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Juggling Cardio and Weights: A Gen Z’s Guide to Optimal Health

Hey there, fellow screen-scrollers! Sophie here, back with another dose of wisdom for your wellness journey. Today, we’re delving into the age-old debate that has gym-goers worldwide breaking a sweat before they even hit the treadmill – cardio or weight training? Now, before you start picturing me in a referee’s outfit trying to break up a fight between a barbell and an elliptical machine (although that would be quite a sight), let me assure you that this isn’t about picking sides. It’s more like playing matchmaker. So, lace up those trainers and let’s dive in!

First off, let’s put some context behind these two contenders. Cardio – short for cardiovascular exercise – is any form of workout that gets your heart rate pumping and your blood flowing. Think running, cycling, swimming…even chasing after the bus when you’ve overslept counts (not that I’m speaking from experience…).

On the other side of the ring is weight training – also known as resistance or strength training. This involves using weights or other forms of resistance to build muscle strength and endurance. Remember those 5kg bags of rice you had to lug around during lockdown shopping? Yep, that was weight training.

The Balancing Act

If I were to sum up the cardio vs weights debate in one sentence it would be this: You need both for optimal health. Shocking revelation right? But hear me out.

Cardiovascular exercises are great for improving heart health, increasing lung capacity and burning calories – all things we need to keep our bodies functioning at their best. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the endorphin rush after a good run!

Weight training, on the other hand, is essential for building muscle mass and strength. It helps improve bone density (important for us ladies to prevent osteoporosis), boosts metabolism and promotes better balance and coordination. And let’s not forget the satisfaction of being able to open that stubborn jar of pickles all by yourself!

Finding Your Perfect Match

The key to balancing cardio and weight training lies in understanding your personal health goals. Are you looking to lose weight? Build muscle? Or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle?

If weight loss is your goal, cardio might be your new best friend. It’s fantastic for burning calories, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But don’t neglect weights entirely. Remember, more muscle equals a higher resting metabolic rate – meaning you burn more calories even while sitting on the couch binge-watching your favourite show.

Looking to get buff? Weight training should be your go-to. However, it’s important not to skip cardio completely as it aids in muscle recovery and helps keep body fat levels in check.

For those of us who just want to stay healthy (and maybe justify an extra slice of pizza now and then), a mix of both cardio and weights is ideal. The Australian Department of Health recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, along with two or more days of strength training.

Mixing Things Up

Now that we’ve got the basics down pat, here are some tips on how to actually incorporate both cardio and weights into your workout routine:

  • Vary your workouts: Mixing up different types of exercises can help prevent workout boredom (it’s real folks!) and also ensures you’re working different muscle groups.
  • Combine the two: Who said cardio and weights need to be separate? Try circuit training – a series of high-intensity workouts (both cardio and strength) with short rest periods in between.
  • Listen to your body: Some days you might feel like running a marathon, other days lifting a spoon might seem like too much effort. It’s okay! The important thing is to stay active and listen to your body’s needs.

So there you have it, folks. The secret to the great cardio vs weights debate isn’t choosing one over the other but finding the right balance for your individual needs. Remember, fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey; it’s about discovering what works best for YOU. Whether that involves dancing around your living room or deadlifting twice your weight, as long as you’re moving and having fun, you’re on the right track!

Until next time, keep chasing those wellness goals!

Your fellow Gen Z-er,



Sophie is a vibrant and multifaceted individual who beautifully intertwines her diverse heritage, with her contemporary interests and beliefs. A passionate devotee of weight training, Sophie finds strength and empowerment in her physical regimen, which aligns seamlessly with her deeply spiritual nature. This spiritual depth is a cornerstone of her character, informing her perspectives and enriching her approach to life's challenges and joys.

In her professional life, Sophie has carved out a niche as a junior author for the thought-provoking blog, "Illusions of Wisdom." Here, she expertly delves into issues that resonate with Generation Z, offering insightful, articulate, and nuanced perspectives. Her writing not only reflects the pulse of her generation but also echoes the wisdom and sensitivity of someone deeply connected to their cultural roots and personal passions. Whether discussing mental health, environmental concerns, or the evolving landscape of digital interactions, Sophie's voice is both a guiding light and a mirror for her peers.

Her work on "Illusions of Wisdom" is characterised by a rare blend of authenticity and analytical acumen, making her a beloved figure among her readers. As Sophie continues to explore and express her multifaceted identity through her writing, she remains an inspiration to many, embodying the spirit of a generation that values both strength and introspection.

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