Exercise! - What's better? Aerobics or strength training?




full of grace
07-27-2008, 08:16 PM
Okay, so I'm not quite yet ready to hit the gym and sweat in front of people, but I am kicking butt on my Wii Fit and making good progress.

I started out doing an hour a day like this:
10 min. yoga
15 min. strength training
20 min. aerobics
15 min. balance exercises

Now, it's more like this:
5 min. yoga
10 min. strength training
35 min. aerobics
10 min. balance exercises

I'm wondering if I'm making the most effective use of my time, spending 35 minutes on aerobics. Sometimes, it's more like 40 minutes of aerobics and I skip yoga altogether. Really just depends on how much WORK I'm excited to do, etc. (Seeing as I'm totally obsessed with my Wii Fit, I'm really having a blast and the excitement levels seem to be high every day.)

I look at it this way:

Before now, I was a full-on couch potato. My exercise regimen consisted of walking from the sofa to the kitchen, from the sofa to the bathroom, from the sofa to the bed. You get the idea.

So, the fact that I'm doing ANYTHING makes me VERY happy and I'm definitely seeing results. Yay!

Okay, so my thought was, at first, that I needed to build up some strength so that my muscles--especially the big, really strong upper thigh ones and glutes from decades of dance, decades ago--would burn fuel more efficiently WHEN I did other forms of exercise, like aerobics. (And, again, I'm not too worried about doing it "wrong," since ALL of it is me MOVING again, which is a very positive thing.)

But now I'm having so much fun with the aerobics and I SO enjoy the big sweat, that I'm sometimes not doing any strength training and I'm wondering if that's a good idea. I mean, I need to be sure my muscles ARE getting stronger, so that they burn better during all activities, right?

So, I guess this is the "weight training vs. cardio" question, huh? Yeah.

Any opinions?

(I can elaborate on exactly what types of exercise I'm doing, if you need more specific information. I just realized as I was typing this that it's probably a pretty common question: "Weights vs. cardio--which is more efficient use of my exercise hour?")

Okay. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks in advance!! :carrot:


Ilene
07-27-2008, 08:48 PM
I would say that both are equally as important as the other. Why not try one week with workout A then the next week with workout B. The body likes change.

What kinds of actual weight exercises do you do?

BTW congrats on starting to exercise! Something is a gazillion times better than nothing...

full of grace
07-27-2008, 10:46 PM
I would say that both are equally as important as the other. Why not try one week with workout A then the next week with workout B. The body likes change.

Thanks! Great idea. :D

What kinds of actual weight exercises do you do?

Sorry. I tried to be clear. It's called "strength training" on the Wii Fit (and then I said that I guess it's the classic "weight training vs. cardio" question). Sorry for any confusion. There is no weightlifting going on (outside of a water bottle, the Wii remote, etc.), as it's truly "strength training," ala using the weight of our own bodies to build strength through resistance.

So, yeah, it's leg lifts and squats and push-ups and triceps reps and sit-ups and lunges other "floor exercises" that are probably easy for people who use weights regularly... but there is no weight-lifting involved. YET! ;) Getting there!!

BTW congrats on starting to exercise! Something is a gazillion times better than nothing...

Thank you, Ilene. That's my philsophy as well. Yeah, I've got a long way to go, but I've come a long way too... so that's GOOD! :D

Positive reinforcement has to be a good thing. ;)

Thank you so much for the tip about changing things up, week to week. Do you think a weekly switch is best? Or perhaps a switch-up every other day, doing something different?

Thanks... a newbie in the exercise world, obviously. ;) Hoping to stick out the fitness obsession I currently have for longer than a few weeks this time!!

Man, if I could get back to the "me" I was in high school, when I was a rabid Jane Fonda tape-slash-aerobics obsessive, that would be impressive! LOL

Thanks, everyone!


nelie
07-28-2008, 10:17 AM
The 'strength training' exercises on the Wii Fit are closer to aerobics than not with the lack of weights. There are some exceptions like pushups but really they aren't really 'strength training'. So do what you are having fun with, mix it up a bit because your body does get used to the same types of exercises and can become very efficient (ie burn less calories) if you do the same exercise over and over.

full of grace
07-28-2008, 06:03 PM
The 'strength training' exercises on the Wii Fit are closer to aerobics than not with the lack of weights. There are some exceptions like pushups but really they aren't really 'strength training'. So do what you are having fun with, mix it up a bit because your body does get used to the same types of exercises and can become very efficient (ie burn less calories) if you do the same exercise over and over.

Perfect! Thank you!

I was actually just thinking this morning, while doing my Wii Fit, that perhaps these categories are more for convenience, than actually representative of the type of exercise taking place. So, your post echos that thought and that helps a great deal. Thank you.

So, I'll just have fun, mix it up, and not worry about what "type" of exercise my Wii Fit says I'm getting, because until I'm at the gym working with weights or something, I'm probably not really "building strength" so much as stretching and activating under-utilized muscles.

(Not complaining. It's all better than sitting on my butt all day long.) ;)

Thanks, everyone!