For many years there has been a debate between which is better for weight control and all around health and fitness, Cardiorespiratory Exercise or Weight Training. Many people tend to focus only on one aspect of the physical wellness. For example women, like myself may focus more on cardiorespiratory and flexibility training more so than Weight training. This is out of fear of injury, or the muscles becoming too bulky. Women tend to want to burn more calories, therefore they focus on exercises’ such as aerobics, walking, swimming, and jogging. Research shows that working out with weights has health benefits beyond simply bulking up one’s muscles and strengthening bones. Studies are finding that more lean muscle mass may allow kidney dialysis patients to live longer, give older people better cognitive function, reduce depression, boost good cholesterol, lessen the swelling and discomfort of lymphedema after breast cancer and help lower the risk of diabetes.
Although Weight training has its benefits for variety of reasons; it also has its downside. Weight training promotes short term stiffness of the blood vessels, which could promote High Blood Pressure over time and increase the load on the heart. This would not be good for someone who has a history of Hypertension. A variety of studies have shown that the best way to offset the cardiovascular stress caused by strength training is to combine cardiorespiratory endurance exercise such as a brisk walk, bicycling, or elliptical machine, immediately after a weight training exercise.
Regular aerobic exercise causes your lungs to process more oxygen with less effort; your heart to pump more blood with fewer beats; and the blood supply directed to your muscles to increase. As a result, by performing cardiovascular exercises, you are increasing your body’s endurance and efficiency. Miriam Nelson of the American College of Sports Medicine states, “Ideally, you want a combination of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise and moderate-intensity strength training” Bottom line to all of this research is both Resistance training and Cardiorespiratory exercise is good for the body, if done in the right order.