The Benefits of Cardio vs. Strength Training

There’s a lot of talk going around as of late saying that strength training is better than cardio. Truth is, both of these types of exercises are beneficial for your body and should be implemented into your training routine. However, there are still some added advantages that cardio training holds over strength training.

Cardio Makes You Feel Good

Perhaps the biggest advantage that cardio has over strength training is that it makes you feel good. Ever hear of the term “runner’s high”? It isn’t just speculation—it’s scientifically proven. People who engage in aerobic exercises regularly are more likely to NOT show symptoms of depression. This is because when you’re working on a good sweat, levels of 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and tryptophan are increasing in your body. These components are essential in creating serotonin, a neurotransmitter which is responsible for making you feel happy and have a general sense of well-being. In fact, studies are currently being conducted to see if aerobic exercises can be more well-suited in treating mild depression/anxiety than antidepressants. The overall verdict of exercise being a replacement of antidepressants has been positive. So the next time you’re feeling a little down in the dumps, strap on your shoes and get moving!

Cardio and Longevity

Let’s face it, most of us would give just about anything to extend our time being alive and enjoying life. With that in mind, would you give 2.5 hours of leisure activity a week to add an extra 4.5 years onto your life? This was the conclusion of a study conducted on a total of 654,827 individuals ranging from 21–90 years of age. They determined that individuals participating in leisure time physical activities (like gardening and brisk walking), even at the below-recommended levels, experienced a reduced risk of mortality when compared to individuals who did not participate in any leisure physical activities.

Furthermore, all forms of physical fitness (not just cardio) have been proven to be primary preventatives against 35 chronic conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and specific cancers.

Cardio and Metabolism

One specific thing that aerobic training has over strength training is that it increases the capacity of muscles for aerobic metabolism. This essentially means that it increases your muscle endurance, allowing you to participate in aerobic activities for longer periods of time. How does it increase muscle endurance? By increasing your mitochondrion count! You might have heard way back in science class that “mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell.” Well, what these little guys do is produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essentially pure energy for your cells. The more ATP your body uses for cardio activities, the more mitochondria are reproduced to maintain this flow of ATP which results in the increase of muscle endurance!

These are just a few advantages that cardio training has over strength training. Despite this, it’s important to include some strength training into your routine, especially when it comes to hypertrophy, or the increase of muscle mass which is something cardio cannot provide. If you’re lacking the motivation to continue your exercise routine, or would like to start one but are hesitant, you may be experiencing low testosterone levels. Schedule an appointment at LT Men’s Clinic today at (817) 416-5698! We can test your testosterone levels in under 30 minutes and begin treatment directly afterward if your levels are too low!