Cardio vs Strength Training
Shifa Fathima's photo

By Shifa Fatima, MSc.,

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Apoorva T, MHM.

Reviewed: June 8, 2022

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Experiment Question

Which is the better choice? Cardio or Strength Training?

Experiment Answer


Strength training and cardio both help in improving insulin sensitivity and regulation of blood sugar levels. You should know what works better for you but it is recommended to do both in a balance to get best results.

Scientific Rationale

Cardiovascular exercise and strength training exercise are two different, but equally important, forms of exercise.

Cardio Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise, also called cardio or aerobic exercise, is exercise that increases your heart rate and makes your lungs work harder than normal. More technically, cardiovascular exercise challenges both your cardiovascular and respiratory systems to increase the heart’s ability to pump blood and the lungs’ and heart’s ability to move oxygen throughout the body. Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes per day of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. Examples are cardio include running; fast walking; cycling; hiking; swimming; dancing; climbing stairs; playing sports like hockey, soccer, tennis, ice skating, or basketball; doing jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or burpees; rowing; jumping rope; cross training; and kickboxing. There are countless ways for you to get your aerobic exercise in. Even going to the park with your kids or grandkids and running around with them can do it. Also know about yoga asanas for diabetes with pictures.

Strength Training

Strength training uses resistance to build muscle, strength, and endurance. It’s also called resistance training. Several types of exercises build your strength and endurance, including lifting weights or doing repetitions on weight machines, doing exercises using resistance bands, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, yoga, Pilates, climbing stairs or using a stair master machine, and walking or running on hills or using a machine to simulate an incline.


Cardio burns more calories during your workout and burns fat faster, so it's ideal for weight loss. Strength training helps you build muscle and burn more calories all day (even while on the couch). Running, cycling, or another form of cardio is great for a healthy heart.

If you’re trying to build up your muscles, strength training is the key. Working out breaks down muscle tissue and causes the tissue to rebuild stronger and bigger during recovery. But, your body can’t create that new muscle tissue out of nothing. Lifting and doing strength training without adequate nutrition, especially without enough protein, can actually lead to loss of muscle tissue. So in order to make gains, it is important to know how much you eat and the right nutrients in your body to construct muscle. Also know about the starter guide to Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM).

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This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.