Cardio or weights? Which exercise is better if you want to be in shape

Many people who intend to do physical exercise, either to feel more fit or because they believe they must lose weight urgently, are faced with the following question: Bet on cardio or strength training? Most will think that the most effective method for fat loss will be the first, but the truth is that if you can't make it compatible with good weight training, you will have a much higher chance of failure than if you bet on doing both at the same time.

Obviously, your fitness will be more comprehensive if you know how to manage the time between the two types of workouts. But beyond this, there are very good reasons to do both in combination and thus achieve your weight or healthy life goals as efficiently and quickly as possible. A personal trainer from the United States, named Beth Skwarecki, has published an article in 'Life Hacker' which tells his personal experience as an athlete reconverted to strength exercises so that you understand why it is so important to alternate both training modalities.

Loss of muscle contributes to a higher probability of falls or fractures. Exercise can help prevent this from happening to you

"Strengths make you stronger, it's obvious," admits the athlete. "This means that you will be able to lift much more weight, but also that you will generate a good reserve of strength to perform better in other sports. Also, the tasks of daily life that you have to perform will cost you much less." Skwarecki emphasizes that strength exercises are not always as we imagine them: lifting weights repeatedly. She prefers to call him "resistance", since at the end of the day you are pressing your body or certain parts of it against some type of external force. "You may be training with dumbbells or resistance bands, but also holding your own body weight doing squats or push-ups. "

"Our muscle mass decreases with age"says the coach." Loss of muscle contributes to a higher probability of falls or fractures. Exercise can help prevent this from happening to you. "Hence the importance of betting on these kinds of exercises that serve to make us more vigorous and strong, regardless of age, it is never too late to lift a few kilos. keep bone health in shape and keep joints flexible. People who do resistance exercises regularly tend to have better body balance and easier to control their weight, "he says.

And the cardio ones?

For its part, cardio exercises include those of physical resistance (run, bike, or swim) and also HIIT (high intensity interval exercises. Skwarecki recommends doing both, since each has slightly different benefits, although the latter are obviously more effective because the level of demand is higher.

As you get used to strength exercises, you may want to do them more often.

"Cardio exercises help improve heart health, as the name suggests," says the trainer. "They help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They also burn more calories, which contributes to a reasonable and healthy weight loss. Similarly, it increases your sensitivity to insulin, which is very important if you have type 2 diabetes. "

How much to train

As always, it all depends on your current state of fitness or the goals you have set yourself to achieve. If you are not able to envision the goal, it is best to put yourself in the hands of a professional so that he will be the one to advise you at the beginning and during the process. In the case of the American coach, she recommends 20-30 minutes of strength training two to three days a week.

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Evidently, if you want to add or remove one more day nothing happens, depending on your willpower or mood. "As you get used to strength training, you may want to do it more often, which is great news as long as you do it gradually," says Skwarecki.

"For cardiovascular exercise, the recommended minimum is 150 minutes of light exercise, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, per week"advises the trainer." Therefore, if you take a 30-minute walk every day of the week before eating, you will perfectly comply with the guidelines. If instead of walking, you opt for a moderate run, you will exceed the guidelines in just three sessions. "In short, if you take it more eagerly, you will reach your goals in less time.