One question we get asked a lot is, “are cardio or weights better?” Well, better for what? The actual answer is that we need both, and this is especially important as we age.
The hormonal and physiological changes going on in our body from around our mid-thirties onwards mean that we are naturally losing muscle mass, flexibility and bone density.
Now, muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest, so as we lose muscle mass our metabolic rate (the amount of calories we burn) drops as well.
If our eating and drinking habits stay the same, then we’ll experience that gradual creep of fat around the belly, hips and thighs, as we’re burning less calories (plus a few other hormonal changes going on as well).
Of course we can do lots of cardio, which is things like running, cycling, swimming and burn calories, but while that might keep you leaner, it’s not really helping preserve muscle.
So we need to mix up the two AND ensure adequate recovery between sessions for best results. Sadly, walking four times a week is not going to make a big difference to your body shape, nor help you sculpt a leaner physique and add muscle.
We need to be doing resistance training, but this doesn’t have to be weights – you can do bodyweight work at home, or for better results mix in basic and inexpensive equipment like kettlebells and bands.
So, plan to hit each muscle group at least twice a week, combine it with some cardio and you can start to make dramatic changes to your body shape with 20 to 40 minute workouts three or four times a week.
It’s what we do, it’s what our clients do, and it works!PS our next podcast is going to dive into this in more depth so don’t miss it