Q: My wife and I have both put on a few pounds since our wedding a year ago. We recently joined a gym near our home and stop there after work 2-3 evenings a week. I like to hit the weights, but my wife spends most of her time on the treadmill or elliptical. We’re wondering which is better for burning calories – weight training or cardio workouts? — Aaron; New Braunfels, TX
A: Actually, Aaron, your best bet for losing weight is combining the two. Cardio training works the heart and lungs and increases your stamina. Thirty minutes of cardio exercise burns more calories than thirty minutes of lifting. Weight training, on the other hand, increases your muscles’ strength, as well as improves muscular definition and endurance. This leads to increases metabolism, which in turn, will help you lose even more weight. Stronger muscles leads to increased calorie burn – and so in the long run, strength training is very beneficial in losing weight and keeping it off.
Now, if time is a factor – as it is with most of us – try staggering your fitness routine throughout the week. Get out and take a walk or go for a run together three nights, perhaps Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. But on Monday and Wednesday, hit the weights for an hour or so.
Of course, other factors play into your ability to actually lose weight – particularly, your food intake. Ultimately, you’ll also both need to burn more calories than you consume if you want to shed pounds. So a healthy and nutritious diet that features plenty of fresh fruits and veggies as well as whole grains will also contribute positively to your quest to lose weight.
And keep in mind that when you’re moving, you’re improving – so make sure that you factor in plenty of fun in your fitness regimen. Play badminton, go for a hike, shoot some hoops – just stay active and the pounds will melt away.