While many people have heard that exercise and a healthy diet work best together, they may not fully understand why. It’s mostly about your metabolism – the amount of energy you burn at rest.

Your diet, what you eat regularly, is one of the main pillars of healthy weight. No matter how much you exercise, you cannot out-exercise an unhealthy diet. In fact, research suggests that exercise by itself is not a truly effective way to lose weight. Exercise is only effective for weight loss when combined with a healthy balanced diet.

So, what is the best kind of exercise to boost your metabolism? Well really, it’s a combination of cardio, weight training, and high intensity interval training (HIIT). Pieces of each in combination jump-start your metabolism and then keep it going.

Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is the way to keep your heart and lungs happy for the long haul, and it’s the use of all that oxygen you breathe in the process of doing the cardio that helps burn all those calories. Research suggests that you will absolutely burn more calories in the same period with cardio than weight-training. That means your metabolism is elevated more during the cardio activity than with weight-training.

Weight training, while not burning as many calories immediately, gives a lasting benefit. Experts tell us that the benefits to weight training include continued muscle activity, which burns up calories even after you stop exercising. It also maintains the muscle mass that retains a higher resting metabolism during weight loss that cardio alone doesn’t do.

HIIT does a little of both. HIIT consists of short, repeated bursts of activity (like in cross-fit) or with short, repeated sprints in the middle of longer cardio activities. This can include weights or body-weight-based activity. This has been shown to definitively elevate resting metabolism and provides similar benefits to cardio.

In the end we know that none of these should be done every day and should instead be woven together for optimal benefits to health, weight, and metabolism. Your Forte team can give you more information if you’re interested.