, weight training has been shown to increase your metabolism over time and burn more calories after a workout than cardio alone.

This slight increase actually edges weight lifting into the lead for net calories burned for a given workout duration.

So if you've been struggling to hit your weight loss goals doing cardio only it might be time to integrate some weight training to boost your metabolism and turn fat in to muscle.

The best approach of course, is a little of both. 

If you'd like to boost that resting metabolism be sure to take a look at our FlexFixx Portable Home Gym.  It's the perfect solution and offers a ton of versatility and value.

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