In the fitness world, there seems to be a perpetual debate: Cardio or strength training? Which one is better? Well, the answer may be simpler than you think. The key to an effective fitness routine lies not in choosing one over the other but in embracing both. Here’s why combining cardio and strength training in your routine can lead to optimal fitness results.
1. Comprehensive fitness
Cardio and strength training target different aspects of fitness. While cardio improves cardiovascular health and endurance, strength training builds muscle mass and strength. A combination of both ensures a well-rounded fitness routine, targeting all major aspects of physical health.
2. Optimised weight loss
While cardio exercises are excellent for burning calories during the workout, strength training helps to build muscle, which boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories even when you’re at rest. This combination can lead to more effective weight loss and management.
3. Enhanced athletic performance
Whether you’re a recreational athlete or a professional, a balanced routine of cardio and strength training can improve your performance. Strength training can increase power and endurance, while cardio improves your body’s oxygen use and overall endurance.
4. Improved bone health
Strength training is known for its ability to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. When combined with weight-bearing cardio exercises like walking or running, it can contribute to healthier, stronger bones.
5. Reduced risk of injury
Strength training improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons, reducing the risk of injury. Moreover, a balanced fitness routine helps ensure all muscle groups are worked evenly, further reducing the risk of imbalances and injuries.
6. Greater flexibility and balance
Strength training exercises that work through a full range of motion can improve flexibility. When combined with cardio exercises, which often require balance and coordination, it can lead to better overall movement quality and balance.
7. Increased energy levels
Cardio exercises improve your cardiovascular health, which can increase your stamina and reduce fatigue. When this is coupled with the muscle-building and energy-boosting effects of strength training, it can lead to significantly higher energy levels.
8. Better mood and mental health
Both cardio and strength training are known to boost mood and mental health, thanks to the release of endorphins during exercise. This combination can be a powerful tool in managing stress, anxiety, and depression.
9. Ageing gracefully
Regular physical activity, including both cardio and strength training, can slow down the ageing process. It can help maintain muscle mass, strength, bone health, and cognitive function as we age.
10. Variety keeps you engaged
Mixing up cardio and strength training keeps your workouts interesting, which can help you stick to your fitness routine in the long run.
In conclusion, combining cardio and strength training is a testament to the idea that cardio and strength training are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary pieces of a comprehensive fitness puzzle. So why limit yourself to one when you can reap the benefits of both? The best workout is the one that you enjoy and can maintain consistently.