What’s the right balance between strength training and cardio at the gym?

THE NEW YORK TIMES – LIFESTYLE – If you want to live a long, healthy life, exercise is non-negotiable. Research is clear that both cardiovascular exercise and strength training are important for fitness and disease prevention. But with limited time in your schedule, it can be difficult to determine the most effective (and efficient) way to reap the rewards of a sweat.

How often should you increase your heart rate and how much time should you devote to muscle work? We spoke to exercise experts for find out if there is an ideal balance and how to incorporate cardio and strength training into your routine.

Practicing physical activity is one of the ways to prevent heart attacks. Photography: Pixabay/@Wokandapix/Disclosure

How does a combination of cardio and strength training benefit you?

Cardio and strength training help the body in several ways. Cardiovascular exercise – anything that gets your heart rate up – promotes heart and lung health and reduces the risk of high pressurediabetes and cancer. Strength training increases your metabolism by building lean muscle mass, prevent obesity and limiting to bone loss.

When it comes to longevity and overall health, experts agree that a combination of the two is more beneficial. “I wouldn’t say it’s cardio versus strength, because they’re partners,” said NiCole R. Keith, a professor of kinesiology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “We have to do both.”

Recent research indicates which of each exercise is most likely to increase longevity. One Study 2022 Posted in British Journal of Sports Medicine found that a combination of cardiovascular and strength training was associated with a lower risk of mortality than cardio alone. As little as an hour a week of cardio alone led to a reduction in mortality risk, with three hours yielding the most benefit.

Bodybuilding should always be on your training sheet.  It improves strength, speed, strengthens muscles and joints and is an important activity to prevent injuries.  Running and bodybuilding workouts can be done on the same day or every other day.
Bodybuilding should always be on your training sheet. It improves strength, speed, strengthens muscles and joints and is an important activity to prevent injuries. Running and bodybuilding workouts can be done on the same day or every other day. Photography: Pixabay

Similarly, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults aged 18 to 65 get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week. According to the doctor. Keith, that intensity is where you can talk but feel out of breath. Cut that number in half if you’re doing vigorous cardio when you’re out of breath to talk.

Experts recommend additional muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week to further reduce the risk of mortality. But strength training is more about sets and reps than duration, according to Dr. Keith.

The CDC and ACSM recommend strength-training exercises that include every major muscle group (upper body, lower body, and core). Dr. Keith recommends lift light weights in three sets of eight to 10 repetitions to maintain muscle health; If bigger muscles are your goal, lift heavier weights for three sets with fewer repetitions.

How do you build a strength and cardio routine?

Don’t worry about achieving perfect balance. “Honestly, I’m not obsessed with numbers,” said Dr. Christopher McMullen, a sports medicine physician at the University of Washington Medical Center. You’re more likely to stick to a routine if it works on your schedule and preferences.

The recommended 150 minutes of cardio per week can be divided into five 30-minute sessions. And you should be strengthening your core, upper and lower body twice a week. But that doesn’t mean you should exercise every day or do your strength exercises separately.

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The CDC clarifies that exercise is still beneficial when people take a break from it, such as by doing some shorter, more intense workouts. Strength and cardio exercises can also be done in the same training session. “You can train one muscle group every time you do cardio,” said Dr. Keith.

Some research suggests that a cardio workout before strength training improves performance. “You can prepare your muscles to be more ready for a strengthening activity if you stimulate them with aerobic activity first,” said Dr. McMullen.

Aja Campbell, a certified strength and conditioning specialist in Queens, said she has encouraged clients to start with their top priority. If you’re primarily looking to build strength, start with weights. If your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness, start with a run.

Whichever order you choose, be aware of the intensity – Pushing too hard can increase your risk of injury that prevents you from fully exercising. “In general, if I combine cardio and strength in one session, I combine high-intensity activity with low-intensity activity,” Campbell said. “You want to be able to recover while still getting the exercise benefits you need for the week.”

Instead of looking for a precise balance, choose a mix of activities. Many exercises include a combination of strength and cardio. You can get your heart rate up in a weightlifting class, or you can work your leg muscles by running on an incline. Equally important, Dr. McMullen recommends choosing activities that you really enjoy. “People may stick to an exercise regimen when it’s something they love to do,” she said. / TRANSLATION LÍVIA BUELONI GONÇALVES

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