For 30 Minutes of Exercise, Lift Weights or Run on a Treadmill?
Better choice: both
This is a tough one. Experts agree that both aerobic exercise and strength training are essential for good health. "They work different systems and complement each other," says Carol Torgan.
The increased muscle mass from lifting weights burns more calories and helps control blood sugar. And strong muscles make everyday activities simpler―whether you're running for the bus or carrying your toddler. Weight training also builds bone density.
Cardiovascular exercise, on the other hand, works out your most important organs―the heart and the lungs―and helps prevent serious problems like heart disease and diabetes.
But… How do you fit both in? Alternate one minute on the treadmill and one pumping iron, suggests Liz Neporent, an exercise physiologist and the author of 11 books, including The Fat-Free Truth (Houghton Mifflin, $15, amazon.com). "You will get some benefit from each," she says. Plus, it keeps your workout interesting.