Updated: Oct 19, 2020
I want to lose weight and get toned. Should I be doing cardio or be lifting weights?
Ah. The age-old question. What will give me the most bang for my buck when it comes to exercise, lifting weights or cardio?
The simplest answer is, it depends. But no one ever likes that answer, so I'll provide a little more context to guide you.
Cardiovascular exercise will help you burn calories. Burning more calories than you consume over time will help you lose weight. Therefore, many people choose cardio activity as their main form of exercise when trying to lose weight.
There is nothing wrong with this approach if your doctor has cleared you for cardio activity. A spin class, a morning jog, or even a brisk walk can help you lose weight and also improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Having a strong cardiovascular system can protect your heart health and overall put you at a lower risk of disease too. So even beyond weight loss a little cardio can go a long way.
So, what's the downside?
Typical cardio - running, elliptical, biking - will not necessarily help you gain muscle or tone the muscle you have. That's where weight training or resistance training comes into play.