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Marsh column: Cardio or weights first

Q. Which is better, cardio before weights or weights before cardio?
A. I was at a fitness training event once in Nashville and one of the people in my class was adamantly trying to convince us that weights (strength training) before cardio was the only way to have a workout.
I did some research on this matter a couple of years ago and what I found out is that about half the studies suggest that cardio before strength training is best, but then the other half suggest the opposite.
Which do you feel provides the better workout? Some want to do weights first because when they do cardio before weights they have nothing left to do strength.
Then others, like me, do cardio first because they believe it leads to a better strength workout. As long as you take time to stretch at the end, workout order does not matter.
If you listen to your body and see what works best for you, you will see great improvements in your daily workouts. Make sure if you work out with weights daily to split your body parts up. Each body part needs 48 hours to recover properly from a strength workout.
Every other day workouts with cardio and weights is a great goal to shoot for. It is better to work out three times a week for the rest of your life than to go crazy and work out five to seven days a week and quit within a couple of months.
I am going to go ahead and touch on the subject matter of which time of the day is the better time to work out, and whether you should eat breakfast before your morning workout.
Again, I have heard and read many arguments that the best part of the day for weight loss is in the morning before even eating breakfast. No, I do not believe that. If I walked out the door in the morning before I ate something, you could scrape me off the floor because of the lack of energy.
Does your car run better when you don’t put gas in it?
There are lots of people who think that eating a big breakfast will “show itself” when working out.
First of all, when you eat a substantial breakfast, you should wait one and a half to two hours to exercise (I’d rather sleep!). A yogurt and a banana is a great breakfast and won’t bother you when working out. Some people do well with a breakfast smoothie or shake.
Then there are some people who cannot eat even a light breakfast. They can have a great workout, but they do eat after they are done.
So again, what does your body tell you? Do you throw up if you eat before you workout? As long as you feel you have the energy and strength for a good workout AND you eat after you are done, that is the way to go for you.
Now about let’s talk about the best time of day to work out.
I go through stages when my body lets me know which the best time to work out is. I notice that in the winter I have better workouts in the mornings and spring and summer I love my evening runs and weight training in the evenings.
So what does this tell us? When you just listen to your body it will tell you what works best for you.
Contact Ester Marsh at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@salisburypost.com.

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