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Cardio vs. strength training: Which is better when you only have time for one?

Posted at 11:40 AM, Feb 16, 2016

If you’re like me, you don’t have as much time as you’d like to devote to exercising, and when you do go to get that quick workout in, you’re left to decide between cardio and strength training.

If you only have time for one or the other, which is better for you? Because you’re after the most bang for your buck, right? Exactly.

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Exercise physiologist Mike Bracko of Calgary, Alberta tells Self magazine that strength training is better for weight loss. It’s also the best option if you only have time for one form of exercise. “It’s possible to get your cardio from strength alone,” Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., an exercise-science professor at Quincy College in Massachusetts also tells the magazine.

So, if you’re looking for the best way to look better quickly, strength training could be the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on cardio altogether.

Personal trainer Mike Donavanik tells Women’s Health, “Cardio is one of the best ways to slash stress, which is a waistline-wrecker all by itself.” He goes on to say that ultimately, an exercise plan that includes cardio and strength training is the best way to go.

While everyday may not be the same, having a balanced exercise plan as often as possible is just as important as having a balanced diet, a balanced work life/home life ratio, etc. But, some days don’t always go according to your plan. And when that happens, you can turn to strength training to still squeeze in some beneficial exercise.

Give any of these videos a try, you know, just in case that day where you can’t get a full workout in happens to be today.

1. Toning & Cardio
This video is only about 13 minutes long, and it combines toning moves with exercises that will get your heart rate up. When it comes to a quick workout, it really doesn’t get better than this.

2. 5-Minute Toner
So, you meant it when you said you didn’t have time to go to the gym. Well, do this quick toning exercise from anywhere!

3. Waist Line Workout
The best way to blast calories and thin your waistline? This quick and easy ab workout. It includes a little cardio and strength training in one quick exercise routine. The best part is, all of these moves are performed while standing, so you can really do them no matter where you are.

4. Everyday Routine Workouts
Implement these simple exercises into your everyday routine, and you’ll hardly even feel like you’re working out. But, the end results will be so worth it.

5. Squat Challenge
You’re just a few squats away from a killer lower body. Don’t believe me? Give this squat challenge a try.

When you’re in a pinch, look to these quick and easy toning exercises to never miss out on your workout for the day.