Cardio vs. Weight Training

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Compare and Contrast Essay – Final Draft

Weight Training vs. Cardiovascular Activity

When we make the decision to go to the gym or start an exercise routine, it is important to identify our goals. Do we want to lose weight, sculpt and tone our body, relieve stress, build stamina, or all of the above? One’s goals will determine the best course of action. Both strength training and cardiovascular exercise offer benefits. I have explained those benefits here:

Weight training burns calories more calories than we once believed. Weight training creates a metabolic spike; one’s body continues to burn more calories after the routine is complete. For every three pounds of muscle we build, we will burn an extra 120 calories per day, doing everyday activities. Muscle takes more energy to sustain, by building muscle we are eliminating fat and trimming our physique. Functional strength training involves training the body for daily activities, incorporates balance, strength and agility. It can also promote health and prevent injuries. In contrast, the repetitive nature of some cardiovascular exercise can cause strain and injury if not supplemented with strength training.

Cardiovascular exercise can relieve stress by releasing endorphins and elevating serotonin levels in the brain. Just 15 minutes of cardio several times a week can greatly reduce anxiety. Cardiovascular exercise helps build stamina and reduce fatigue. It also activates the immune system and helps fight off infection. People who do regular cardio exercise are less susceptible to colds and flu. Regular cardio exercise prolongs life, promotes oxygen delivery to the muscles, and improves heart health. Cardiovascular exercise prevents inflammation, raises good cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Though cardio does not burn calories on the same level that strength training does, it still...
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