Sometimes it may feel like the gym is divided up by two teams- those who grunt, lift and bench press their way to a tight and toned body; and those who run, bike, dance, swim and stair climb their heart out— in order to improve their heart health and get a lean body from head to toe. But the question remains, which one—if any—is better? As it turns out, it depends on what your goal is.
Lift Weights to Blast Fat and Prolong Your Life Span
Many people— women especially— tend to stay away from the weight room altogether since they don’t want to look like The Hulk. However, the thing about weight lifting is, it offers you a weight loss boost to add to your workout, which will allow you to have more overall health and fitness success than ever before. As a rule of thumb, weight lifting is also known to be a great fat blaster, since it works well to raise your metabolism (a higher metabolism will allow you to blast more fat, and land that dream body you want!) Here are a few more benefits weight lifting will offer you:
• You may prolong your life. According to a 2014 study done at the UCLA, weight lifting will increase your amount of muscle mass, while could lead to a longer and happier life. This study shows the correlation between low muscle mass and a shorter life span. So, bench press or leg extension to your heart’s content!
• Your progress will become more noticeable. Have you ever relied just on cardio for a weight loss or overall fitness plan, and it’s been hard to tell what progress you are in fact making, even if the scale shows it? With a weight lifting plan added to your weekly workouts, you’ll be able to see the lifts, lunges and squats make a big difference—and in a matter of a few short weeks.
• You’ll protect your bones (not to mention your mental health!) Whether you’re doing push-ups, jumping rope or crunches, you’ll increase your ability to achieve increased bone density—and as you age, that’s one of the best weapons against old age related disease and discomfort you could hope for.
Run to Improve Heart Health and Lose Weight
If you’re looking to improve your heart health, increase your endurance, or lose weight, studies show that the way to a lean body is through a high intensity cardio routine. Your most important muscle, your heart, needs to be worked out in order to be strong. Are you gasping for air after walking up a flight or two of stairs? If so, cardio may be the best form of exercise for you—and a much needed one to make your heart as strong as possible. Start with a light jog, and work your intensity up slowly. Practicing with interval running (run for one minute, walk for one minute) is a great way to work your tolerance up.
The important thing to remember is that no matter what you do (and no matter what type of workout you decide to focus on), a consistent routine is important. After all, your heart, lungs, joints, bones and overall happiness depends on it!