Running before lifting is ideal for weight loss.
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Whether you run before you lift weights or afterward depends upon your fitness goals and personal preference. If your goal is to lose weight, you should run first. If your goal is to gain muscle, you should lift weights first. For people who aren't exercising to gain muscle mass or for extreme athleticism, the order is more about personal preference.
Benefits of Running Before Lifting Weights
When you run first, you ensure you have the energy to complete your run. Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate that is stored in your muscles for use during intense or endurance activity. When you lift weights or run, you use this glycogen. By running first, you guarantee you have enough glycogen for the run. Also, by depleting the store of glycogen with running, your body will begin to use stored fat for energy, increasing weight loss.
Benefits of Lifting Weights Before Running
By lifting weights first, you ensure your muscles have energy for your entire lifting routine. This allows your muscles to exert their maximum or near-maximum effort, which will help you build muscle mass quicker than if you ran first. Also, you are more likely to maintain proper form which could avoid injury.
If you have Type 2 diabetes or hypertension it is better to run before lifting weights. "Some diseases are better managed with cardio first, then introducing resistance training later," explains Fabio Comana, director of Continuing Education for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Also, consider whether you find lifting weights intimidating. Many people are more comfortable with running, so it builds their confidence to run before lifting weights.
If you are in good health and are exercising to stay fit, a lot of the decision should be based on your personal preference. Try both ways and see what feels best for you. If you lift weights first, is it too hard to complete your run? If you run first, are you able to maintain proper form while lifting? Pay attention to how you feel during and after both activities to determine the order that is best for you.