“Should I do Cardio or Strength training?” is typically one of the first questions asked by new clients. While the internet will have many gurus telling you to ditch cardio and focus on strength training and some saying cardio is the way to go, the answer isn’t so simple.
The first thing we must understand is the benefit of each. Cardio (short for cardiorespiratory) benefits heart and lung health while strength training benefits muscle and bone health. BOTH are needed for weight loss and health! And spoiler alert, everyone is different… One person can melt fat running, while the next needs strength training. But no matter what, both are important and should be included in your routine!
Strength training is helpful for weight loss because muscle allows the body to burn fat faster. BUT it is so important to not just focus on weight and focus on overall health.
Did you know that women can lose up to 20% of their bone density within 5 to 7 years following menopause? Strength training is so so SO important for long term health! Strength training now and as you get older can actually help prevent bone loss!
Heart isn’t often what comes to mind when people talk about benefits of cardio (which is ironic because cardio from cardiorespiratory is derived from cardiovascular). But the heart is probably the most effected by cardio training.
Did you know consistent cardiorespiratory training can help lower your resting heart rate? Cardio strengthens the heart muscle which in turn helps the heart pump blood more efficiently.
I always suggest incorporating both cardio and strength training in your routine each week. Not only are both good for your overall health but everyone is different and can be affected differently. For me personally cardio is a great way for me to lose weight or get lean quick. But I know that strength training adds so many benefits for me, especially as a woman, and I feel so much better physically after a good strength training session!
So if you are trying to figure out what type of exercise you should be doing, the answer is both. Whether or not you should combine them will depend on your goals and how ready your body is for more load and movement in different planes, and what you enjoy!