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Starting your fitness journey might seem like a difficult endeavour, as might attempting to advance your current one. You may feel as though you have been overwhelmed with information about the many things you can do.
Particularly divergent viewpoints on whether you should run or lift weights have divided the fitness enthusiasts and the internet. The fact is, each type of exercise has unique advantages and offers enormous benefits. However, remember that what appears to work for someone else might not work for you.
Now, let us delve deeper into the subject, clearing up common misconceptions while providing a fair assessment to assist you in making the best decision for your fitness journey.
Clearing Up Two Common Misconceptions
A lot of individuals think that doing aerobic activities is the only way to reduce weight. Whereas some might worry that lifting weights would make their bodies very muscular. However, such is not the case. Below, we’ll be clearing these common misconceptions in detail.
Doing cardio is the only way to shed body fat
Doing cardio is indeed useful for cutting down your body weight and burning calories; however, it is not the only option. To most people’s surprise, lifting weights is just as helpful for managing weight over the long run.
Your lean muscle mass increases when you incorporate lifting weights into your regimen. This leads to your resting metabolic rate increasing and your muscles burning more calories at rest than fat. In the long run, lifting weights might turn out to be just as if not more effective than doing cardio.
Lifting weights makes one bulky
Another widespread misconception is that lifting weights will lead to a buff bodybuilder-like physique, especially for women. In reality, this is quite improbable. Women naturally have lower testosterone levels than men, the hormone primarily responsible for muscle growth. So, weight training for women leads to a more defined, sculpted look rather than bulkiness.
Even if you’re not a woman, getting bulky is hard, even for most men. Weight training usually results in a toned, lean physique rather than Hulk-like proportions.
Now that we’ve addressed these misconceptions, let’s delve deeper into the benefits of weightlifting and cardio and explore when and why you might choose one over the other.
Benefits of Weight Training
- Helps Build a Leaner Body
Weight training is a potent fat burner. Muscles burn calories even while at rest since they are metabolically active tissues. And since weight training helps you build muscle, your basal metabolic rate rises, leading to more calories being burned.
The greatest benefit of muscle is that it encourages the breakdown of fat. As a result, lifting weights helps you both develop muscle and burn fat simultaneously.
- Provides a Metabolism Boost
The effect of weightlifting on metabolism is one of the less well-known bonuses. Your body continues to burn calories as it repairs and grows muscle even after a workout. This means that even when you decide to lie down and rest, your muscles will continue to burn calories throughout the day.
This can help with weight management and fat loss in the long term.
- Improves Bone Health
Weightlifting is a weight-bearing exercise, which means it places stress on your bones. Over time, this repetitive stress can increase bone density, making them stronger. This means that as you age, your chances of developing osteoporosis reduce as well as your bones are less likely to fracture.
Ultimately, deciding what to pursue depends on your personal goals and preferences. You DON’T HAVE to choose one over the other, especially when you can incorporate a mix of both and get the best of both worlds.
Most people can get the best of both worlds with a balanced strategy that combines lifting and cardio. By combining both approaches, you can get the advantages of cardiovascular and muscular training while minimising their negative effects. This means you can build muscles while cutting down your fat at the same time, befitting the phrase “killing two birds with one stone”.
While incorporating both approaches will require a bit more effort, it will be time well spent if you want to gain more muscle and lose fat.
Ultimately, the fitness dilemma of lifting vs. running need not be an either/or decision. Focus on creating a well-rounded and efficient training plan that is suited to your unique objectives and tastes. It doesn’t matter whether you want to lift weights, run, or combine the two; consistency is the key to success in fitness.
So, let’s abandon the old misconceptions and embrace the harmony of a well-rounded workout regimen!