Many argue which provides a better overall workout, cardio or weight training. Realistically, however, you can’t expect to see any killer results without incorporating aspects of both into a workout routine. Although the benefits of cardio and weights are each great on their own, blending the two with a well-balanced diet can create the optimal circumstances for increased fat loss, improved mental health, and enhanced overall wellness.
Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, includes anything that gets your heart pumping. Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio strengthens the entire cardiovascular system, including both the heart and lungs. 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 walking up a single 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
Weightlifting may be intimidating. You might be worried that lifting weights bill put unwanted bulk on your frame or simply not know where to start. Luckily, these concerns are easily remedied with just 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!
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We hope this information on the combined benefits of cardio and weights is helpful.
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