There’s a wide debate about what causes maximum weight loss in women: cardiovascular exercise or weight training? Truthfully there are advantages to each, but the proper use of both determines how much weight you will actually lose. Keeping these two methods of exercise balanced will help the average woman to attain a more healthy body, consistent exercise regime, and release more endorphins. While dieting is an important part of losing weight, exercise is just as vital and can be crucial to keeping the weight off.

Health Benefits of Cardio Activity

Cardio, whether running, jogging, or working on the treadmill, can add to your overall lifespan, as it exercises your most important muscle: the heart. The heart can develop defects and disorders throughout your lifespan, but good solid cardio routines will help you clear your arteries and prevent blockage. This helps to avoid cholesterol, obviously, but it also makes you more fit overall. Aerobic exercise and cardio are particularly useful to women because consistent cardio has been shown to reduce cancer risk and diabetes risk, both diseases that have a stronger tendency to show up as women age.

Calories Burned

The calories burned from cardio, especially sprint training, can be significant, but take time to burn. For instance, you will need fifteen minutes of sprints or thirty minutes of jogging to equal the calorie burn from other, more strenuous workouts.

Health Benefits of Resistance/Weight Training

Weight training burns a huge amount of calories, but it also can be slightly more risky to women. Also known as “resistance training” this method of training is as simple as it always has been: moving large weights from one place to another. For women, these exercises should focus on lower body strength. While upper and core strength is important, many women find that they “plateau” quickly in terms of upper body strength, so a more thorough workout should focus on the legs and abs. This helps to maximize calorie burn as well as muscle tone and definition.

Calories Burned

Weight and resistance training burns an exceptional amount of calories over a short period. However, it runs more of a risk for “overtraining” (over-exerting or straining the muscles) than the simpler workouts of cardio. Since you will be focusing on specific muscle groups and not a large spread of them, weight and resistance training should be undertaken with a specific amount of sets and “reps” in mind. Contrast this with speed and aerobic training, which often measures workouts in minutes or miles. Remember, you won’t be able to burn any calories if you end up overextending your muscles, so plan your sets carefully in advance. Write them down if you have to, and increase accordingly once they become easier and more effortless.

Overview of Resistance Vs. Cardio

Overall, you should focus on a limited, highly specific resistance or weight training scheme, coupled with or followed by long cardio sessions. While weight training is important to women, cardio is much more important for overall body health and will help keep off both weight and dangerous diseases. Make sure you apply your concentration and intensity to cardio, but try not to forget resistance training in your daily schedule!