The topic of exercise always seems to attract some of the hottest debates. Whether it’s about what food to eat, what supplements to use or what training to do, there will always be opposing opinions out there which is why we are here. At FITstrong, our mission is to support and educate our clients on how to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. One of the most popular questions we get asked is “Which is better for me? Cardio or Strength Training?” Before we answer that question, let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of both types of training.
Benefits of Cardio Training:
- Improved heart health:
Regular cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, gets your heart pumping at a faster rate for longer periods of time. Because your heart is a muscle, it becomes stronger the more you use it. By getting the heart pumping at a faster rate on a regular basis you will keep it in shape and healthy.
- Improve efficiency of organs:
Regular aerobic exercise causes your lungs to process more oxygen which increases the blood supply directed to the rest of your body. By doing regular cardio exercise, you are increasing your body’s endurance and improving its’ efficiency.
- Improved muscle health:
Cardio training requires oxygenated blood to be pumped by the heart and delivered to the working muscles. This encourages the growth of capillaries in your muscles and improves the efficiency of oxygen delivery to your muscles thus enhancing your overall muscle health.
Benefits of Strength Training:
- Weight loss and maintenance:
When you add strength training to your exercise regime you build muscle and boost your resting metabolic rate at the same time. “More lean muscle mass means higher metabolism, higher energy and lower fat storage.” says Jan van Zyl, trainer at FITstrong Functional Gym, Cape Town.
- Improved strength:
Even though this may seem like a very obvious point to make, improving your body’s overall strength has hosts of benefits of its own. For the most part, improved strength lowers your risk of injury, it improves your posture and it prolongs the effects of ageing
- Improving your everyday functions:
Not only does strength training build muscle but it also increases the strength of your connective tissue and tendons. In which case you will be less prone to injury and any strenuous daily tasks will become manageable.
Now that you know the benefits of both cardio and strength training, we can finally reveal our answer to you which is that cardio and strength training should be combined for the most effective overall health and exercise goals. By combining both types of training into your exercise regime, according to your fitness goals, you are setting yourself up for a well-balanced lifestyle complemented by the benefits of both regimes.
At FITstrong, a lot of our programing is based on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Therefore, many of the exercises you are performing have a large component of strength and cardio combined. We find that a lighter weight at a higher intensity targets your muscles and cardiovascular system at the same time making it easier for you to keep a balance.