Cardio and Strength Training |What’s Better?

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    Some swear by the lung-boosting benefits of cardio while others love the challenge of lifting those weights. If you’ve ever wondered whether cardio or strength training is better for your health and fitness goals, read on as we strive to demystify the ultimate workout question: cardio, strength or both?

    Cardio and strength training – what’s better?

    The benefits of cardio

    Cardio, or cardiovascular training, is a type of exercise that elevates your heart rate for an extended period of time. This could be anything from doing a TBP cardio workout to dancing to cycling, swimming or running. Cardio is also considered aerobic exercise, which is when your body requires more oxygen and you’ll find yourself breathing faster.

    Regular cardiovascular exercise has loads of incredible science-backed benefits.

    These include:

    Cardio workouts are also really accessible. Almost everyone can do some type of cardio workout at some level. And you can accomplish a lot without any equipment at all. In fact, many of our workouts are ‘no equipment necessary’-style cardio workouts, and we’ve seen the incredible benefits they bring to our members.

    Research also shows that aerobic exercise can positively support your emotional and mental health by reducing levels of your body’s stress hormones and by releasing endorphins, chemicals in the brain that can elevate your mood and decrease pain. All wonderful benefits!

    Of course, there can be some downsides with an all-cardio exercise program. This could include the loss of muscle mass if you don’t also incorporate some form of resistance or strength training. You can also over-fatigue yourself by doing cardio too frequently or too intensely, without enough breaks in between.

    The benefits of strength training

    Strength exercise, also sometimes called resistance or weight training, is aimed at improving your muscular strength and endurance using resistance. This often includes using equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells, for example, but could also be accomplished using just body weight. (And we love that at TBP!)

    Regular strength training also has many benefits.

    These include:

    Research suggests (as does our own experience) that resistance training does not require super heavy resistance or hours and hours in the gym to be effective. Again, we’ve seen our members accomplish loads by doing shorter workouts and using no equipment at all. In fact, the potential benefits of this type of exercise can be achieved within two 15 to 20-minute sessions each week.

    There are also some potential downsides to strength training. You may eventually need some equipment, as your strength increases. And if done improperly, you could risk an injury. It also burns fewer calories than cardio as well, if this is something you track.

    The magic combination of cardio and strength training

    You’ve probably figured this out by now, but the best results come from a combination of cardio and strength training. You don’t need to choose just one type of workout. In fact, it’s more beneficial if you incorporate both. Cardio and strength training complement each other and the end result is a more well-rounded workout regime.

    A recent study found that completing aerobic physical activity as well as muscle-strengthening exercise gave people a greater reduction in their mortality risk, with a ‘minimum effective dose’ of one to two sessions per week. We can certainly do that, team!

    Cardio and strength training complement each other. And, by combining them, you can achieve a more balanced exercise plan and better results.

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