When it comes to altering body composition, our number one recommended type of exercise is definitely resistance training. You might be wondering, "What about cardio? I've always heard that running is the best way to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time." While it's true that ultimately fatloss is the result of a negative energy balance (burning more calories than you take in on a daily basis), there are a few problems with relying solely on cardio workouts to lose fat.
First, if you do repeated cardio workoust your body will become more effecient over time. In some ways, this is great - your mile time will be faster and you'll be able to go for longer runs. However if you're focused on fat loss, this means over time you'll HAVE to do longer and harder workouts in order to burn the same number of calories. Those 30 minute runs may eventually turn into 45-60 minute runs in order to continue seeing results.
Next, cardio workouts, while they are great for your cardiovascular health, don't build muscle. And why do you need to build muscle? Because this type of tissue burns calories all day long, even while you're resting. Cardio workouts only burn calories for the duration of the workout.
Finally, resistance training, as opposed to cardio workouts, help to build functional strength, which allows you to be more active in your day-to-day life. This means more daily movement, more comfortable bending and lifting, more playing sports, playing with your kids, carrying groceries home...just think of all the extra calories burned during thos activities! That time you spend moving throughout the day is key to losing fat.
If you're a cardio junkie, try out some resitance training 2-3 times a week and see what kinds of changes you see! If you need guidance in how to get started let us know!