Strength training and running are two totally different things, and people often put more emphasis on one than the other. Some people champion running as the best sport to lose weight and get fit and healthy, while others swear by strength training as a way to build lean muscle and achieve the body of your dreams. But which side is right? Which exercise should you be doing?
Benefits of Strength Training
- Increases good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol.
- Reduces risk of diabetes.
- Lowers high blood pressure.
- Lowers risk of breast cancer.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Decreases illness.
- You’ll get increased muscle strength, power, endurance, and size.
- You’ll find tasks in general life much easier, like lifting.
- You might not lose weight, as you’ll build muscle, but you’ll definitely lose inches.
- You’ll have well defined muscles.
- Improved state of mind.
- You’ll burn more calories while resting.
And more! Strength training is great for both men and women, as it builds lean muscle and burns fat, which in turn gives a lean, toned appearance. People who simply take on a low calorie diet and don’t exercise will still have an unhealthy level of body fat! You can practice strength training at a specially designed bootcamp, in the gym with a partner, or you could even find kettlebell workout courses online.
Benefits of Running
- You’ll keep your heart healthy.
- You could lose weight.
- Improve your mental health.
- You’ll sleep better, for longer.
- You’ll reduce stress.
- Runners high.
- Reduce anxiety.
- Boosted immune system.
- Boosted brain power.
- Improvement in complexion.
- Fat burning.
Cardio is something that will keep your heart healthy, improve your stamina and endurance, and burn plenty of calories while you’re doing it. The only problem with running, is that it doesn’t continue to burn calories for as long as strength training does. Plus, theres a right way and a wrong way to go about running. Running long distances at a steady pace is great if you’re looking to simply improve endurance, but the best way to run for fat loss is to do sprint intervals. Warm up, then sprint for about 30 seconds, then jog for 30 seconds. Do this for half an hour and then take a slow jog to cool down.
Both strength training and running are looking pretty good now, huh? So why exactly do some people opt for one over the other? The truth is, you shouldn’t be doing one exclusively. You should be doing both in harmony to get the best results, look your best, and be the healthiest and happiest possible! Aim to do strength training 3-5 times a week, and your cardio as described above 2-3 times per week. You should also make sure that you give yourself sufficient rest, otherwise your body could suffer rather than improve.
Make sure you take progress photos, do your measurements regularly, and pay attention to how your clothes fit you too. All of these things will prove to you just how far you’re coming! It’s important that you don’t focus on the scales, as you’re building muscle which weighs the same as fat but is much smaller!
Good luck on your fitness journey!