The Debate Continues...What's Better Aerobics Or Weight Lifting?

If you're trying to determine whether aerobics is better than weight lifting exercise or vice versa; The answer is that neither one is better than the other.

Both aerobics and weight lifting exercise provide different benefits for your body and are essential for your good health.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is defined as any extended activity that makes you breathe hard while using the large muscle groups at a regular, even pace.

This type of activity strengthens your heart and makes it work more efficiently.

During aerobic exercise, you burn primarily fat during the workout.

However, if you solely do aerobic exercise without strength training along with it, you risk losing muscle at the same time as you lose your fat.

Aerobic exercise increases your heart and lung capacity, in addition to producing more blood vessels.

When you exercise aerobically, more nutrients and oxygen are delivered to your cells, while your body quickly removes waste products and toxins. Over time, you gain increased energy and the ability to perform both physically and mentally.

Another benefit of aerobic activity is that it helps control your weight by using excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Your mood may improve as well because research shows that regular aerobic exercise increases your production of endorphins, which improves your mood and outlook.

Benefits of Weight Lifting

Weight lifting is defined as development of strength with the use of weight lifting or some other form of resistance, based on the overload principle and designed toward improving an individual's strength.

During weight lifting, you primarily burn carbohydrates during the workout. However, progressive weight training increases your lean muscle mass, which aerobic exercise does not.

An obvious benefit of weight lifting versus aerobic exercise is the ability to gain lean muscle mass. Toning your muscles through weight lifting increases your basal metabolism, which causes you to burn more calories through every hour of the day! This increase in metabolism is especially helpful over the age of 30 when your metabolism naturally starts to decline.

Another benefit of weight lifting versus many aerobic exercises is its ability to strengthen your bones. Weight bearing exercises actually increase bone density, which reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Another seemingly obvious benefit of weight lifting is that it makes you strong. Improved strength helps in many areas of your life from improved posture and more confidence to less prone to injury and falls. Weight lifting versus aerobic exercise also helps you maintain flexibility in your joints. This improved flexibility can be particularly important as you age.

Researchers have discovered that people who weight train are benefiting from an age reversal effect. In one study, participants who performed only moderate weight lifting routines demonstrated muscle mass, cardiovascular fitness, coordination and bone density comparable to people who were 20 years their junior!

Aerobics versus weight lifting: which one is better?

Any trained fitness professional will tell you that you need to include both aerobic and weight lifting activities into your fitness routine. Aerobic exercise will strengthen your heart muscle and give you physical endurance. Weight lifting will increase your lean muscle mass, improving your metabolism allowing you to burn more fat and calories all day long.

If your goal is to lose weight, you may be tempted to only do aerobic activity because it is considered a fat burning exercise. However, the key to maximizing fat loss is to maximize your caloric expenditure, and not to try to burn a particular fuel like fat. If you undertake only cardiovascular exercise and improved diet, then you may lose weight, but you may still have a soft appearance. Weight lifting can add shape to your muscles and improve your appearance.

I encourage you to make every effort to include both weight lifting and aerobic exercise in to your weekly fitness efforts. Your body will thank you for it, both on the inside and on the outside!


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