« Health & Fitness

Cardio or Strength? THAT is the Question

by Christy Taylor

Should I do cardio….or weights today? The question I always find myself asking as I lace up my tennis shoes at the gym. We all tend to prefer one over the other, but when you want the best results possible, how do you know which is best?
It depends on what your goals are, according to an article in Women’s Health Magazine.

GOAL: Lose the Pounds and Keep Them Off
WINNER: Strength Training
Cardio will help you burn more calories while at the gym, but lifting weights will keep your body burning calories even after you’re done. For every 3 pounds of muscle you build, you’ll burn an extra 120 calories a day doing nothing at all. Why? Muscles are harder for your body to sustain.

GOAL: Distress and Rejuvenate
WINNER: Cardio
Research found just 15 minutes of aerobic activity two to three times a week can reduce anxiety. Scientists still haven't been able to find the perfect intensity and duration to prove that strength training can significantly change your mood--at least not as affectively as cardio can!

GOAL: Look Good and Have Confidence
WINNER: Strength Training
Sports psychologists have been studying this connection for decades! While the 'runner's high' provides great satisfaction, lifting weights is more effective at building and creating a toned body. Plus, lifting weights and tracking your progress gives you measureable sense of accomplishment.

GOAL: Keep Moving/Maintain Healthy Lifestyle
WINNER: Strength Training

You may think getting in some cardio would be a good way to maintain a healthy body, but it can actually have the opposite effect. The repetitive nature of cardio puts serious pressure on your joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons--and the cartilage in between. On the other hand, strength training teaches your brain to allow muscle contractions that are quick enough to prevent or minimize injuries. Strengthening your core will give your body more resilience all around
No matter what your goals may be, variety is always key in success.