Along with no less than body type, diet, and overall lifestyle, both cardio exercise and resistance exercise are key variables in managing and maintaining successful, balanced, holistic (whole), sustainable long-term human health (see FORCA Health Score). The debate rages as to which is more important. Mounting evidence suggests both cardio (cardiovascular) and resistance exercises are vital to maintaining daily human health, including enhancing the immune system/immunity, passive/resting metabolism (FORMR/Fellow One Research Metabolism Rate Adjusted Mifflin-St Jeor BMR/Basal Metabolic Rate Score), active metabolism (FORMA/Fellow One Research Metabolism Activity Adjusted Harris-Benedict Activity Score), and energy levels while promoting aggregate, sustainable longevity.
Body type matters, especially bodies with weaker/poor muscle mass and undeveloped vertebra(e)/bad posture (spinal extension). 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 (normal weight obesity), 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 (And to Complement Resistance/Weightlifting/Isometrics Exercise)
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.
Hiking is another outstanding cardiovascular exercise. As is swimming. 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:
helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and strengthen the heart
weight loss and gain management & maintenance, including reduced fat weight and obesity (childhood & adult)
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, and posture (spinal/vertebra extension) — 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 & Isometrics
Growing evidence only further strengthens the importance of resistance exercise, weightlifting, calisthenics, and isometrics (gravity). It links both cardio and resistance exercise to healthy aging and long life. 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 benefit. 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.