We’ve all seen the cute girl, seemingly fit, extremely lean bouncing around on the treadmill, like a cardio queen, but let me tell you, there’s more to weight loss, fat burning, and toning up than cardio! Yes, by spending hours on the treadmill you’ll burn fat thus resulting in a decrease in pounds on the scale. But, your goal should be to build lean muscle so you continue to burn fat well beyond your workout.
I’m a fan of both aerobic exercise (cardio), and resistance training (weight lifting), and I genuinely enjoy both. However, you’ll never hear me suggest an all or nothing plan when it comes to the notorious, “should I do cardio or resistance training to lose weight?” question.
There are significant benefits to cardio and lifting that are completely different, and increase your overall health and quality of life. A progressive cardio regiment will improve components of your cardiovascular and cardio-respiratory system more aggressively than lifting weights. Where lifting weights will assist in stronger skeletal structure to withstand the wear and tear of life, but will only improve few aspects of your cardio respiratory system.
My main goal with everything I do, is to educate you, and empower you to become a better version of yourself, while providing you the tools to do so. Below you’ll find my quick tip list of reasons, benefits, and advice on why a fitness plan that incorporates both cardio & resistance training is the most effective, sustainable, and beneficial than choosing one or the other.
- Supports Heart Health: The heart is one of our most important organs and muscles in our bodies. Like other muscles we must work that muscle for it to become strong. We allow our heart to become weak when we fail to work it out, and that weakness leads to negative health effects.
- Improves Memory: Studies have shown that by participating in cardio exercises you can help improve memory & brain health. Just a little workout today, goes a long way in the effects of long-term health.
- Natural Antidepressant: Cardio releases endorphins that improve moods, fights stress, and helps alleviate depression. Hormones released during cardio also relieve symptoms of fatigue and decrease your appetite.
- Natural Detox: While performing cardio your body loses all the glycogen (glucose/energy) stored in your liver, followed by stored fat.
- Keeps Your Arteries Clear: Cardio aids in lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol and boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good,” cholesterol. This may result in less buildup of plaques in your arteries.
Tip: Healthy adults should complete 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 3-4 days a week. Try walking for 1 minute, and jogging for 30 seconds. Increase your intensity, speed, and time every 5 days.
- Increases Post Work-Out Burn: Although you burn 12 calories per minute during cardio compared to 10 minutes during weightlifting, you’ll continue to burn calories well after your resistance training workout.
- Easy To Incorporate Cardio: Include plyometrics like squat jumps in between sets. Squat jumps will leave you breathless and help strengthen your heart and lungs along with your other muscles.
- Builds Lean Muscle Mass: By increasing your lean muscle mass, you’ll burn calories & fat in the body more efficiently.
- Improves Bone Density: Resistance training can decrease bone loss as you age. The promotion of fat-free body mass will decrease, sarcopenia, the process of losing lean muscle as we age.
- Increases Strength Beyond The Muscles: By lifting weights you’ll not only increase your muscular strength but increase the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons which results in an improvement in motor performance and decreased injury risk.
Tip: Incorporate, Compound Movements. Compound movements are those that engage multiple muscle groups resulting in more calories burned. Try exercises like the squats, push-ups, lunges, planks. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, and increase your time by 10 seconds every 3-5 days.
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