This blog was written by Penny Pohlmann, MS. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Both cardiovascular exercise and weight training are important forms of exercise in a balanced, well-rounded workout routine. Cardiovascular exercise is great for keeping the heart and lungs functioning well, whereas weight training is best for building or maintaining muscle, preventing injuries, and improving strength.
If you perform both forms of exercise on the same day, you may have asked yourself which to perform first for the greatest benefit. Well, it depends. Don’t you love that response?
It depends on your exercise goals. If your goal is to improve your 5K race time or you’re training for a specific sport such as soccer, your primary goal is probably to get your cardiovascular system working efficiently for an extended period of time. If this is the case, performing your cardiovascular exercise first when you’re fresh rather than a bit (or a lot) fatigued from weight training ensures you perform the activity with optimal energy.
If your goal is to improve your strength or build a firmer, leaner body, the opposite will be true. You want to train your muscles before they are fatigued from other activities.
Encourage your employees to start making healthy changes, whether cardio or weight training, with a worksite health promotion program. A qualified personal trainer or fitness professional should take not only your fitness goals into consideration, but also your level of skill, to create a program that incorporates strength training and cardiovascular exercise.