Updated January 15th, 2024 at 12:57 IST

Cardiovascular Workout vs Weight Training: What Should Beginners Start With?

For beginners, an approach that has both cardio and weight training can provide maximum benefits. However, if you are still confused, here are some pointers.

Reported by: Republic Lifestyle Desk
Cardiovascular vs weight training
Cardiovascular vs weight training | Image:Unsplash

For beginners starting a fitness journey, the choice between cardiovascular exercise and weight training can be a pivotal decision. Both forms of exercise offer distinct benefits, and the ideal starting point depends on individual goals, preferences, and overall health. Here's a breakdown to help beginners decide which path to pursue.

Cardiovascular exercise

Representative image of cardiovascular exercise | Unsplash

Benefits of cardio

  • Cardio is renowned for its effectiveness in burning calories, making it an excellent choice for those aiming to shed excess weight.
  • Activities like running, cycling, and swimming elevate heart rate, promoting cardiovascular health by enhancing endurance and stamina.
  • Cardiovascular exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood lifters, contributing to stress reduction.
  • Many cardio exercises require minimal equipment, making them accessible for beginners without access to a gym.

Ideal cardio exercises for beginners

Walking or brisk walking - An excellent low-impact option that can be easily incorporated into daily routines.


Cycling - Whether on a stationary bike or outdoors, cycling is a joint-friendly cardiovascular exercise.

Swimming - A full-body workout that is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for beginners.


Weight training

Benefits of weight training

Representative image of weight training | Unsplash
  • Weight training contributes to muscle growth, enhancing strength and tone. This can lead to improved metabolism and a more sculpted physique.
  • Resistance training supports bone density, a critical factor in preventing osteoporosis, particularly important as individuals age.
  • Building strength through weight training enhances everyday activities, promoting better functionality and reducing the risk of injuries.
  • As muscle mass increases, the body burns more calories at rest, aiding in weight management.

Ideal weight training exercises for beginners

Bodyweight exercises - Squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks provide a foundation for strength training using your body weight.

Dumbbell exercises - Incorporate dumbbells for exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, and lunges to add resistance.


Resistance bands - These are versatile tools for strength training, offering resistance in various exercises without the need for heavy equipment.

Choosing a starting point

For beginners, a balanced approach that has both cardio and weight training can provide comprehensive fitness benefits. However, if you are still confused about your ideal starting point, consider these pointers.

Begin with cardio if

  • Weight loss is a primary goal.
  • Building cardiovascular endurance is a priority.
  • Low-impact, accessible exercises are preferred.

Begin with weight training if

  • Building muscle strength and tone is a primary goal.
  • There is an interest in improving functional fitness.
  • Seeking long-term benefits for bone health and metabolism.

Ultimately, the key lies in finding a balance that aligns with individual preferences and goals. Many successful fitness routines integrate both cardio and weight training, creating a well-rounded approach to health and fitness. Know your goals, identify your strengths, and work towards your fitness journey with confidence.


Published January 15th, 2024 at 12:57 IST

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