It’s a common belief that if serious exercisers and dieters want to lose weight, they need to focus on cardio exercise — exercise that targets and strengthens the body’s cardiovascular system (including the heart and lungs) by raising the heart rate. Health and fitness experts, however, have shifted their focus away from strictly cardio workouts as a means of losing fat, and refocused on resistance workouts as a more effective weight-loss technique.

Resistance workouts, which are also called strength or weight workouts, build strength by applying resistance to muscle contraction, which ultimately causes a person’s muscles to grow stronger and bigger. Below are three reasons why resistance workouts are a good strategy for getting in shape, as well as losing weight and keeping it off.

It Increases Your Natural Calorie Burn

While cardio workouts can help you burn calories and lose fat, resistance workouts help you build much more lean muscle on your body. Building lean muscle can help you lose more weight because it naturally increases your metabolic rate. People whose bodies have more muscle naturally burn more calories than those who have less – even at rest.

It Requires a Longer Recovery Time

When you do a cardio workout, you burn calories while you exercise, but the increased calorie burn stops pretty quickly once your workout is over. However, when you do a resistance workout, your body has to work to recover and heal itself, even after you’re done. This means that you will continue to burn extra calories and experience some of the fitness benefits of a resistance workout even after you’ve hit the locker room.

It Keeps Your Body Strong and Healthy

Resistance training is key to maintaining your body’s musculoskeletal health. This means that it keeps your joints stable, your muscles strong, and your flexibility, balance and coordination in their best condition. By maintaining your body’s strength, you can ensure that you remain injury-free and in good shape to continue a regular exercise routine, which is essential for maintaining any effective fitness and weight-loss program.

Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and fit — and there is no one “right” way to exercise. By combining cardio workouts with strength training and resistance, you can experience a full range of health benefits — from weight loss to improved moods. Before starting any new fitness regimen, make sure to consult to your personal trainer or doctor.

Sources:

http://www.exercise.wsu.edu/cardio/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/cardio-vs-weight-training

http://www.self.com/fitness/fitness-news/2015/09/best-workout-fat-loss/

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/01/cardio-vs-resistance-training-which-is-healthier/