Both cardiovascular and resistance training (weights) have benefits for our overall health.
WHY IS CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING IMPORTANT?
- Increases the size and strength of your heart muscles
- Reduces your resting heart rate
- Increases functional capacity of the lungs
- Increases blood volume
- Decreases insulin resistance and improves glucose tolerance (beneficial for treatment and prevention of diabetes)
- Reduces your risk of heart disease
WHY IS RESISTANCE TRAINING IMPORTANT?
- Protects your skeleton
- Increases your bone density and reduces your risk of osteoporosis
- Improves your balance
- Improves your posture
- Improves your immune function
- Improves your sports / cardio performances
- Increases your strength / power
- Helps you burn fat
- Reduces triglycerides (fat molecules) in your blood stream
- Improves your Basic Metabolic Rate
- Improves your mood
If your goal is just to get a bit fitter, then how you train will depend on your preferences and what you have access to. Whatever you do, the most important thing is that you enjoy it.
If you are a cardio fanatic, I would always recommend integrating a bit of weight training in your fitness programme because, as stated above, building muscle is important for your health and it will improve your cardiovascular performance.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially women, discard weight training because we have been told that cardiovascular training is the key to staying fit and losing weight and that lifting weights would make us big and bulky. This is a myth! Being aware that weight training is as important, if not more important, than cardiovascular training is crucial.
The truth is that if your goal is to reach your top fitness level, then you will need to integrate both weight and cardio training.