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Light weightlifting won't burn calories as quickly as a cardio workout.
A well-rounded fitness plan should always include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training. In the simplest terms, aerobic exercises burn calories to help you lose or maintain weight, while strength-training exercises such as lifting weights help you develop muscle mass to lead to a vast number of health benefits. Light weightlifting doesn't burn calories quickly but, provided you're getting enough aerobic exercise, you don't have reason to worry.
Weightlifting Calories Burned
Although you probably haven't chosen to lift weights for the purpose of burning calories, you'll nonetheless burn a handful of calories during 45 minutes of light weightlifting. According to the calorie calculator on the website HealthStatus, someone who weighs 175 pounds will burn 204 calories during a 45-minute weight-training session. During an identical workout, a 200-pound person will burn 234 calories.
The ability to burn a couple hundred calories in less than an hour of light weightlifting might seem impressive but, compared with aerobic exercises, the number of calories you'll burn lifting weights is minimal. HealthStatus reports a 175-pound person will burn 598 calories during a 45-minute run at 6 miles per hour and 677 calories while using an elliptical trainer for 45 minutes. During the same pair of workouts, a 200-pound person will burn 684 and 774 calories, respectively.
Weekly Fitness Plan
Even if you don't plan on building a hulking body, strength training is an essential part of your weekly fitness plan. Each week, set a goal of spending 150 minutes engaging in some form of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging or inline skating around your neighborhood. Additionally, make time for two strength-training sessions, during which you can perform light weightlifting or just use body-weight exercises. In either case, devote attention to each of your major muscle groups.
Benefits of Strength Training
Whether you wish to bulk up for a certain sport or just enjoy light weightlifting to clear your mind, regular strength training contributes to your overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strength training improves your balance, leads to greater bone density, helps lessen the signs of arthritis and osteoporosis, improves the health of your heart and can even help you sleep more soundly. MayoClinic.com notes strength training can also elevate your stamina and focus.