If your goal is to shed a few pounds, or mainly burn fat, then steer clear of the cardio workouts as they won’t do you much good. Although cardio exercises like running do work to improve cardiovascular health, they have a limit on how successful they are when it comes to burning fat. The key to burning fat is muscle building.
Women tend to stick with cardio more so than men due to fears of becoming bulky, but you can lift weights and perform resistance exercises without the added bulk.
We aren’t saying that you should omit your cardio routine altogether, as it has been shown to offer several health benefits. Walking, running, and swimming has been linked with a reduction in type 2 diabetes, falls, osteoporosis fractures, and depression. Cardio workouts also improve cognition, weight management, physical function, and enhance the overall quality of life. For these reasons, cardio workouts should be part of your weekly routine, but when it comes to fat burning, you need resistance training.
Fat burning is a result of muscle building, and the best way to grow muscle mass is through weight training. In fact, too much drawn out cardio – think long daily runs – can break down muscle tissue because it increases cortisol in the body. Although this may aid in weight management, it also breaks down muscle, which is dangerous.
Try to find workouts that integrate cardio and resistance training such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is shorter but offers more significant results when it comes to weight and fat loss. This style of training also promotes lean muscle mass, which won’t add on bulk.
Therefore, if you’ve been dedicated to your cardio workouts and aren’t achieving the results you want, then it may be time to add some weight training to your routine.
Also read: Is your exercise routine causing varicose veins?