Those who are interested or currently involved in fitness training are questioning more and more about whether cardio exercise should be done before or after a strength training workout. The question is strewn all over the internet and I believe it is time to address the issue.
First of all, I want to state that I believe it is always a good idea to partake in cardio exercise before any workout. Whether you engage in resistance training or flexibility training, 5 to 10 minutes of cardio exercise prior to other types of exercise will prepare your body and mind to reach your highest fitness potential.
There are many important reasons for engaging in light cardio exercise before any workout. Cardio exercise warms the muscles as well as the joints, ligaments, and tendons. All of these will be used in any other type of workout, whether it is strength training, more cardio, or even yoga.
When cardio is performed as a warm-up, it helps to raise the core temperature of the body and elevate the heart rate. This increases circulation to all parts of the body. It prepares the heart and lungs for a heavier workout and increases your ability to focus on the task at hand. For all these reasons, you will be at a lower risk of injury to all of the areas you work with resistance training.
If you are still unsure about whether cardo should be performed before or after resistance training, the solution is in evaluating your goals. If you want to increase your endurance and stamina or improve your cardiovascular health, it is important to do your cardio before you do any resistance training.
When you warm up with a light cardio workout, you are better prepared for more intensity, such as cardiovascular interval training. If you wait until after you have trained with weights, your body will be tired from the strain and it is likely you will not be able to reach your highest intensity potential. If you are trying to increase the health of your cardiovascular system, light cardio exercise before any workout is definitely advised.