Fasted Cardio…Why even go there?

Hi, I’m Erin, and I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with cardio. But, this half marathon I’m training for? Yeah, gotta fit in the extra cardio. Do I like it? Heck no. Would I rather be lifting something heavy, you betcha. But, gotta suck it up and do it. 

Got up this morning and got in fasted cardio. Here’s the thing. If I’ve gotten enough sleep, I am your most obnoxious, cheerful morning person. But if I don’t get my 8-9 hours of sleep, I am probablyyyyyyy comparable to the devil before I have my coffee. So with that said, I’m trying to get back in my morning routine of waking up at 5 and getting started. Anywhoooo. Yes. Fasted cardio.

For those of you who have never tried it, it actually is better than it sounds. Yes, you are up before your brain is, and you’re working out before breakfast. But there’s the key- do it before your brain realizes what you’re doing! 

Here are  some of the benefits to fasted cardio:

  • Burn extra calories throughout the day 
  • Forces your body to use fat as an energy source (taps into those stubborn areas, like hips and thighs for women/lower abs for men)
  • Burn more fat on empty stomach than with pre-workout meal hours beforehand
  • While fasting and while exercising, your body releases HGH (human growth hormones), which prevents muscle being burned as an energy source 
This is from both researching the subject, and my own experience. This is totally just my opinion that fasted cardio is beneficial. Many academic types would argue it has adverse effects, and this has been a controversial topic for some time. While both sides have merit, I choose to believe it does have benefits from seeing results in myself. My advice to you? If you’re really on the fence, check your own results. Just measure your body fat and calculate your lean mass. This goes for all aspects of fitness- the case studies are still fairly new, and all of the experts all have their own opinions based on their research. How do you know what to believe? Stick with what is working for you personally.

Whether fasting or not, to make your cardio count, you’ve got to add intensity. The joke about the girls who go into the gym and come out looking just as good as they went in- its true. You’ve got to work up a sweat and really work for those results, or they won’t come. Its all up to you! I like to throw HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts in my weekly routine at least 2-3 times a week. No one likes cardio, but it IS vital to every person’s fitness journey, no matter the goals. 

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