When you walk into the gym, there’s a good chance you’ll tend to the same section first every time.Maybe a cardio machine: Sweaty on a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike is your way to relieve stress.Or maybe you prefer the weight section, which makes you feel strong and confident.
Both cardio and strength training are important, but if you’re serious about maximizing your workout — while protecting yourself from injury — it’s important when you’re doing each type of exercise.Surprised?Read on to learn how you should structure your workout directly from a professional trainer.
If you’re a die-hard runner and think weightlifting is a brothers thing, or vice versa, if cardio is your kryptonite, then the trainer offers a hard truth: Both are important.”Strength training is important for many reasons: it makes you stronger, and it helps support your daily activities whether you’re an office worker, a student, a busy parent, or a casual or serious athlete,” According to fitness trainer Donna Walker, NASM.
Wendy Batts, NASM-CPT, CNC, adjunct professor of exercise science at the University of California, Pennsylvania, says strength training is associated with longevity.Scientific research shows that strength training can reduce the risk of premature death by 10% to 17%.
As for cardio, it’s also linked to longevity.Scientific research shows that regular aerobic exercise can extend your life span by 4 to 8 years.”The heart is important for heart and lung health. It lowers your blood pressure, helps you sleep and boosts your immune system,” Walker says.If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, she says cardio plays an important role, and it doesn’t have to be intense.”Walking is a good form of cardio,” she says.”Do something you love, whether it’s dancing, skating, hula hooping, or team sports.” In addition to these benefits, aerobic exercise has been linked to improved mental health and improved mood.
Some people do both strength training and cardio on the same day.Others split it up, using some days of the week for weightlifting and other days for cardio.What is the best way?Both coaches say it depends on a person’s personal goals and schedule, including how much time they can devote to exercising.But, Batts says, if you have a choice, she recommends doing it on a different day.”There is some evidence that doing cardio too closely to strength training — either before or after — may interfere with the body’s responses and processes for strength and muscle development,” she said.In other words, it’s important to give yourself time to recover from strength training.
As for how much strength training and cardio you do each week, Walker recommends 30-minute cardio three to five times per week and 25-minute strength training two to five times per week.”More isn’t always more. It’s important to listen to your body and give yourself enough rest and recovery,” she adds.
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If lifting weights and doing cardio on the same day works best for your schedule, Batts says to decide what to do based on your workout goals: Whatever it is, do it first, because then you’ll have more energy.”For example, someone training for an upcoming half-marathon will do running training first and then strength training (because their primary fitness goal is to build endurance),” she says.Lifting weights requires energy, so if you do strength training first, you may not be able to run that far later.
On the other hand, if your goal is strength training, lift weights first.”You’ll be in better form and have more energy to lift more loads or [do more reps] than you would do the same thing with a slightly tired muscle,” Walker says.Here’s a valid point: If you’ve completed a 30-minute run on the treadmill, your physique is more likely to suffer when you train with dumbbells sparingly.This also helps prevent injuries.
Both coaches say there are also many types of exercise that combine cardio with strength training, so someone could do both.Walker says F45 (where she trains), YogaSculpt at Core Power Yoga, and Les Mills BodyAttack (where she teaches) are three fitness classes that are structured with that in mind.You can also create your own cardio-strength-training combo with circuit training, which alternates between these different workouts with minimal rest in between, says Batts.
Instead of getting too hung up on what to do first, the most important thing is to work on moving your body – that’s what really matters.No matter how you schedule your workouts, your body will benefit, and it may also prolong your life.
Post time: Aug-02-2022