This is extremely paramount to understand:
Any movement is better than no movement .
People that perform any type of cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis , may it be walking; jogging; running; swimming; cycling and so on, are more likely to be in better health and shape than those who don't .
Common sense, right?
However, strictly practicing cardiovascular exercise, without resistance training, is definitely not the optimal route to good health, longevity, and quality of life.
If you don't strengthen your muscles, as you age, your muscles will become weaker and less powerful.
Your muscle mass will decrease.
Your strength will decrease.
Your bone mass will decrease.
Your functional ability will decrease.
Both cardiovascular training and resistance training are important.
But, only resistance training can reverse those negative changes associated with aging .
I'm tired of hearing people proclaim:
'well at least I do cardio. Better than nothing'.
Cardio is not good enough, and you will regret not starting resistance training earlier.
Having a strong body as a result of following an effective and safe strength training program is the difference between being a dependent vs. an independent individual.
Most of my clients come to me after having gone through multiple reoccurring injuries; surgeries; loss of physical function, and so on --->
And they don't understand why it happened to them, if they were active and did their physician-prescribed cardiovascular exercise.
I always like to explain that the foundation, or the 'main course', is resistance training, and everything else, such as cardiovascular exercise, yoga, water aerobics, and so on, are the side dishes.
Click here for a great example of a woman who dedicated herself to strength training since the age of 65. Of course, not everyone wants or has the capabilities to be a powerlifter, due to body structure, past training, injury history etc; but everyone has the ability to improve, and become stronger than they are.
Not convinced yet?
Below is an excellent infographic created by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) along world renowned exercise science researchers and educators:
Here are two excellent articles on the benefits of strength training:
Also, muscles do more than just help you move !
Moreover, in addition to physical gains, strength training has been shown to increase cognitive functions.
2 infographics I created to summarize strength training benefits: