The days have gotten longer and the weather has gotten warmer – summertime is here! It’s that time of the year where you can incorporate outdoor activities into your daily workout. Don’t have one? Don’t fret, there is still time to develop one and get into the healthy habit of exercising. Your next question probably is, what is the best type of exercise for me? Well, it all depends on the goal you want to achieve.  If your ultimate goal is to lose weight, you should look into cardio and strength workouts.

Does one exercise have greater benefits than another? Research has shown that strength exercises can burn more calories, because of the after-burn effect (where you burn more calories during the recovery of a strength workout). Ryan Golec, Director of Movement and Education at Performance EDU, explained “…you may burn 500 calories in a cardio workout, and only 350 in a strength session. However, over the next 48 hours, you may burn 50 more calories in cardio recovery, but 250 calories in muscle recovery. End result: Cardio = 550, Strength = 600.”

While cardio can be great for burning calories, it lacks the benefit of actively building muscle, which is another plus of strength exercises. When you have more muscle, you tend to burn more calories. Now that you are aware of the advantages of strength exercises, you might wonder if you just have to focus your exercise routine on strength. Don’t worry, the answer to the question is no. On the contrary, to make your exercises more fun and to gain more from exercising, you should consider integrating both cardio and strength into your workout routine.

“You should have a balance of both,” Golec suggests,” The best exercise is the one that you are willing to do consistently… Add some strength, add some cardio, add some stretching, and get some sleep.”

Tips for Exercising and Staying Dedicated:

Get Started – Don’t put off working out until the start of the week. You can start exercising any day, at any time of the week. The point is to get started; even if it is just for 30 minutes a day.

Buddy System – Get your friends or family exercising with you. You are more likely to be motivated to keep moving if you are not doing it alone.

Move every day – Missed working out in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Go for a walk after lunch or dinner or simply ride your bike ride around the block. Also consider going for a short afternoon or evening hike by yourself, with your family, a friend, or even your dog.

Have fun – The most important thing about exercising is to have fun along the way. How? Pick exercises that you will enjoy doing. Feel that you might get bored doing the same exercise routine every day? Look at different workout routines and plan to do different exercises each day of the week; for instance, let Monday be leg day, Tuesday be abs day, Wednesday be a cardio day, Thursday be arms day, and do something spontaneous for Friday.