Benefits of Weight Training vs Cardio
Which is better out of Cardio vs Weights is a long running debate in the fitness community. In fact, a Google search for the topic brings back hundreds of results, all with different opinions.
Some people argue that cardio brings better benefits because it burns more calories. Some people argue that weight lifting classes burn more calories because of the endurance required to even lift weights.
Whether one is better than the other is by the by. This blog will tell you the benefits of weight training in comparison to cardio so that you can mix both elements into your workout routines without getting into the debate of which one reigns supreme!
1. Weight Training Burns Calories While You Rest
Weight training not only boosts metabolism but it also boosts your resting metabolism, that is the calories you burn while you’re feet up on the sofa watching TV.
Because weight training increases your lean muscle mass, it leads to a higher metabolic rate which leads to calorie burn.
Thanks to that muscle mass increase and the energy needed for the subsequent repair and strengthening, the metabolic burn keeps going for most of the day leading to a much more sustained calorie burn.
To prove this, one study measured lifting participants resting metabolisms across 24 weeks of weight training workouts.
In the men, their weight training routines resulted in a 9% increase in their resting metabolisms. In women the effects were slightly smaller, but still produced an increase of around 4%.
2. Weight Training Builds Muscle
Yes, while it might sound obvious building muscle is a benefit of anybody’s workout routine. Strong, healthy muscles help improve our strength, energy levels, mobility, and overall health including aiding our cardiovascular health and circulation.
In weight training this process is sped up because of the resistance placed on your muscles. More resistance means your muscle tissue is broken down quicker and the body’s response is one of instantaneous clean up and repair, which grows and strengthens the muscle.
This is another reason why weight training is often suggested as a rehabilitation exercise for serious injury, and also why it is recommended for over forties.
When we hit 40 years of age our muscles lose elasticity and become rigid, resulting in us losing muscle and becoming weaker. Strength training can aid this and help keep us healthy in later age.
3. Weight Training Protects Bones
A benefit to weight lifting that is often overlooked is its ability to help increase bone density, which has bearings on the strength of our bones.
Weight training exercises with added resistance help aid bone health and prevent breaks, fractures and even conditions like osteoporosis.
This is especially important for those of us who have sedentary jobs. Sitting at a desk all day negatively affects bone health simply because they’re failing to get stronger by not having to regularly support our weights.
Plus this resistance found in weight training helps our joints by exercising them, additionally reducing the risk of injuries to our knees and shoulders, and helping to ward off conditions such as arthritis.
4. Weight Training Relieves Stress
Everyone knows that any form of exercise releases endorphins which help to boost our mood, making us feel happier, lighter and more relaxed.
It’s no surprise that weight training helps to relieve stress tenfold because of the feeling of satisfaction we get when we can suddenly lift a super heavy weight that we couldn’t before.
It’s even been backed up by scientific evidence. Across a two week period the International Journal of Sports Medicine discovered decreased cortisol levels in those undertaking weight training programs.
5. Weight Training Improves Posture
A large part of weight training is its focus on the correct form and posture. Without a correct form, your ability to perform certain exercises is severely limited and you could end up injuring yourself.
Lifting weights predominantly requires muscles from your back, shoulders and core. These are all muscle types that are crucial to aiding the correct posture and preventing lower or upper back pain.
By lifting weights and learning to correct your form, you strengthen these muscles which in turn helps us stand up straighter, stopping us from slouching and potentially stooping in later life.