With all the workout options — from Zumba to P90X —sometimes it’s difficult to decide what’s best for your fitness or weight loss goals. Here’s a breakdown so you get the most out of your time at the gym.
Strength training workouts — like weightlifting, resistance tubing — increase muscle mass and bone density. As you age, your muscle mass decreases even if your activity level stays the same, so it’s essential to add some form of strength exercises to your routine.
- Pros: Increased muscle mass takes more energy for your body to maintain, so your metabolism (and overall calorie burn) increases along with your muscle. Essentially, the more muscle you gain, the more efficient your body will be at burning calories. In fact, for every three pounds of muscle gained, you’ll burn an extra 120 calories each day.
- Cons: At an average of 8-10 calories per minute, strength training burns fewer calories for your time than cardio. These workouts also require rest days between workouts to heal your muscles and prevent injury.
Aerobic activities – like biking, swimming or jogging – raise your heart rate, increase your breathing and make you sweat for several minutes or longer.
- Pros: Cardio workouts burn an average of 10-12 calories per minute making it a reliable weight loss tool. Plus, cardio doesn’t require the recovery time of strength training so you can do it every day.
- Cons: Many cardio activities also come with risks to your joints and ligaments. Also, cardio doesn’t offer the same muscle toning benefits of resistance exercises.
And the Winner is….
Like everything else in life, you need to find balance in your workouts. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends alternating daily aerobic workouts with two to three strength training workouts per week to maximize your endurance, muscle tone and metabolism.
Whether it’s weightlifting or water aerobics make sure to follow each workout with a performance-enhancing supplement like ProVantage®. Our non-GMO soy protein helps build and repair lean muscle tissue so you can perform at your peak. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids. And if you want to continue the strength training vs. cardio debate, head on over to the Reliv Atheltic Facebook page and connect with other athletes.