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Cardio Vs. Strength Training

It’s no secret that the key to staying well and maintaining a healthy weight is eating right and exercising regularly. When it comes to working out, everyone has their own routines. Some people run; some people stick to weights; some people do whatever they feel like doing. Most of these workouts tend to fall into one of two types: cardio and strength training. We break down the benefits of each one:

Cardio, also called aerobic exercise, is any activity that increases your heart rate for an extended period of time. Some examples of cardio exercise include fast walking, running, biking and swimming. Generally speaking, cardio burns more calories than strength training—this makes it a key part of those looking to lose weight. It also improves circulation and boosts your heart health.

Strength training
Strength training uses resistance to help your muscles get stronger. While the workout itself doesn’t burn more calories than cardio, building muscle boosts your day-to-day metabolism. That’s because muscles burn more calories than fat, even when you’re not exercising. Strength training can also improve your bone health, coordination, posture and energy levels.

So, which one is best?
Both. Cardio and strength training offer their own unique benefits that benefit your body. Research has shown that combining both types of workouts is the best way to maintain your overall health. Also, it’s equally important to maintain a regular schedule of exercise to enjoy the benefits. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes.

As always, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Whether your goals are to lose weight or be more active, remember to sign up for the Online Health Coach. It can help you set goals and track your progress. Eligible Standard and Basic Option members can earn up to $120 for completing three goals.*

*You must be the contract holder or spouse, 18 or older, on a Standard or Basic Option plan to earn incentive rewards.