Which should you do, resistance training, or cardio? Why not both?
Exercise, whether resistance training or cardio, is an important part of healthy living, and it constitutes an important part of the Kaufmann Diet and Lifestyle. While the diet forms the centerpiece of the Kaufmann Lifestyle, its positive health effects are profoundly heightened when you include an exercise regimen into your routine. Conversely, the positive effects associated with The Kaufmann Diet might be experienced more slowly or in a less pronounced way if you are sedentary.
So which is the best type of exercise to do?
The short answer is, any type of exercise! Anything that gets your body moving and blood pumping is a good form of exercise; these include activities as simple as walking, hiking or performing physically demanding labor or chores. All of these things are good ways to get your body moving, particularly if you enjoy the activity you are involved in.
There is a difference between activity and purposeful exercise, however. While walking and being active are great forms of exercise, those who wish to take their health to the next level should consider more purposeful forms of training, such as cardio or strength training.
Cardio Vs. Resistance
Most people are familiar with these two primary forms of exercise. “Cardio” includes exercise such as running, jogging, biking and swimming. The goal of cardio is to get your heart rate up and increase (or maintain) your endurance, or how long you can endure a heightened level of physical activity.
Resistance training includes activities such as weight lifting, resistance band training and forms of body weight exercises (i.e., pushups, sit-ups, squats, etc). Resistance training is any type of training that involves resistance movements that force your muscles to work against another force, whether that force is coming from a workout machine, weights, gravity, etc.
Both of these broad families of exercise have their own unique benefits, and while many sources of information claim that one is better, they are simply unique in the benefits they provide.
Benefits of Cardio
Unsurprisingly, cardio has tremendous benefits for the heart and circulatory system; cardio training is known to promote healthy blood pressure, increase heart and pulmonary function, lower your resting heart rate, increase the strength of your heart, and help keep cholesterol levels within range. Cardio is also associated with better insulin sensitivity (prevention of diabetes), helping maintain healthy weight, boosting mood and protecting against certain cancers.
Benefits of Resistance Training
Resistance training is good for building and increasing the strength of muscles. It has benefits for bone health, building and maintaining bone density and might prevent osteoporosis. Resistance training might be a better option for those looking to burn fat; as such, it confers many of the benefits associated with maintaining healthy weight. Weight training provides more benefit in sculpting physiques than cardio because it builds muscle groups rather than just burning fat.
So, Which Should You Choose?
There is no right answer to this question, necessarily; it is highly dependent on your goals. However, in order maximize the all-around health benefits of your exercise, it is ideal to have a combination of both cardio and strength training included in your regimen. Some physical restrictions or health conditions may restrict you from participating in certain types of exercise, so it is always important to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. Furthermore, to prevent injury, it may be wise to seek the counsel of a personal trainer as you begin your regimen.
Regardless, the benefits associate with both cardio and strength training await you––all that is required of you is to participate in these activities. Your health will thank you.