Resistance Training Versus Cardio: Which Should You Do? For a healthy lifestyle, women should aim for around 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Depending on your health and fitness goals, you may be trying to decide whether to focus more on cardiovascular and aerobic exercise, or whether to concentrate on resistance training.
The term resistance training is often associated with weight training but it relates to any type of exercise which involves lifting or pulling against resistance. This could be by using dumbbells, barbells, machines or powerbands.
Using resistance bands can improve joint flexibility and increase bone density. This can help prevent health issues such as osteoporosis and arthritis. Resistance training can also help with posture and balance which are important for maintaining independence as you age. Loss of muscle mass also happens naturally as we age and cardio exercise may not be a practical solution for older people. Research shows that age-related muscle decline can be prevented by resistance training and it can also prevent diseases such as type-II diabetes. Adding more resistance training to an exercise program may be better for older adults or those with health issues preventing cardio.
Benefits of Cardio Exercise
Many women favor cardio and aerobic exercises as the core component of their exercise regime. Even low-intensity cardio exercises like walking or yoga can increase heart rate by around 60-70% after 10-60 minutes of exercise.
High-intensity cardio exercises include running, cycling and sports. The increase in physical activity can increase the chances of weight loss but it may also may help improve sleeping patterns. Around 30 minutes of cardio releases endorphins which promote relaxation. Release of endorphins can also help to reduce feelings of stress.
For weight loss, resistance training can contribute by helping increase calories burned at rest. However, studies have shown that aerobic exercise is the best method over resistance training for weight loss overall.
Should weight loss be the ultimate goal, your exercise program should contain more cardio exercise. However, if your goal is to tone up muscle, improve flexibility or you are older and cannot carry out high-intensity cardio, your exercise regime should contain more resistance exercise. A professional or your physician can recommend which is best for your health or if a combination of both may be more beneficial.
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Resistance Training Versus Cardio: Which Should You Do?
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