Cardio or strength? You may be wondering which of these two workout types reigns supreme. If you are, then know you are not alone! As a group fitness instructor it's a question I hear all of the time. Today we’ll dive into the benefits of each and why they both matter in creating a balanced workout routine.
In my own teaching I often lean more towards teaching strength for two reasons.
1) This is often the area people are lacking.
2) You can often build strength and target your cardiovascular system at the same time, which makes you more efficient with your time.
Why is cardiovascular exercise is important?
Cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart strong, improves your lung capacity and helps you reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Keeping our cardiovascular system healthy is super important. You can work your heart and lungs through more traditional cardio workouts (running, biking, etc.), or raise your heart rate during other workouts (challenging strength training, HIIT, a yoga workout) to get the same benefits for your heart.
Why is strength training is important?
Strength training builds muscle, helps to protect your bone, helps you have better body mechanics and it's great for life because you can lift things and move with more ease.
As you are lifting weights or using your body weight as your resistance, you are helping to maintain and grown muscle. This is important for functionality which is why I believe strength training should be a part of every workout routine. It's not the only area to consider, but an important part in the balanced workout equation.
The bottom line
We need both within our routine, but what that balance will look like is different for each person. Someone may love running. If they do, they should include that! Exercise you love is something you will stick with.
Someone who does not running should not force themselves to run because they think they "should do it". We can train our cardiovascular system in many ways and finding modalities we enjoy needs to be a part of that.
Looking for more to learn? Read what does a balanced workout routine look like?