This is a tough one for some to understand, so we are here to hopefully help and also shed some light into our thoughts as to why strength AND cardio are necessary for optimal health and fitness! We include both cardio and strength training into our programming because we truly believe that we need both to live our best life outside of the gym!
We want to be as balanced as possible, because if we have muscle imbalances, that can cause aches, pains and injury inside and outside of physical activity. If I run and run, my aerobic base and ability to run will be off the charts, but I might not have the muscle needed to support other daily activities, whether those be your day-to-day activities or movements you do in the gym. On the flip side, If I lift and only train my “bi’s and tri’s” and never get my heart rate up a little bit, making it tough to even run a block or two, there is clearly a piece missing there too.
We need both a strength piece and an aerobic piece for optimal health, overall fitness and, of course, muscle balance. Both cardio and strength training have their own individual benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. Ensuring you have the benefits of both is the key to long term success in your health and fitness journey. We could honestly list pages of benefits for both modalities, but we have
highlighted just a few for you to consider!
– Can help lower your risk for serious health conditions and can reduce the risk of heart disease
– Can help boost your mood, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation
– Can help build a stronger heart, which can pump more blood with every beat, reducing your heart rate at rest and during physical activity
– Can help slow down bone lose and can even help build your bones and strengthen your tendons and ligaments needed for support especially as we age
– Muscle automatically burns more calories, so we don’t always have to be manually burning them ourselves. Lean body mass / muscle can increase your metabolism and can help in weight loss and weight management
– Studies have shown that it can help reduce symptoms of many chronic health issues including depression, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and even neck and back pain
– Has been shown to improve brain function and mental health
So next time you take a look at the workout and it includes a piece of fitness that might not be your strength, whether that is a little bit of weightlifting or a little bit of running, remember, we really do need both and both benefit us in so many amazing ways. Plus it never hurts to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone once in awhile! So get into a class and get after that fitness!
-Kari Kirkendall, Nutrition Coach / Youth Program Director / Media & Event Director