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Cardio Training versus Strength Training

  By posted Mar 22nd 2012
Weight Loss
Cardio Training: The only way to burn calories? Strength Training: More than just calories burnt


What is Cardio?

Cardio is any kind of exercise that involves aerobic exercises and increases your heart rate. According the American Heart Association (AHA), “Cardiovascular exercise involves the steady and repetitive movement of a person's arms and legs”. Cardio exercises help perk up the body's blood circulation. Jogging, cycling, swimming, running, walking, ice skating, playing tennis and using an elliptical trainer in the gym are examples of cardio exercise. Intense yoga and stretching are also considered as cardio exercises

Burning Calories and Cardio

On an average, cardio exercises burns upto 10 to 12 calories per minute. They aid in giving you a metabolic spike which means that you tend to burn calories even when you are finished with your workout. 

Fighting Diseases and Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise assist in increasing your heart's strength and efficiency, therefore supplying more oxygenated blood throughout the body. It helps in fighting diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Can one do only cardio for a fit body?

While cardio exercises might be very good for cardiovascular health, it is important to know that weight loss is merely a by-product of this form of exercise. Increased stroke volume, marginal weight management, and prevention of lifestyle diseases like diabetes is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maintaing good health well into old age. Experts recommend a combination of cardio and strength training for maximum health benefits.



What is Strength Training?

Strength training is any kind of exercise which involves strengthening, building endurance, power and performance of muscles through efficient force production, stability and mobility. It helps strengthen your heart and lungs by making your muscles use oxygen more efficiently. Different types of strength training exercises target different muscles and muscle groups. For ex: bench press, chest press machine, pushups, etc. 

Burning Calories and Strength Training

On an average, strength training burns upto 8 to 10 calories per minute. Strength training exercises aid in giving you a large metabolic spike which means that it increases your overall resting metabolism and muscle power. 

Fighting Diseases and Strength Training

Like cardio, strength training also aids in fighting heart diseases along with reducing internal fat which wraps around the vital organs of the body, constricting blood flow. Strength training has the additional advantage of building and strengthening bone density - thereby preventing osteoporosis, and increasing joint movement and flexibility - thereby preventing diseases like arthritis.

Can one do only strength training for a fit body?

Many people, especially women, believe that they will bulk up by strength training. Some others believe that the minute they stop lifting weights, they will bulk up and that their muscles will turn into fat. These are myths. Strength training is an important component of everyday health, as it aids our bodies in becoming stronger - making us more efficient in daily actions like lifting, bending, pulling, pushing, etc. Experts recommend that strength training be complimented with cardio exercises to draw maximum benefits.

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images

 

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