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Cardio exercises and weights in the gym: here’s how to balance the two workouts

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Cardio exercises and weights in the gym: here’s how to balance the two workouts
Written by aquitodovale

Of Christine Brown

How to combine the two types of exercises to get the maximum benefit. Choosing which activity to do first depends on whether the goal is to lose weight or build muscle mass

Physical exercise is essential to be able to live a long and healthy life. Research has shown that both cardiovascular exercise is the anaerobic
Strength training are important for maintaining good physical strength and preventing disease. Of course, with little time available it can be difficult to organize effective training. When should the heart rate be accelerated and how much time should be dedicated to muscle training instead?

The (different) benefits of the two workouts

Cardiovascular exercise, which involves any activity that speeds up the heart rate, helps heart and lung health and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Weight training, on the other hand, improves metabolism by building lean muscle mass, thus preventing obesity and maintaining bone health. Experts agree that when longevity and general good health are the goals the combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise is ideal: Both workouts must be done.

Combined training

A 2022 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the combination of cardiovascular and strength training was associated with a lower risk of mortality than cardio training alone. Even just one hour a week of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity decreased the risk of mortality (further decreased with three hours a week), but the maximum benefit was recorded with the association of muscle strengthening exercises 1-2 times a week . Similarly, the American College Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a minimum goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise each week for adults between the ages of 18 and 65. To understand how much you are pushing, just talk: when you are able to speak during the exercise, even if with shortness of breath, it means that the activity is moderate, if not the activity is vigorous. Experts also recommend exercises muscle strengthening on major muscle groups at least a couple of times a week to further reduce the risk of mortality. Muscle-strengthening training is a must to aim for more on the number of series than on their duration. To keep your muscles healthy, it is advisable to lift light weights for three sets of repetitions of 8-10; if the goal is to build muscle mass it is fine to lift heavier weights, again in three sets, but with fewer repetitions.

How to get organised

To strike a balance, experts recommend, you shouldn’t be obsessed with numbers. Better to follow your own routines and preferences because having fun during a physical activity is the most important aspect: if you get bored or don’t enjoy yourself, it will be difficult to continue exercising for a long time. The 150 minutes of physical activity per week, also recommended by theWorld Health Organization can be divided into five 30-minute sessions. In addition, the muscles of the upper and lower body should be strengthened a couple of times a week. This does not mean that you have to train every day or do the exercises separatelyAnd. Exercise is even more beneficial if you do shorter, more intense workouts: instead of 150 minutes at moderate intensity, 75 minutes at high intensity. In addition, the same strength and cardio exercises can also be performed in the same training session: You can work one muscle group every time you do a cardio workout. Many exercises are a combination of strength and cardio: You could get your heart rate up in a weightlifting class or work your leg muscles with an incline run. Or you could embrace a discipline like tennis that combines aerobic and anaerobic training.

What to do first

Some research suggests that a cardio workout before strength training may improve performance

because in this way the muscles would prepare themselves to be more ready for a strengthening activity. But a person who can afford just an hour in the gym and want to improve both strength and fatigue endurance what should you start with? A lot depends on the goal you set yourself Gianfranco Beltrami, vice president of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation If the main intention is to lose weight, it is better to start with weights because by burning energy the glycogen reserves are lowered, so when it comes to cardio training the first fats will begin to be consumed. If, on the other hand, the goal is to increase muscle mass and tone, normally the advice is to focus only on weights. Starting from aerobic training brings benefits both for the cardiovascular aspect and for the growth of muscle mass, and this is an advantage for those with little time. Provided they train different districts: for example the exercise bike for the legs and weights which instead involve the arms and shoulders or vice versa, the rowing machine for cardio training followed by an anaerobic muscle strengthening activity which involves the legs. Regardless of the order you choose it serves pay attention to the intensity: Increasing your pace too much exposes you to a greater risk of injury with the consequence of having to stop completely to recover.

January 29, 2023 (change January 29, 2023 | 5:30 pm)

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