Cardio vs Resistance Training: Which is Better for You?

As a personal trainer at the Richmond Hill Fitness Connection, I often get asked the question, “What’s better for me: cardio or resistance training?” The truth is, both have their benefits and are necessary for overall health and body composition. In this blog post, I’ll break down the benefits of each, compare the two, and explain why both are needed for optimal fitness.

First, let’s define the two types of exercise. Cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, is any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing rate. Examples include running, biking, swimming, and aerobics classes. Resistance training, on the other hand, is any type of exercise that uses weights, bands, or body weight to strengthen and tone muscles. Examples include weight lifting, push-ups, and squats.

Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise has many benefits for overall health, including:

Improving heart health: Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart muscle and can lower the risk of heart disease.

Burning calories: Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to burn calories and lose weight.

Reducing stress: Cardiovascular exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress.

Increasing endurance: Regular cardiovascular exercise can increase endurance, making it easier to perform daily activities and physical tasks.

Benefits of Resistance Training

Resistance training also has many benefits for overall health, including:

Building muscle: Resistance training helps build and tone muscle, which can improve body composition and increase metabolism.

Strengthening bones: Resistance training can help prevent osteoporosis and improve bone density.

Improving posture: Resistance training can improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain.

Boosting confidence: Seeing progress and improvements in strength can boost confidence and self-esteem.

Why Both Are Needed for Better Body Composition

While cardio and resistance training have different benefits, both are needed for optimal body composition. Cardio helps burn calories and improve heart health, while resistance training helps build and tone muscle, which can increase metabolism and improve body composition.

However, it’s important to note that overdoing either type of exercise can be harmful to your health. Too much cardio can lead to overuse injuries and may cause muscle loss, while too much resistance training can lead to muscle imbalances and joint pain. That’s why it’s important to balance both types of exercise and incorporate rest and recovery days into your routine.

Importance of Rest, Recovery, and Nutrition

Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise when it comes to overall health and fitness. Resistance training breaks down muscle fibers, and rest allows those fibers to repair and grow stronger. Getting enough sleep and proper nutrition are also essential for optimal results.

Cardio, Resistance Training, Rest, and Sleep Prescription

To get the most out of your workouts, I recommend the following prescription:

Cardio: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio per week.

Resistance Training: Aim for at least 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, targeting all major muscle groups.

Rest: Incorporate rest and recovery days into your routine, and listen to your body if you feel fatigued or injured.

Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support recovery and overall health.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, don’t hesitate to contact me at the Richmond Hill Fitness Connection to book a Personal Training Experience. Our team can help you assess your current body composition, set achievable fitness goals, and create a personalized plan that works for you. Remember, achieving optimal health and body composition is a journey, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

-Christopher DiLorenzo BSc. Kin., BEd