Cardio is known to be effective for burning calories and helping you shed fat. Ideally, you should aim for at least three cardiovascular sessions each week.
It’s important to note that the answer to whether you should do cardio before or after weight training isn’t clear cut. It depends on your fitness goals, intensity and duration.
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Before doing any type of cardio workout for weight loss, it’s a good idea to do a warm-up phase. This will help to increase your body’s temperature and blood flow to the muscles. This can also reduce the risk of injury and make your exercise more effective.
A warm-up is generally 5-10 minutes long and consists of light cardiovascular exercises combined with stretches. You can do this before or after any weight training session.
Dynamic stretches are a great way to start your warm-up. These stretches involve active movements, such as jumping jacks or lunges, that engage the muscle groups and prepare them for the exercise ahead.
Static stretches are similar to dynamic stretches, but these are held for longer periods of time. They help lengthen and loosen the muscles and connective tissues, which can increase flexibility.
A properly designed warm-up can significantly improve your performance in your sport by increasing blood flow to your muscles, boosting core body temperature and improving metabolic responses. It can also set the tone for your workout and establish a tempo that is appropriate for your sport.
Cardio exercises are known for increasing endurance, burning calories and improving heart health. They can also be beneficial for fat loss and muscle building.
So when it comes time to decide which comes first – cardio or weights – it’s important to consider your goals. For example, if you’re training to run a marathon, it probably makes more sense to focus on cardio before doing any weight-based exercises.
However, if you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle tone, then weights are a better choice. This is because the anaerobic energy system used to power weights depletes glycogen reserves in your body much faster than the aerobic system, making it more likely that you’ll start burning fat – and subsequently muscle – sooner.
It’s a decision that’s as personal as your own fitness goals, but most people find that focusing on weights first is the best option. It’s particularly advisable if you’re planning to do the weights in a separate session from your cardio, such as later on in the day.
Cardio is a form of exercise that involves moving large muscle groups such as your legs, arms and hips. It’s often used for weight loss as it burns calories, builds endurance and improves your health.
It is also good for your heart. It helps to increase your heart rate and breathing, making it more efficient in pumping oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.
If you’re aiming to lose weight, it’s recommended that you start with a light-intensity cardio workout and progress to higher-intensity cardiovascular activities as you get more conditioned.
You can start with just 20 minutes of cardio, and then work your way up to 30-minutes.
Doing cardio first will maximize your calorie burn during the workout. It will also keep your glycogen stores full so you won’t run out of fuel while you’re lifting weights.
A cool-down is a phase of your exercise routine after any vigorous activity that involves a gradual drop in heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. It is also an opportunity to stretch out your muscles and elongate connective tissue.
Those who promote cool downs claim that it can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, decrease the risk of injury, improve general flexibility and increase recovery rate from hard workouts. It may also help with regulating blood flow to various tissues that transport nutrients and oxygen during exercise.
The American Heart Association recommends that you gradually and safely bring your heart rate back down after a workout. Skipping this step may result in a dangerous drop in heart rate and can lead to lightheadedness and dizziness.
The cooling-down phase should be 5-10 minutes, or even longer depending on your fitness level and goals. It is important to ensure your blood circulates and eliminates lactic acid and other waste products that build up in the muscle after vigorous activity, which can cause cramping and pain. It is also important to stretch out your tendons and ligaments that have been strained during a hard workout.