Cardio vs. weight training – the everlasting battle of determining which exercise is best rages on. The reality of the situation, however, is that you can’t expect to see killer results without incorporating aspects of both into your workout routine. Though cardio and weight training both provide some awesome benefits on their own, combining the two with a well-balanced diet can create the optimal environment for increased fat loss, improved mental health, and enhanced overall wellness.
Cardiovascular exercise includes anything that gets your heart pumping. Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio works out and strengthens the heart while it also improves lung function. Cardio consists of moving large muscle groups repeatedly at a low to moderate intensity to improve one’s aerobic capacity, or how much oxygen is delivered through the body during physical activity. While someone with low aerobic capacity may have a hard time even walking up a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath, due to a lack of oxygen circulation, someone with high aerobic capacity will likely feel more energized during day-to-day activities and when working out.
Cardio not only helps strengthen the heart, lungs, and muscle groups, but also offers many other benefits. Cardio also:
- Reduces joint pain and stiffness
- Allows for better sleep
- Lowers blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease
- Decrease chances of stroke
- Improve memory and cognitive function
- Burns calories
- Helps control an appetite
- Boosts mood and overall wellness
Weight training can seem intimidating. Those wishing to build a leaner frame may worry that lifting will add bulk to their figure, while those with little overall strength may not know where to start. Luckily, those concerns are easy to remedy with a little research. Weight training and resistance training are anaerobic exercises, meaning that your strength is not based on the amount of oxygen that your blood is able to carry. Weight training does so much more than just build muscle; it also:
- Reduces abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat
- Improves organ function due to reduced visceral fat
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Improves mobility and flexibility
- Lowers risk of injury due to improved mobility
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Protects against cognitive decline
Weightlifting can also improve one’s overall mental health by reducing anxiety symptoms!
Balance is Key
Overall, the best workout plan includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Talk to a doctor to see what exercises you can start to incorporate into your routine to reach your peak level of physical fitness!
We hope this information on cardio vs. weight training is helpful to you.
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Originally from the snow-capped Rockies, Macee moved to Texas in 2016 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Strategic Communication. She currently serves as a writer and editor for Empower Brokerage, as well as the marketing manager for Preferred Senior Advisors. Macee is also working on her Master’s degree in management, and hopes to inspire others with her passion for telling stories through varied digital and print marketing efforts.