Cardio Vs. Strength Training

Don’t choose between cardio and strength training. Learn the importance of both!

Aerobic Activity
Aerobic activity, or “cardio,” gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. Aerobic activity reduces your risk of heart disease, improves blood cholesterol by increasing HDLs (good cholesterol) and reducing triglyceride levels, and reduces risk of osteoporosis. You’ll get benefits from doing as little as 10 minutes at a time.

Walking fast, doing water aerobics, pushing a lawn mower or riding a bike on fairly level ground all count as moderate-intensity activities.

Jogging or running, swimming laps, playing basketball or riding a bike fast or up hills count as vigorous-intensity activities.

How often is recommended?
Adults should aim for a minimum of:
• 150 minutes of moderate intensity every week
• Or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity every week
• Or an equivalent mix of the two

Step it up! For even more benefits, get:
• 300 minutes of moderate intensity every week
• Or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity every week
• Or an equivalent mix of the two

Muscle-Strengthening Activity
Muscle-strengthening activities, or strength training, aren’t just for bodybuilders. They’re important for everyone, because they help develop strong bones, help you control your weight and boost stamina.

Lifting weights is a common muscle-strengthening activity, but it isn’t the only way to strengthen your muscles. Try these other activities:
• Work with resistance bands
• Use your body weight for resistance. Try push-ups, sit ups, yoga or pilates
• Do yard work like digging or shoveling

Using weights doesn’t equal bulking up. Choose a lighter weight or resistance and do more repetitions to increase muscle tone.

How often is recommended?
Do muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) two or more days per week.