Strength Training vs. Cardio – How to Choose

Strength Training vs. Cardio – How to Choose

As we ready ourselves for summer many of us are working on getting in our best shape to be able to enjoy all those outside activities available to us during the summer months. The big question is, what should we be doing for exercise to achieve our goals?

The great debate usually come down to: “Should I do more cardio or more strength (weight bearing) exercise?”

The answer – maybe both! Cardio and strength training play different — yet important — roles in our health and fitness. Let’s look at the benefits of each.

Cardio training improves endurance, oxygen utilization efficiency, cardiac function, and respiratory function. Cardio (also known as aerobic) exercise involves cycling, dancing, hiking, jogging/long distance running, swimming and walking. Multiple studies have shown aerobic exercise can have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.

Duke University Medical Center researchers conducted a head-to-head comparison of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and a combination of the two, they found aerobic exercise to be the most efficient and most effective way to lose belly fat.

National Institutes of Health noted the following:

“...AT (aerobic training) decreases both body weight and fat mass significantly more than does RT (resistance training)........”

Strength training, aka anaerobic exercise or resistance training, usually increases muscle size and strength, enhances coordination, and is commonly utilized for preventing and rehabilitating from injury. Anaerobic exercises have also been shown to have a positive influence on the lipid profile. This type of exercise causes muscles to contract against an outside resistance, which could be from your body weight, weight machines, medicine balls, resistance bands or dumbbells. Strength training is usually recommended to be done 2-3 times per week to allow muscle recovery between workouts. If increasing muscle mass and strength is the goal, a program including strength training is required.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends both forms of exercise in their physical activity guidelines: 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity — such as walking, going on a bike ride, jogging or even mowing the lawn — per week and strength training activities two or three days per week.

Those 150 minutes can be broken out into shorter workouts like 30 minutes a day five days a week — or any combination that fits your schedule. And if you can’t fit in the full 150 minutes, don’t stress. Any amount exercise is better than none, and you’ll still get health benefits from the exercise you do.

Remember – before starting or changing your current exercise or physical activity routine to always contact your Health Care Provider.

So, now that you know the difference between strength training and cardio training, it’s time to look at ways to support your body before, during and after your workouts.

High quality protein is an important component to your daily nutritional needs no matter which type of exercise you are doing. Protein is one of our Macro-Nutrients (along with carbohydrates and fats) and it is necessary for a host of functions in the body. We often link protein supplementation with building big muscles however this macro-nutrient has many other roles. Protein is an important building block for bones, cartilage, skin, enzymes, hormones, hair, nails, and so much more.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends people who exercise consume 1.4 – 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds. So if your weight is 150 pounds that is approximately 68 kilograms, which would mean, according to ISSN, you should consume between 95-136 grams of protein per day.

Biochem offers a fantastic selection of supplemental protein powder options that address all dietary lifestyle choices.

The Biochem Whey Protein Isolate is an excellent protein source, easy to digest and not only is certified gluten free, but also is dual filtered, 99% lactose free, soy free, AVA certified vegetarian and supports immune health. There are multiple flavors to choose from and the sugar free Biochem Whey Protein Isolate is also KETO friendly.

Should you be following a vegan lifestyle, Biochem offers exceptional options here as well. All contain a complete amino acid profile and taste great!

With strength training we tear down muscle fibers and the body has to rebuild them. Yes, this is one of the functions of protein, in particular what are known as Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s). BCAA’s are 3 of the essential amino acids:

  1. Leucine
  2. Isoleucine
  3. Valine

If you are strength training take special note to make sure you are getting these important amino acids to assist with muscle recovery. Those muscles will be thankful you gave them a little extra support. A delicious supplement is Biochem’s BCAA’s. Great tasting and easy to mix, try this great tasting powder in some water to support the rebuilding of your muscles.

Biochem offers a wide range of products to support your exercise routine so you can take your health to #NextLevelLiving.

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