Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cardio VS Weight Training

 Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular (Cardio) exercise is aerobic exercise that causes more oxygen to be processed by the lungs with less effort, more blood to be pumped by the heart in fewer beats increasing blood supply to the muscles.  All this is increasing the body’s physical endurance and efficiency.  Other benefits to cardiovascular exercise include weight loss, stress reduction, cardiovascular disease prevention, and increased life span.
There are a variety of activities that encompass cardiovascular exercise.  They include running, swimming, cross-country skiing, biking, kickboxing, dance, sports, etc.  It is important to enjoy what you are doing so try a variety of these activities and see what fits you best.

Weight Training
Weight training (resistance training) is a type of exercise used in increasing muscle strength and size.  Weighted bars, dumbbells, and weight stacks are used as the force against concentric or eccentric contractions.  This type of exercise focuses on specific muscle groups through each type of movement.  Benefits of weight training include osteoporosis prevention, maintenance of lean body mass, and injury prevention.

Those who are new to weight training may want to start out with machine weights.  This allows the person to work out alone and to get to know different exercises and the muscle groups they target.  Free weights are great to use with a partner so that you have a spotter.  A spotter serves as support and safety to ensure that the athlete does not drop the weight on him or herself.  Free weights also use one’s natural range of motion and strengthen the stabilizer muscles. 

It is also important to know what the individual’s goals are through weight training.  Is the person looking to tone and maintain lean body mass or is the goal to gain muscle mass?  If the goal is to tone, using lighter weight and higher numbers of repetition can achieve that goal.  If the goal is to gain muscle mass, the use of heavier weight and less repetitions will assist in achieving the goal.


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