Cardio vs. strength—what's right for you?

August 15, 2015 - 2 min read

Planning on starting at a gym or getting outside and doing some exercise? Find out what exercise is right for you to get the most out of your workout.

We’ve broken down exercise into 3 main groups. Discovering what you want to get out of your routine, as well as assessing your daily lifestyle will help paint a clearer picture for the fitness path you could run down.

Aerobic exercise

Commonly referred to as cardiovascular exercise, or ‘cardio’, aerobic exercise includes running, cycling, playing tennis and dancing. Cardio is extremely great for your health, with benefits ranging from better heart health, increased stamina and fitness, improved respiratory function, as well as weight loss and improved muscle strength. Be warned, pushing your cardio workouts can be detrimental to your health, leading to tissue breakdown, excess cortisol (stress hormone) production as well as insomnia.

Anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise is conducted when you want to enhance power and build muscle mass, commonly called ‘strength’ training. Using resistance to muscular contractions (commonly done by lifting weights) builds your endurance, strength and also increase joint function. Anaerobic exercise is great for decreasing potential for injury as well, making it a great choice for people who do laborious work or play contact sports. When starting out in strength training, it’s important to know how to undertake exercises correctly, with good form, as having bad posture or your feet spread too far apart could cause serious injury. It’s best to consult a professional before undertaking these exercises.

Flexibility exercise

If you find yourself uncomfortably stiff at certain moments of the day, flexibility exercise could help combat it! Usually consisting of stretches, frequent flexibility exercises will increase your range of motion of your muscles and joints. Doing classes in Yoga or Pilates is a great way to give your body a good stretch before or after a long day. However, like with anaerobic exercise, stretching could lead to injury if done without correct form. Taking classes is beneficial, at least to gain some knowledge and correct your positions before doing it by yourself.
In the end, it can come down to personal preference. Give different workouts a try and see what makes you feel the best. Of course, you’re not restricted to one and a mixture of all the types could lead you towards your fitness goals in no time!

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