Cardio Only vs. Resistance Training

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Cardiovascular exercise, also called cardio or aerobic exercise, is physical activity which raises the heart rate to around 60 to 85 percent of the heart’s maximum heart rate for an extended period of time, usually twenty minutes or longer, Gregory Hamel.

Resistance training has two different meanings. A broader meaning that refers to any training that uses a resistance to the force of muscular contraction (better termed strength training), and elastic or hydraulic resistance, which refers to a specific type of strength training that uses elastic or hydraulic tension to provide this resistance, Wikipedia.

Hello fitness friends. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Today, I wanted to talk about cardio only vs. resistance training. Of course as previously stated you should talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine or changing your fitness regimen. I wanted to give you some information that helped with my fitness goals.

I was addicted to the elliptical machines at the gym. I also felt like walking or running outside was the best workout for me. If you can only walk or do low impact aerobics, then please do that. Follow your doctor’s orders for you. I, however, saw some weight loss, but my body did not change shape with cardio only. Granted, I did more walking than running outside, and the intensity of our workouts makes a difference. Walking helped me shed a few pounds, yet my arms were still flabby. My abs were not ripped, and I did not have the body shape I wanted. Here’s what resistance training/circuit training (cardio with weights) did for me.

1. Overall Body Change. I now have toned arms, shoulders, abs, and legs. I no longer have flabby arms. I am not bulky, but toned. Most people want to be lean, not skinny and flabby. Resistance training helps to tone the body.

2. Reduction in Body Fat. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat you are burning. Muscle is great for your metabolism.

3. Smaller Body. Muscle takes up less space than fat. Have you ever met someone who weighed the same amount as you, yet they were bigger than you? According to the scale I should wear a bigger size than I do, but I have more muscle than fat. The more fat we have, the bigger we are.

Image found online. Muscle vs. fat.

Having more muscle than body fat also help with aging. See quote from LiveStrong.com.

According to an interview with Reuters Magazine with Dr. Judy Kruger, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention specialist in elder care, exercises that strengthen muscles can reduce the risk of falls and fractures, promote healthy bone density and improve balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls. Benefits like this can lead to a better quality of life during one’s senior years.

Muscle is good for us. Excess body fat is not. I have met people who are runners or do primarily cardio that are in great shape. Their workouts are intense. Meaning they are not doing a leisurely stroll. Our body can serve as resistance for cardio as well. Kickboxing, boxing, rowing, etc…are great ways to challenge the body. Cardio is good for us. If want our body to change shape, we have to challenge our muscles.
Have a great weekend! Stay focused. You can do it!
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