Looking to get fit. Maybe join a cardio class? Here's something to consider...
Even though you'll be a movin at your spin class or Zumba dance, your muscles won't get much stronger. That's right. These activities are considered muscle endurance builders which is like a warm-up to true strength building.
With cardio activities, including ones that add hand weights or light barbells, you're pumping out the reps, yes? You're out of breath and feeling the burn. But, you're not building a whole lot of muscle.
For this reason,
I encourage all my clients to find a weight lifting class or club and learn the moves to safely Get Strong. For reals. Look for powerlifting and my favourite, Olympic Lifting instruction.
Powerlifting is slow and STRONG. Olympic Lifting is strong and FAST!
As we age, our fast twitch muscle fibres retire rapidly if they're not used. To keep them speedy and fresh you must find ways to move them quickly while loaded. Think about getting out of a chair. It requires strength (to lift yourself) AND speed. Try getting out of a chair super slow - it's near impossible and not the way we do it!
Also, if you get into Olympic Lifting, you'll learn many powerlifting moves too like deadlifts, bench press and low back squats. These are used to build pure strength ~ part of the formula for Olympic Lifting (Power = Strength x Speed).
If you get a chance, check out the athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics right now doing the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.
Best of all, getting a stronger, faster body crosses over to a stronger, faster mind.
You get to stand up straight and tall without any effort because a strong body = great posture. It will protect you from injury during your cardio workouts. Heck, it'll give you a cardio work-out. 3-5 lifts at a decent load and you're out of breath and in need of a 2 min rest!
Those who lift also report greater body satisfaction at all ages.
The best exercise is still always the one you'll do and enjoy. However, getting stronger can make your favourite activity better.