This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Depending on your goals, walking or weightlifting may benefit you more.
If you’re trying to figure out how to become more active in your lifestyle, then you’re likely looking at different routines that can help you to be in shape. Recently, I’ve received a string of questions and comments about cardio/walking vs weights. People are both confused and interested in which of these two methods they should be using.
First off, living a healthy and active lifestyle has many benefits. You’ll often feel like you have more energy, you’re able to do more with your family, and generally feel better. Beginning a workout routine takes dedication and will require you to put in effort, but the long term benefits definitely make it worth it.
Benefits of walking
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to get into. You literally only need your body to make it effective. We’d also recommend a decent pair of shoes to keep your feet comfortable, and clothes to keep everyone else comfortable. Get outside, and walk around the block a few times every day, and you’ll feel a world of difference if you’re not used to walking a lot.
Walking is a form of cardio. Your goal is to get your heart rate elevated for a period of time so that your body feels it. Just sauntering along at a slow pace doesn’t really help your overall fitness level. It’s better than sitting on the couch or laying on the bed, but it’s not going to bring the benefits that getting your heart rate elevated will.
The other great benefit of walking is that it’s easy to involve others in the activity. Bring your kids along if you want, or take your pets out for a walk. If your kids get tired, put them on your shoulders to increase your intensity (listen, I know you probably can’t get your teenager on your shoulders, but perhaps a piggy-back ride will do).
Benefits of weightlifting
While walking is a great way to burn calories (by elevating your heart rate), weights are a great way to build muscle. Walking for 20 minutes is going to burn more calories than lifting for 20 minutes, no matter the lift that you’re doing. Just because you feel as tired lifting weights (or perhaps more so) doesn’t mean you’ve burnt more calories. You’ve just stressed many muscles in your body.
Weight lifting is a great way to complement your walking. Walking will help you to be more flexible and have more endurance, while weight lifting will allow you to lift and move bigger things. It will also help you to walk further as well as your legs will become less tired as your muscles get stronger.
Building your muscular strength will help if you’re interested in having a defined physique. For example, if you want a six pack, then you’re going to need to have strong abs. If you want your chest to look well defined, then you’ll need the chest muscles to be strong. While you don’t have to lift huge weights to get strong, you do need to lift regularly.
Combining both walking (or some form of cardio) and weight lifting is a great strategy for building a strong body. However, if you’re not eating correctly, then these two things will not have great results. Being active is only one part of the equation. You need to make sure that you’re focused on eating correctly as well.
Work on eating an overall healthy diet. That means that you should focus on core ingredients in your meals. Avoid items high in sugar - they are absolutely delicious and will completely destroy your diet.
Walking and weight lifting are complementary forms of exercise. You should be doing both cardio in some form and some form of strength training. One helps you build your muscular strength while the other will help you build your aerobic endurance. Doing both of these, combined with a healthy eating lifestyle will go a long way in changing you look and feel.