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Exercise and Fitness

Weights or cardio?

07/29/2003

Question:

I`m not concerned with losing weight, just toning up--especially my legs. Would you recommend more weight traing or cardio to achieve this?

Answer:

Body toning is typically achieved through a combination of resistance training and aerobic activity. Resistance training will improve muscular strength and endurance and physical function. It should be included in any fitness program and should include all muscle groups, not just one area. One set of 8-10 exercises performed 2-3 days a week is recommended. Most persons should complete 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. However, for older individuals (50-60 years of age and above), 10-15 repetitions is recommended. Since the effect of exercise training is specific to the area of the body being trained, loss of muscle will result in untrained areas. Therefore, runners may include upper body resistance training to maintain muscle mass. The beauty of resistance training is that the intensity and volume of exercise can be manipulated by varying the weight load, repetitions, rest intervals between exercises and sets, and number of sets completed. Keep in mind that a well-rounded fitness program should include cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, and flexibility.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati