There is a war going on in the fitness industry currently and that is the debate of cardio versus weight lifting. People are so dead-set on one being better than the other, which is confusing a lot of people who are newer to or don't fully understand how exercises work. This debate needs to end now. Not only is it annoying, but it's pointless. There is no right answer!
Both cardio and weight lifting are beneficial to our health in different ways. To keep it simple, aerobic exercise (aka cardio) improves the strength and function of your cardiovascular system when done consistently. As your heart gets stronger, your risks for heart diseases decrease tremendously. Cardio is also a component in weight loss and maintenance. Weight lifting, on the other hand, is also beneficial. Regular resistance training helps improve overall strength, keeps your muscle toned, and is a key component to keeping your bones strong!
What irritates me most about this debate is when people post pictures of a "cardio body" versus a "lifting body." It's true that a cross country runner is going to have a different body type than a football player, but these comparison images send the wrong message. It's easy for a girl to look at one of these side by sides and set unrealistic goals for herself. It's easy for her to be fooled into thinking that if she stops cardio altogether and only lifts, she will get a round booty and flat abs. It's also easy for a guy to do the same thing, thinking that cutting cardio and only lifting will make him look like the Hulk.
Everyone has a different body type. It's irrational to look at a picture of a fitness model and think that, by changing your routine and eating/working out how that person does, it will make you look just like them. The truth is, you probably never will, and that is 100% okay! You should be confident in who you are. Comparison is never the answer. You're goal should never be to look like someone else - it should always be to become the best version of yourself!
Sticking to the subject of different body types, people also have different muscle fiber types. Some people have more Type I fibers and are better suited for endurance activities while others have more Type 2b fibers and perform anaerobic activities best. The type of muscle fibers most dominant in your body is determined by genetics, so you can't change it. This means that some people are simply born to be better at cardio and others are born to be better lifters.
So, instead of listening to people debate over which exercise method is best and let it influence your choice, listen to your body. Do more of what you enjoy. Do what feels best for you. However, whether you are a cardio person or lifter, don't completely neglect the other method. There should be some balance between the two, as they both have different but equally important health benefits. That being said, you don't have to push it to extremes. If you are good at running and love the sport, then run!
Don't feel obligated to squat 4x your body weight or that your have to hit the racks every day. Performing resistance exercises with lighter weights 3-4 days per week will still improve your muscular and bone strength. If you bench 210lbs and enjoy testing your limits in the weight room (bless your heart), then do it! Don't feel pressured into spending hours on the stationary bike everyday. Maybe opt for a 30 minute ride three days a week. Trying to over-do something you're just not built to do is dangerous and can lead to injury. Play it safe, take cues from your body, and find a balance that works for you!
I'm a firm believer in doing your own thing. You should always do what you love and what makes you happy! Don't let the fitness industry's pointless cardio versus lifting argument inhibit that. Exercise is meant to be enjoyed. It should never feel like something you have to do in order to look a certain way. Be confident in who you are, do more of what feels right for you, and be the best you can be!