This is something I get asked about on a frequent basis, and there’s benefits of both forms of training. So here’s the low down of strength vs cardio, and what you should be doing in your weekly workouts.
What is cardio?
It stands for cardiovascular. Cardio exercise is anything that raises the heart rate, from walking up a hill to running a marathon. By keeping your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy you put yourself at a lower risk from poor health and or disease. Plus helping you run for the train without looking like a sweaty mess!
What is weight training?
Weight training is where you load the muscles with your own body weight, machines or free weights. The more muscle you have, the more effective your body will be in burning fat. It helps to increase bone density (lower risk of injury) and will generally make you feel as strong AF.
What should I do?
Both! I see so many people weight train and never do ‘strict cardio’ and then runners who’ll never strengthen primary muscles for running. Both have their place, and both can help you to stay fit, health and strong. My belief is exercise should be fun, which is the key to long term movement. However, being free from injury is also quite enjoyable. This is where I urge you to take charge of your own training.
Are you suffering from sore knees each time you run? Incorporate strengthen exercises that’ll help to prevent this, as it may be down to weakness. You can look online, buy a book or contact a coach (I’m a Surrey based PT just in case you’re wondering). And the same goes for weight training, if you’ve never added cardio into your training and struggle to scale the steps at work it’s time to have a rethink.
Keep it simple
I advise clients to exercise four days per week and move every day of the week. You can add a ten minute bodyweight workout to your run session, and likewise for strength training adding ten minutes of cardio to the start or finish of your workout. When you’re not training challenge yourself where you can. Take the steps no matter how many floors, carry your shopping home to incorporate a simple (but pretty tough) core workout! Adding in small changes to your daily and workout habits can impact your strength and fitness or a much larger scale. If you’re not following me on Instagram, head to @oliviafurner to catch regular workout ideas.