When it comes to working out, what type of exercise should you choose?

Beginning a training program can be a huge investment of time and effort, so of course you want to maximize your benefits and make sure you get the results you're working hard for. All of the options can seem overwhelming: should you tackle the free weights in the gym and learn how to use the weight machines? Or should you buy a bicycle and start a regular program of running, swimming and biking?

Some people think resistance training is all you need. Others believe that cardiovascular exercise is the key to living a long and healthy life. The truth is that you can weigh the pros and cons of each, but experts recognize that the most effective training programs demand both types of exercise. Resistance and cardio work together to achieve results that neither could on their own.

This combination is especially relevant to diabetic patients.

According to researchers that have recently analyzed 14 different studies that included over 900 patients, a training schedule that includes both resistance and cardio will control blood sugar (glucose), blood fat, blood pressure and weight much more effectively than either type of exercise alone.

Each type has a different effect. Cardio burns calories, glucose, and fat right away, and it is the only exercise that will lower your risk of heart disease -- our nation's no. 1 killer. Resistance training builds muscle mass. When you have more muscle, your body will burn calories, glucose, and fat at a much higher rate during activities and even at rest.  This means that if you build muscle, your body will be burning more calories even while you sleep. Also, building muscle is what keeps you strong, active, and mobile as you age.

Finally, variety is also an overlooked but important benefit of combining exercise. Challenging your body in different ways keeps your body from adapting to a certain routine and stopping progress. Not only does variation help push your body through any physical plateaus, but it might be just what you need to stay on track mentally and emotionally. If the same activities are done everyday, it's easy to get bored. Make it fun, or a lifestyle change just won't be sustainable.

So, what type of exercise should you choose when putting together a training schedule?

The best answer is both.  Programs like True Fire Fitness System (or TFFS) use this type of cross-training to reap the physical benefits of combined resistance and cardio training.

The result is an accelerated process of physical benefits such as fat loss, strength building, heart health, overall fitness. True Fire Fitness also incorporates a variety of activities including beach bootcamps, biking, free weights, cardio tennis, kickboxing, pilates, nature hikes, swimming and kayaking to ensure that your new fitness routine becomes a lifestyle.

Work smarter to get better results, and keep it fun to make sure that your new routine will be maintainable and part of a life style change to ensure long-term results.