You Don’t Have to Choose Strength Training or Cardio: Do Both and Get Greater Results

Paul Pedrazas, 72, has been engaged in strength training and aerobic exercise for decades. His friends picked one or the other – or, worse, didn’t exercise at all. But for Paul, the combination of strength and endurance training was key.

“I just always knew I had to do both — that’s what worked for me,” says Paul, a semi-retired real estate agent. “That’s always been my M.O.”

He had a family history of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes he wanted to pro-actively manage, and he combined fitness with healthy eating to overcome a few challenges along the way.

A Powerful Combination

Paul’s belief in using a two-pronged approach to exercise – rather than choosing to, say, run but never lift weights – gained tremendous validation on an international scale recently. Australian researchers compared exercise habits and obesity among 1.7 million Americans. They categorized men and women as being overweight, active or inactive – and whether they participated in aerobic exercise, resistance training or both.

No surprise: Fewer active people were fat.

But here’s the news. The rate of obesity declined dramatically further among people who – like Paul – performed both types of exercise regularly.

Researchers stress that more study is needed into the complex causes of obesity. They say it’s possible that the combination of both types of exercise causes changes in our bodies and even brains that lower the risk of gaining too much weight.

Diet is, of course, crucial to avoiding obesity. And any exercise is better than none.

Don’t Neglect Strength Training

But too many “older” people resist the idea of strength training. They think it will make them bulky or give them huge muscles. Or they don’t see the point in lifting weights, using resistance bands, or even practicing yoga and doing pushups.

But starting sometime in midlife, human beings lose muscle mass consistently – unless they engage in strength training to build it up again. Weightlifting (or any resistance training) is essential also for bone health and good balance to avoid falls after 50. It helps us sleep better. It’s good for our skin tone and complexion.

We could go on and on – and no one is suggesting you shouldn’t engage in cardio exercise, like jogging, swimming or using an elliptical machine.

But keep this research in mind when you’re planning your exercise!

It’s always worked for Paul.

“It makes me feel good,” he says. “When I’m stressed, I can go and do some aerobics and weightlifting, and guess what? My mood is elevated, I’m on a bit of a high, and it brings back that ‘can do’ attitude.

“Unfortunately, people get older and fail to exercise, or maybe they just go for a walk. And they lose that sense of confidence, and it leads to further deterioration of the body. That’s never going to be me.”

It doesn’t have to be YOU, either – it’s NEVER too late to start exercising. Go for that walk, but let us show you how to incorporate strength training into your routine. Call us today and we’ll get you started!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Here’s a simple, delicious dinner that your whole family will love. Simply throw the chicken ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a healthy, flavourful meal. Double up on this recipe and use it for your weekly meal prep!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Servings: 8

  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 bell peppers (any colour), thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4oz) can green chiles, chopped 
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16oz) jar green salsa
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Large lettuce leaves
  • Avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the lettuce leaves and avocado, in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken thighs, shred with a fork, and mix back in. Serve, using a slotted spoon, on the lettuce leaves. Garnish with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of fajita seasoning. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals: 202 calories, 6g fat, 589mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, and 20g protein.

Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you get healthier and happier:

1) Come in for a Custom Fitness Consultation

We’ll sit down together and discuss your health history, your goals, and simple steps you can take to achieve them and see if there is a way to work together to give you the coaching and support you need to get the results you want.

If you’d like to discuss meeting for a Consultation, just reply and put ‘Consult’ in the subject line and I’ll follow up with you.

2)  I have FREE Open Office Hours during the week where you can call in and speak to me about your goals.

The call is just 15 minutes out of your week, but the insights you’ll discover could impact you for a lifetime! To schedule your FREE consultation, reply and put ‘Call’ in the subject line. We’ll set up a time that works for both of us.

3) Be my guest for a free training session.

If you’d like to come in to attend a Beginner small group training session as my guest…just reply and put “Guest” in the subject line, and I’ll get you all the details.

 Shelley Turk