Cardio or Strength?
Cardio or Strength – Which One is Better?
Short answer: It depends.
Better answer: Your health and fitness goals are a couple of determining factors. But for the best all-around wellness, you should participate in both aerobic exercise (cardio) and resistance training (strength).
Cardio exercise involves any activity that increases your heart rate and your breathing rate. Think running or cycling, for instance. Your heart, lungs and the rest of the cardiovascular system receive direct benefits from this type of exercise. But the “bennies” don’t end there. Cardio helps improve brain health, regulate blood sugar, maintain mobility and can help you maintain a healthy weight. “Because of its widespread benefits, regular cardio exercise can ultimately help you live longer, according to a June 2017 study published in Progress in Cardiovascular Disease.”
Resistance exercise (strength training) is imperative for EVERYONE, especially as we get older. As we age, we lose muscle mass. This can lead to health problems and frailty. Strength training helps maintain and build muscle tissue. Not only will it keep your body strong, it can also help maintain healthy weight and improve your overall cardiovascular health. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, it can help you maintain strong bones an
d improve your quality of life, keeping you independent longer.
It is recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services that American adults get 2.5 to 5 hours a week of moderate-intensity cardio exercise and 2 days per week of strength training that involves all major muscle groups. But you don’t have to go gung-ho if you’re just starting. In fact, it’s better to start off with smaller bouts (say 5-20 minutes at a time) and gradually work into longer sessions. Go for short walks, do some body weight exercises like sit-to-stands and wall pushups. The key is consistency and doing what suits your own body best. To make good progress, challenge yourself, but don’t feel you need to “keep up with the Joneses”. Push yourself into mild discomfort. Before you know it, you will WANT to do more, because you feel better. And that’s the point! Feeling more energetic and able to do more things with greater ease is a good goal and motivator. If you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing, ask an expert for assistance.
Consult with a certified personal trainer who can teach you proper form, appropriate exercises and design a program you can and want to stick with. Contact Julia Darrah with Life in Motion Fitness for advice and what YOUR body needs today!