Are you TEAM STRENGTH or TEAM CARDIO?
Working on your fitness can be daunting when you have two different teams telling you what’s best. But is one really better than the other? Both strength training and cardio training offer different benefits and can come together for amazing results.
Remember when you burn calories during any workout, your body is using up energy to power through it. How much you weigh will affect how much you burn.
💪Strength training (aka weight training, resistance training, or whatever other term you prefer for lifting weights) is an anaerobic activity. Anaerobic exercises break down glucose for energy, without relying on oxygen like cardio does. More energy is used in a short amount of time.
Weight training burns calories, but it also builds muscle. There’s a reason you don’t see many jacked elite marathoners or svelte professional weightlifters.
While a cardio workout will help you burn more calories during a sweat session, strength training helps you keep burning those calories throughout the day.
This is thanks to that muscle you’re building, which increases your resting metabolism (aka your body’s ability to burn calories while binge-watching Netflix). Muscle helps your body burn more calories when at rest than fat does.
Lifting weights also helps increase bone density, which affects the strength of your bones. If you’re lifting dumbbells, you’re on your way to stronger bones, which can help prevent osteoporosis as well as breaks and fractures.
Stronger muscles also help out your joints by supporting them, reducing your risk of knee or shoulder injuries and arthritis.
🏃Cardio (short for “cardiovascular conditioning”) is an aerobic activity, which means it uses oxygen to increase your breathing and heart rate. Any activity that makes you breathe harder and faster and increases your heart rate counts.
Cardio helps keep your ticker pumping strongly and efficiently, especially when you need endurance. When you do any cardio workout, your heart rate goes up and you start breathing faster as your body tries to get more oxygen for your blood.
For example, when you start inhaling deeply during a run and praying to make it to the next tree, your body is doing this oxygen exchange.
Cardio exercise helps boost your aerobic capacity (how much oxygen your blood gets and uses) and allows your heart and lungs to more efficiently move oxygen through your body (good job, body!).
This not only helps you get through longer workouts but also prevents huffing and puffing whenever you take the office stairs.
A plus for cardio is that you’ll burn more calories during your workout than you would when weight training (big emphasis on during).
💪+🏃 Strength & Cardio by combining them, you can get the best of both worlds. Fat loss and muscle gain. It’s going to take a little more time to incorporate both, but it’s time well spent if you want less fat and more muscle.
A combination of strength training and cardio has greater improvement in heart disease risk factors than doing just one or the other. Your heart with thank you for combining both forms of exercise.
Including both forms of training also helps improve anxiety and depression. Whether you are mentally healthy or have a physical or mental illness.
If you want to burn more calories with less effort, it is recommended to do cardio after strength training. Doing cardio after lifting may result in a heart rate of around 12 beats per minute faster than doing cardio alone. Weights before cardio is also a better strategy if your goal is to build strength.
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