Weight Loss

Strength Training vs. Cardio: A Quick Guide

strength training

A little over 53% of U.S. adults get the exercise they need each week through their workout or exercise programs. If you have not yet met your fitness goals this year, it is time to find out more about the best ways to exercise. 

Are you unsure about whether you should opt for a strength training program or a cardio program? Read on to learn the key benefits of each and get motivated to work out today! 

Cardio Health Benefits

Doing a cardio workout can help you maintain good health in your heart, brain, and joints. Visiting the gym a few days a week can reduce your need for medical appointments down the line. 

Cardio increases the blood flow in the small vessels around the heart. This means you can prevent a heart attack by doing heart-pumping exercises. These include jump roping, aerobic activities, and more.

You can also increase your memory and ability to think clearly. In fact, cardio helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease! 

By increasing your activity, you also improve the range of motion in your joints. This type of exercise also reduces your risk of osteoporosis. 

Cardio and Weight Loss

To lose weight, you need to include 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Cardio can be a part of your plan to achieve your goal weight. Seek high-intensity group classes or workouts, as they will boost your metabolism and help you lose weight.

These types of workouts are longer and allow you to burn more calories even after exercising. This occurs because your resting metabolism will be higher, so even if you go back home and sit on the couch you’ll burn more calories than you ordinarily would.  

Cardio and Mental Health

Cardio is not only good for your physical health, but it can also help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain and releases endorphins. Both of these lead to better mental health. Regular physical activity like cardio can lead to an overall better mood.

Getting your heart rate up also helps your self-esteem. Self-confidence increases the more you work out. After 30 minutes of cardio, beta-endorphins release and lead to feelings of well-being.

High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is a circuit-based workout of short periods of intense exercise followed by rest or moderate exercises. They can be cardio or a combination of cardio and weight training. You’ll see this kind of exercise a lot in boot-camp-style group classes. 

This type of training is more effective at fat loss than traditional cardio workouts. Intense bouts of exercise also increase muscle growth. 

If you aim for a heart rate higher than 80% of the max, you will get the full benefits of a HIIT workout. It is excellent for heart health and improving blood flow to the brain. 

An example HIIT workout involves stretching followed by 20 or 30-second intervals or sprints. You might have about eight sprints per workout. HIIT workouts could also include jumping, battle ropes, and short bursts of other strenuous activities. 

Make sure to incorporate rest days into your routine. It allows your body to recover and reap the full benefits of the workouts. 

Strength Training Health Benefits

Strength training helps lower blood pressure. It also gives you better mobility and an increase in bone strength. Weight lifting or strength training exercises help you manage your blood sugar levels. 

This type of exercise also helps improve brain function and prevents memory loss as you age. Your brain can process information faster as well. 

Also, your risk of falls or other injuries decreases with weight training. Your core strengthens and reduces the chances of a lower back injury. 

Taking part in personal training or group classes builds your strength. It helps you improve your health at any age. 

Strength Training and Weight Loss

Strength training helps you lose weight. You burn fat and increase lean muscle mass, and you shed extra pounds. If you stick to a program only including cardio, you risk losing muscle along with the fat. 

Weight lifting exercises help you to increase your metabolic rate even while at rest. As you build muscle, your metabolism speeds up. This benefit can last even on the days between workouts.

Strength Training and Mental Health

There is a strong connection between your brain and body. Resistance training can help you ward off depression or other mental health issues. It can also help lower levels of anxiety. 

Strength training can be a mindfulness exercise as well. You must be aware of your movements and pay attention to your breath. 

Weight lifting can also help you focus on tasks. It takes concentration to do the proper movements involved. 

You can also gain more energy in your body and mind. It leads to a better outlook on life. 

It can also help improve your sense of a positive body image. The way you perceive your body can change with regular exercise such as weight lifting. 

Functional Fitness

It is a routine designed to help you perform daily activities with ease. It combines weight training, resistance exercises, and bodyweight balance.

We all need to do many physical activities in our daily lives, such as lifting bags or reaching into a high cabinet. Functional fitness helps us all move with confidence throughout our days. 

You can train with weights, medicine balls, and resistance bands. These movements build core strength and mobility. 

When you exercise in this way, you train your body to function as a whole. You combine several muscle groups or joints when performing the movements. 

You will be grateful for these exercise sessions every time you do yard work or lift a heavy bag. 

Your Best Resource for Strength Training

Check out B’Licious Fitness for strength training workouts. 

They offer many membership levels. Options include open gym access to boot camps and personal training.

Specific classes include functional fitness training, barbell training, aerobic boxing, cross-training, and yoga.

Contact them today for expert advice on what functional fitness program is right for you.