A good exercise regimen always incorporates cardiovascular workout and resistance training. In terms of burning fat, you shouldn’t have one without the other.
Running, swimming, climbing hills are examples of activities designed to raise the heart rate. These activities strengthen the cardiovascular and lung systems by increasing the demand for blood and oxygen. These in turn raise the body’s metabolic rate to burn calories faster. Studies show that aerobic exercise can improve carbohydrate and fat breakdown in the short and long terms, allowing the body to be more efficient at processing calories.
Not all cardiovascular activities are rated equal. Some activities burn more calories than others. A measure of energy expenditure is called METs (metabolic equivalent of task). Walking has the energy expenditure of 3.3 METs while jogging has a significantly higher MET rate of 7.0. The higher the MET rate, the faster the burn.
A cardio workout is the speediest way to raise your metabolic rate and therefore your calorie burning capacity. In a nutshell, the more vigorously you exercise, the faster you get to lose weight. Incorporate cardio exercise into your lifestyle and you’re more likely to keep off the weight you lose for as long as you move.
Lifting weights, pulling up on the bar, lunging, pushing up — these are all forms of strength training, a category of activities which increase and strengthen the muscles. Muscle mass is an important determinant of your body’s fat burning powers.
Muscular volume determines basal metabolic rate, the minimum rate at which the body expends calories while asleep or at rest. Greater muscle mass means higher BMR and therefore better metabolism. Since BMR decreases about 2 percent per decade after a person reaches 20 years, it becomes increasingly important to increase muscle mass to stave off weight gain.
Cardio workouts burn more calories for the moment than resistance training does. An average person can burn only 5 -7 calories per minute with weight lifting; with jogging, he can expend more at 8-12 calories per minute. So it seems cardiovascular training should be, hands down, the better way to lose weight.
Not so. Perhaps for a short-term weight loss goal, cardio training may get you there quickly; but long- term weight management will rely heavily on resistance training. Resistance training provides the muscle volume needed to increase an individual’s capability to burn calories, whether he be sleeping, driving the car, or running a marathon. A person with more muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories doing the same activity than one with less muscle mass.
Each training type is no better than the other. Strength training is as good as cardiovascular training for losing weight and keeping it off. Both are essential regimens in any workout program to keep fit, healthy and weight manageable. In combination with a healthy diet, these are formidably effective tools in losing weight and keeping the pounds off, permanently.