“I need to lose weight and get toned! Let’s go running!” Or “I need to run for 3 hours to burn off my lunch!”. That is often the line we hear our friends or even our minds (guilty!) telling us that. Like a broken record, we subconsciously tell ourselves, the more cardio equals to more calories burned hence, achieving that toned Victoria Secret model physique.  Cardio workouts are not bad by any means however it can sabotage your undying attempts to achieve that muscle tone bod.  Too much steady cardio shrinks your muscles and over time, your body burn fewer calories because your overall muscle mass decreases, and so does your metabolism. To simply put it, more muscle mass equals to more calorie burn and higher metabolism rate.

Woman, in general, prefer cardio as they shy away from lifting weights, god forbid, making them look like a man. So sadly, they abstain from carrying dumbbells and opt for running or aerobics only. The truth is, lifting weights, together with cardio assist in weight management. 

An example of a combination workout would be the High Intensity Interval Training (HITT). HIIT works at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate with a shorter duration before you cool down to recover and stretch. With high intensities and the explosive nature of HIIT, your muscles are forced to burned carbohydrates. It activates more muscles hence your muscles won’t adapt to boring workout routines. In turn, your physique will slowly shape and tone.

But this point of view is very subjective. If you are in battling your scale, cardio is the way to go. If you want to look hot under those fall sweaters, though, it’s time to cozy up and learn to love strength training.

Every minute, cardio indisputably burns more calories than strength/weight training, which could explain why compared to strength trainers, aerobic exercisers lose more weight in a shorter amount of time.

Still, cardio doesn’t do much for building up your muscles. Case in point: In one Penn State study, dieters lost 21 pounds whether they did cardio or strength training. But for the cardio group, six of those pounds came from muscle, while the lifters lost pure fat—and probably able to fit into their skinny jeans better because of it.

Why is this so? Strength/weight training is the number-one way to build more muscle. And for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you can guarantee to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving a single one of those muscles. Amazing stuff isn’t it!

That doesn’t mean that you should hang up those running shoes, though—especially if you are a stress eater. Cardio is one of the best ways to reduce stress, which is the ultimate solution to reduce your waist line all by itself. The best solution? A fitness plan that includes both cardio and strength training. Do up a timetable and make sure you leave out 2 days to rest the body!