Cardio vs. Strength Training

Cardio vs. Strength Training

Health, wellness and fitness are topics that have been standing in the spotlight more and more in today’s society. New fitness ideas and trending diets are popping up everywhere all the time. It’s an ever changing science. Different studies claim that one exercise is better than the other while another study makes the complete opposite claim. Article A states cardio is better for weight loss because you burn more calories and Article B says no, strength training is superior because it burns more fat. That leaves you with the burning question, which is better for overall fitness? Let’s take a closer look at each exercise.

Cardio is an exercise that consists of any physical activity which causes a significant increase in one’s heart rate. Having a steady cardio regime can help…

• decrease the risk of heart disease, as your heart is the main organ being worked

• assist in maintaining a healthy weight

• increase lung endurance

Per minute cardio burns more calories than weight training, so what could be the problem? There is such thing as too much cardio. Unfortunately, too much cardio could gradually lead to muscle loss. This occurs because your body is attempting to keep up with the amount of energy you are burning so it takes some from your muscles. This could be especially detrimental to older individuals because as you age you start to lose muscle mass. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying cut out cardio just yet…

Strength training is the type of physical activity that involves the use of resistance to increase muscular contraction to build strength and size of the skeletal muscles. Regular strength training can…

• increase bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength

• build lean muscle and reduce body fat

• improve joint function

• increase bone density

You must be mindful with strength training as this is where many injuries originate. Over training is when you work your muscles faster than they can recover. This is how muscles, tendons and ligaments get torn which is extremely painful. Naturally, after strength training your muscles are going to be sore. When your muscles are over trained you find that you are especially sore and tend to be overly sluggish. Giving your muscles time to recover is imperative to building lean muscle.

Each activity has their own wonderful benefits to a person’s health, well being and fitness. So, how do you decide which is the best for you? A balance of both exercises is the only reasonable answer. Strength training will reduce the loss of muscle mass cardio can implement. In turn, cardio will increase your lung capacity to make breathing easier when strength training. Creating a workout plan that integrates both forms of exercise will leave the person with a well-rounded fitness regimen and optimum results.