Cardio exercise and resistance exercise are key variables in managing and maintaining successful, balanced, holistic, sustainable long-term human health. Body type, diet, and overall lifestyle also matter. Although mounting evidence suggests both cardiovascular (cardio) and resistance exercises are beneficial, the debate continues as to which is more important.
Body type directly affects exercise. Bodies with more underdeveloped muscles/muscle mass negatively affect vertebrae (posture), particularly Body Two (BT2), Body Type Three (BT3), and Body Type Four (BT4) body types. Such body types also have stronger tendencies towards more skinny fat (cellulite, normal weight obesity, etc.) and excess fat accumulation (overweight/obese), which negatively influences metabolism.
Science is revealing how cardio and resistance exercise no less than:
- builds muscle, muscle mass, and strength
- influences passive/resting metabolism (FORMR/Standard & Adjusted Mifflin-St Jeor Equation BMR/basal metabolic rate score) – 1 lb of muscle burns 6 calories daily, 1 lb of fat/skinny fat burns 2-3 calories daily
- increases active metabolism (FORMA/Adjusted Harris-Benedict equation activity score)
- burns calories
- assists with weight loss
- enhances the immune system/immunity
- improves energy levels
- betters mental, emotional, and physical well-being
- promoting aggregate, sustainable longevity
So, what types of cardio exercises are best? As for resistance exercise, what weightlifting equipment (free-weights versus machines) & regime is optimal? Moreover, how does one successfully incorporate isometrics?
Health Benefits of Cardio and Resistance Exercise
Cardio (aerobic) and resistance exercise, when properly done, both positively affect the heart and brain, at the very least. Proper exercise in harmony with a balanced, clean, nutritional daily diet and lifestyle leads to numerous favorable effects. These include a boost in muscle mass and tone, minimized skinny fat, successful weight loss, better sleep patterns, elevated clarity in mental and cognitive functioning, lower stress, more sustainable energy levels (which can benefit no less than sexuality), decreased inflammation, reduction of aches and pain, enhanced organ (heart, liver, kidneys, etc.) effectiveness/efficiency, improved management of disease(s) including cancer, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, etc. as well as increased overall satisfaction, mood, social interactions/relationships, and happiness in one’s life.
What the best specific cardio and resistance exercises are for each individual human being depends on each person’s goals and needs. What is proper and appropriate spans the spectrum from professional athletes (all the different kinds of sports) to the average, everyday person. We will focus more on the average everyday person in this article, keeping in mind that body type (The Four Body Types) matters.
Best Cardio Exercise for Health – Walking, Hiking, Running, Jogging, etc.
For the average person, cardio and resistance exercise are not as daunting as they sound. In fact, the best cardio exercise is actually regular walking. Yep, you heard that right.
Consistent daily walking, particularly when done in no less than solid half-hour segments, has strong scientific backing making it a kind of superpower. But, the truth is, even a ten-minute walk can be beneficial to the functioning of the brain, including memory.
Cardio Exercise – Increasing Metabolic Rate to Burn More Calories
Really want to increase your metabolic rate to burn more calories? At moderate steady-state intensity, walk 45 minutes to 1.5 hours every day. The longer and more consistently you do this (every day for several months, no less), the more of a metabolic rate increase you will experience (and the more calories you will burn). Depending on all the variables involved, including body type, it may take longer for some people than others to see desired results.
Hiking is another outstanding cardio exercise. As is swimming, elliptical, treadmill, rowing machine, step machine, etc. So are most sports including basketball, soccer, tennis, football, lacrosse, track and field, hockey, etc. Even safe, clean, regular monogamous sex can qualify if engaged in long enough.
Some of the known health benefits of cardio exercise:
- reduces stress
- helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and strengthen the heart
- burn calories
- weight loss and gain management & maintenance, including reduced fat weight and obesity (childhood & adult)
- appetite control
- enhanced mood, energy levels, and even sex drive
- improved brain functioning, including memory and processing
- more restful sleep
- reduced inflammation (anti-inflammatory) which can improve conditions relative to arthritis and stiff, painful, aching joints & ligaments
- healthier gut bacteria biome, immunity, fluid intelligence (enteric brain/gut feeling), and gut-brain axis
There is a lot of scientific evidence that supports the helpful potential of running/jogging as a useful cardio exercise. Although, one must remember that body type — more specifically muscle, muscle mass, vertebrae, posture (spinal extension), and skinny fat — all these are vital variables that must be accounted for in things. The more balanced the human body type, the more beneficial overall the cardio exercise.
The more out of balance the body type, the more issues that will likely manifest from the improper wearing of joints, ligaments, cartilage, bone, muscles, etc. Attrition becomes more pronounced the more unbalance that is present. Which is why walking right, or learning to walk right, is crucial to successful cardio and resistance exercise and avoiding premature and unnecessary wear and tear in the long run, including averting, at least, knee, hip, and ankle surgery as one ages.
Best Resistance Exercise for Health – Weightlifting, Calisthenics, Isometrics
Growing evidence only further strengthens the importance of resistance exercise including weightlifting, calisthenics, and isometrics (gravity). Current science links both cardio and resistance exercise to healthy gut flora (good bacteria), aging, and longevity. Resistance exercise, when done correctly, helps maintain and build muscle and mass, strengthen bones, and is associated with many of the same positive benefits as cardio exercise. Free weights have their advantages and disadvantages, as do weight machines.
Nowadays, with the negative effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide, gyms are much less accessible and not an option for more people than usual. Isometrics, when done correctly, can be a viable resistance exercise substitute for weightlifting, especially when combined with at-home resistance gyms/free weights. The idea is using gravity against the body along with the body itself as a means of resistance/weight to strengthen, tone, and even build muscle mass. Yoga, pilates, and other popular forms of exercise use at least a type of isometrics in typical routines.
The Restructuring Process being developed by Fellow One Research in relation to The Four Body Types offers similar cardio and resistance isometric benefits. Something like a cross between yoga, pilates, and conscious walking the right way. This is even more true when it comes to Body Type Two, Three, and Fours.