Why Strength Training Beats Cardio for Overall Fitness

May 17, 2017 19 By EngineerMommy

There are many reasons why cardio is beneficial for the body, particularly the cardiovascular system. However, when it comes to weight loss or overall fitness, strength training is actually the better choice. In fact, you can get a resistance training workout without even heading to the gym.

One argument against cardio is that it focuses all the attention in the lower body, especially the lower legs. When you’re running, you’re stressing your heart and lower leg muscles. It is a decent overall workout, but it doesn’t really target the upper body much.
Another popular cardio workout is cycling. It’s a fairly low-impact workout and it’s easy on the knees. You can even apply different levels of resistance to boost the intensity factor. Since cycling does not develop the glutes or upper body, many cyclists have a muscular imbalance that can promote posture issues down the road.
Unlike cardio, strength training is superior for building muscle. In particular, you can do various targeted workouts to build muscle in different areas. Furthermore, strength training helps to boost one’s metabolism. In fact, it’s often easier to burn more calories in a shorter time doing strength training as opposed to doing cardio exercise for the same amount of time. Learn more about some supplies you’ll want to have on hand as you embark on your strength training journey.

Doing cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, can definitely become monotonous over time. Spice up your workouts and incorporate some strength training for more variety and improved benefits. By enabling you to develop every muscle in the body, strength training is better for creating symmetry and a promoting a whole-body balance that is sure to make you stronger.
There are so many different varieties of strength training exercises. Here are some of my favorite ones:

  • Squats: This classic workout is easy & fun. You can boost the intensity by holding weights and pushing them up as you stand.
  • Plank: This seemingly-simple workout is surprisingly difficult. It may look like a piece of cake, but you’ll soon see find out just how hard your core has to work to keep you balanced in this position.
  • Lunge: This is another wonderful workout that is great for building strength in the glutes, hips and upper legs.
  • Superman: This fun exercise focuses on the back and glutes. It can be made more difficult by holding the position for a longer time.

If you’re not familiar with any of these workouts, be sure to look up videos on YouTube for demonstrations on proper technique and general tips. As with any exercise routine, be sure to consult a physician before starting any new exercise regimen. Also, if your goal is weight loss or improved health, make sure you are also following some general healthy lifestyle habits, such as drinking plenty of water, eating wholesome foods, getting enough rest and reducing everyday stress levels.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Do you do cardio or strength training or both?

Thank you to Garage Gym Builder for partnering with me on this post. All opinions are mine alone.

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