Cardiovascular exercise and resistance training should both be included in a healthy lifestyle for women of all ages. Walking regularly and getting your heartrate up through aerobic exercise are important parts of maintaining your cardiovascular health. Resistance training is an essential form of exercise for any woman who has fitness goals she wants to reach and maintain. Do women benefit more from one type of exercise compared to the other? The answer to that question lies with the goals you have for your health and fitness.
When cardio is the best form of exercise for women
Cardio is the type of exercise that many women believe to be key to weight loss. The reality is, however, that if your goal is long term weight loss, cardio is not the best form of exercise. In the beginning, cardio can give you a high calorie burn in relation to the amount of time you spend exercising. As your endurance increases, you will have to do more and more cardio in order to burn the same number of calories. This model simply is not sustainable long term. You will eventually get to a place where you simply do not have enough time to put in longer and longer cardio sessions. It is important to note that cardio should have a place in your life. According to the American Heart Association, something as simple as walking more during the day can improve your heart health and decrease your chances of having a heart attack. And, since heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., it is worthwhile to put effort into getting some type of cardiovascular exercise each day.
When resistance training is the best form of exercise for women
Resistance training can play a huge role in the ability of women to lose weight and keep it off. For many women, reframing their thought processes about resistance training is an essential first step toward reaching their fitness goals. Resistance training builds muscle. Increasing muscle mass increases the number of calories the body burns throughout the day – even at rest. Women who focus on resistance training will see benefits such as weight loss in the short term and have an easier time maintaining their results over time. The majority of your calorie burn from aerobic exercise will happen while you are actively engaged in the exercise. When you focus on resistance training, however, you will experience ongoing benefits long after you finish your workout. If your fitness goals include losing weight, maintaining weight loss, increasing strength, and/or improving your overall physique, then resistance training is the best form of exercise for you.
Some women feel hesitant to start a resistance training program because of the lies they have come to believe about fitness. Cardio is important for your heart health but it is not the best option if you want to lose weight and improve the way you look. If you are a woman who wants to lose weight and keep it off, resistance training is the best option for you.