Trying to find a workout routine which fits into your already-packed calendar may be challenging. When confronted with this challenge, many of us try to provide a solution to the problem by choosing either cardiovascular training or strength training. And not without a precedent — even within the fitness world, you have individuals who swear by cardio and those who absolutely love to pump weights.
So, which is actually best for weight loss, health benefits as well as overall fitness?
The truth is that fitness is all about balance. You need a balanced diet as well as a balanced workout. This is why both methods of training are very important, and the best workout programmes include a dosage of strength and a measure of cardio.
What Are The Pros Of Cardiovascular Training?
Cardiovascular exercise assists you with improving your body’s ability to deliver blood – as well as oxygen – to your muscles, improving your heart and lungs. This process is responsible for building up your endurance through training your muscles in order to better utilise oxygen. Regular cardio reduces blood pressure, body fat, regulates blood sugar levels and lowers inflammation.
In the long term, regular aerobic (which is another word for cardio) exercise may also lessen your danger of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes as well as cancer. It can also increase your memory and protect the brain against age-related cognitive decline.
What Are The Pros Of Strength Training?
On the other hand, strength training assists you with building muscles which support you in your everyday life, improving your metabolism and enhancing the body’s ability to burn more fat in the long run. Strengthening your muscles allows you to feel stronger, stimulates bone growth, assists with weight control, enhances balance, posture and lowers pain in the lower back and joints.
How Much Is Sufficient?
Many of the benefits of cardiovascular and strength training are reciprocal. There are definitely activities which combine both. (If you do CrossFit, for instance, or strongman training, you may well have most of your bases covered.) However, for simplicity, physical activity guidelines break out the two different types.
Guidelines suggest no less than 20-30 minutes of strength training, two times a week. (Most beginner strength training programmes will have you work out three times a week, which is also OK.) These types of sessions should work all your muscles, so if you choose to split your workout into upper-body and lower-body days, make sure that you do two of each.
As you get accustomed to strength training, you might want to do more. This is great, as long as you work up to it steadily. While you can do once-off videos or make up an exercise routine out of exercises that you like, you’re better off in the long run with a programme that gives you a way to progress as you get stronger.
If you want to learn more about cardio and strength training, then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. Read more about this here.