The main reason why most people start working out is to lose weight. Not to say that weight loss is the only reason to workout; exercise is an important component in living a healthy lifestyle.
One of the challenges anyone trying to lose weight will face is focusing on the right exercises. Some people advocate for cardio as the ideal weight loss workout while others say that you should lift weights to lose weight. So, should you focus on cardio or lift weight for weight loss?
Let’s look at the different types of workouts and their effect on weight loss.
Cardio for Weight Loss
Using Cardio equipment like treadmills and elliptical bikes is one of the most practical exercises that you could do to lose weight. In fact, most trainers will have you focusing on cardio workouts initially when you start working out so that you can quickly shed off the weight.
There is “rhyme to reason” when it comes to losing weight through cardio, and it all depends on segmenting the workout session to make sure that the weight loss is fat tissue.
It is recommended that cardio should be done for 1/2 an hour to 60 minutes daily for weight loss. The cardio workout should comprise of a warm up session for 5 to 10 minutes, 10 to 20 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and 20 to 30 minutes of traditional cardio exercises.
Warming up before any exercise is vital to loosen up the muscles and prevent injury.
HIIT workouts activate the release of fatty acids, which is then transported into the bloodstream. As you keep working out, the fatty acids are released from the blood stream through the creation of higher Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels. The result is increased fat burning and ultimately weight loss.
In general, performing cardio exercises 3 to 5 times a week is required to achieve maximum weight loss.
Lifting Weights For Weight Loss
The best way to maintain a low percentage of body fat is to lift weights. Lifting weights for long wasn’t thought to be an effective way of losing weight, particularly for women. However, people who have tried and tested weight training, and lost weight, prove that it does work for weight loss.
Research has shown that weight training is the most efficient way to burn off body fat. Weight training also burns fat longer, meaning that you continue to burn off fat up to 24 hours after a weightlifting session.
Weight training also helps to build lean muscle, which shouldn’t scare off women because their bodies are not structured to bulk up like men.
With more lean muscle in the body, the body uses up more energy for virtually every activity leading to increased calorie burn-off. With this in mind, gaining muscle is highly recommended for anyone trying to lose weight.
You can lose weight with either cardio or weight training workouts. However, the best way to lose weight is to combine both cardio and weight training exercises into your fitness plan.
Start small and build up; start up with the simpler exercises for the least number of minutes daily and work your way up to 60 minute daily workouts. Start with a simple 30-minute walk daily and build up to include weight training once you get stronger.
Consistency is important; with a combination of these workouts done 30 to 60 minutes daily for 3 to 6 days weekly, you should be able to lose weight quickly.
Nutrition is equally important to weight loss and adopting clean eating habits will go a long way in your weight loss journey.
The bottom line is that you can lose weight with a proper diet and workout. For effective weight loss, a fitness plan combining cardio and weight training workout is necessary.