When it comes to exercise, there has long been a debate about which type is best. Is CARDIO the gold standard? Or do the benefits of RESISTANCE TRAINING far outweigh those of cardio?
While both forms of exercise provide huge benefits for your health, the choice depends entirely on your goals.
So, we’re going let’s examine some common goals and evaluate the pros and cons. And what are the “rules” of cardio for different goals anyway?
What if your specific health goal is weight loss?
For years we’ve been told that cardio is the answer to weight loss.
Well, one Duke University study demonstrates that this still holds true.
The study examined the results of 119 previously sedentary individuals over 8 months. Some participants performed cardio only, others did strictly resistance training, and a third group did a combination of both.
The cardio-only group lost the most amount of weight (4 lbs) while the resistance training group gained 2 lbs. Although this 2 lbs. was in fact lean muscle mass, it didn’t result in any additional fat loss over the course of the study.
What if your goal is overall better health – and longevity?
While cardiovascular exercise is beneficial for heart health and disease prevention, when it comes to longevity, resistance training is the clear winner.
As Dr Robert Schreiber, an instructor at Harvard Medical School states, “just doing aerobic exercise is not adequate. Unless you are doing strength training, you will become weaker and less functional. The average 30 year old will lose one quarter of their muscle by age 70 and half of it by age 90.”
How much cardio do I need to do in general?
According to the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each week.
Choose from running, power walking, cycling, aerobics or cross-country skiing — the choice is yours! Aim for three x 50-minute sessions (or divide it into shorter more frequent sessions) of any activity that gets your heart rate up. Break a sweat too!
So, how much resistance training is enough?
According to the Harvard Medical School we should aim to train all the major muscles of the body 2-3 times per week.
Regular resistance training sessions will not only increase your overall strength but allow you to do everyday activities with more ease. (more…)