Cardio vs. Strength Training & Their Benefits

Rows of dumbbells in the gym with hign contrast and monochrome color tone
Rows of dumbbells in the gym with hign contrast and monochrome color tone

The start of a new year means many New Year’s resolutions of getting fit and being healthy. One question many run into when researching how to be more productive in the gym is what types of workouts and exercises should be done. There are two main types of exercise, cardio and strength training.

 

What’s the difference?

Cardio, which is short for cardiovascular exercise, refers to endurance exercise that works to strengthen your body’s circulatory system, which includes the heart and the blood vessels. Examples of cardio exercise include running, biking, dancing, and many others. Strength training refers to exercise that uses resistance to contract muscles in order to increase overall strength, boost anaerobic endurance, and build skeletal muscles. Examples of strength training include lifting weights, yoga, and bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups.

What’re the benefits?

While doing cardio, one benefit is that you will burn more calories during the session than that of strength training exercises while exerting the same amount of effort. Cardiovascular exercise is also the way you will increase your overall endurance and increase the strength of your heart, among other things.

Strength training, on the other hand, is also extremely important. Overall, strength training burns fewer calories during a session, but your body continues to burn calories long after your session has ended. It has been estimated that you will burn an additional 25% of the calories you burned during your strength training workout after your workout has ended. Additionally, strength training helps your body to build muscle. While your body is at rest, muscle burns more calories than other tissue, including fat. Building and maintaining muscle is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight.

 

In the end, your best bet at getting healthier and being smarter in the gym is to combine both cardio and strength training exercises. Having a healthy balance of both types of exercise is going to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout and being as productive as possible when you hit the gym. Ultimately, practicing both cardio and strength training exercises will help promote a long, healthy life.