In our previous blog, we briefly discussed the importance of balancing cardiovascular exercises and light weight lifting. In today’s blog, we would like to dive into this topic a bit deeper. We will be analyzing what the combination of these two types of exercises does for the body and why they should both be included in a workout plan.
First off, let's cover what a cardiovascular workout is and what benefits these exercises have. Cardio training involves any exercise that increases heart rate and stresses the lungs and circulatory system. Activities that can improve the cardiovascular system can include anything from walking, running, riding a bike or walking up a set of stairs. These exercises will strengthen the heart and lungs and are a great way to quickly burn off calories and assist with weight loss. Cardio also flushes out the lactic acid that gets built up from weight lifting and will help prevent you from getting uncomfortably sore and stiff. Further benefits of cardio include reducing stress, improving energy levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and much more. As you can see, cardio is very important and a valuable tool for weight loss. However, cardio by itself is not the best for sustained weight loss and an overall improved physique.
It is very important to incorporate weight lifting exercises into your routine as well. While cardio is great for a quick burst of calorie burning, weight lifting burns calories long after the workout is over. When you lift weights, you break down the muscles which are then rebuilt stronger over the following days. This rebuilding of the muscles requires a lot of energy and burns calories during the rebuilding process. As you can see, combining cardio exercises and adding weight lifting to the routine will burn calories in the short and long term which is great for weight loss. Stronger muscles also have tons of benefits such as improved posture and balance throughout the body, toning and firming the shape of the body, improving lean body mass and increasing the metabolism. For overweight individuals, those who have recently undergone bariatric surgery, or those who do not have experience in strength conditioning, it is crucial to start out with light weights to begin to strengthen the muscles. Trying to be impressive by lifting heavy weights will only reduce the number of reps you are able to lift, will put too much stress on the joints, and will lead to injury. Strength should be built up over time so by the time you are ready to lift heavier weights, your muscles are strong enough to do so correctly. You should also utilize a personal trainer at the beginning to make sure you are lifting weights correctly.
There are many ways you can incorporate both cardio and weight lifting into your workout routine. Some prefer to stick to weightlifting one day and cardio the next day, constantly switching between the two. Others prefer to do both the same day, perhaps by starting in the weight room and then switching to the treadmill to finish the workout or visa-versa. There are also workouts and classes like CrossFit or pilates that combine weight lifting and cardio in the same exercises. Any way you choose to get both types of exercises into your routine is very beneficial and completely up to you and what you prefer.
Always remember to stretch, no matter what exercise you are doing. Always follow your workouts with a quality protein and multivitamin supplement to assist the body in rebuilding. This will amplify the results and help prevent stiffness and soreness allowing you to further improve your physical abilities and rapidly increase your weight loss.
You may not like strength conditioning or cardio at first, but we guarantee that once you integrate them into a routine and start to see the benefits, they will become fun and you will enjoy doing them. Now go lift those weights and do your cardio on your way to a better you!
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