Cardio vs. Strength Training – Which is Right for You?

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Any type of exercise is better than being physically inactive. That is a given. However, some workouts are better than others for producing a desired result. While you should have both cardiovascular and strength training exercises in your physical fitness program, it’s important to know the difference between these 2 health boosters.

What Is Cardio?

Cardio exercises are so named because they boost your cardiovascular system. Therefore, any exercise which increases your heart rate for an extended period of time is considered cardio. This includes, but certainly is not limited to, running, swimming and aerobics.

Benefits of Cardio

Cardio exercises are a great way to burn fat and drop those extra pounds. You also tone your entire body in the process. Your body begins to warm up as you exercise, preparing for a high intensity workout that adds flexibility to your joints. Your heart, respiratory system and entire body are improved by cardio exercises. You also enjoy improved bone density and high energy levels.

What Is Strength Training?

You will also hear this form of exercise referred to as weight training. However, you do not need to purchase a weight set to benefit from strength training. Basically, this is any type of resistance-based exercise focused on targeting a specific muscle group with the goal of making those muscles stronger.

As we just mentioned, this could involve using external weights or weight machines to create the needed resistance which builds muscle. However, body weight exercises are excellent forms of strength training, requiring nothing more than the weight of your body and gravity to create the resistance which adds lean muscle and burns excess fat.

Benefits of Strength Training

We just mentioned that strength training is a great way to burn excess fat. It also transforms the fat on your body into lean, strong muscle. Unlike cardio exercises, strength training can be used to target a specific area. The combination of cardio and strength training workouts let you focus on a specific body part, while also burning calories and fat throughout your body.


In recent years it has been discovered that strength training actually works better at fat loss than cardio. You can also burn more calories and fat while enjoying a shorter workout duration with strength training than cardio. Up to a full 72 hours after your strength training workout is over, your body is still incinerating fat, burning calories and carbohydrates and building muscle.

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