As the season of 14-hour bikini days, Christmas pudding, and festive family photos approaches us faster than any year before, a few of us ladies might be wondering what last minute options we have left to "shape up" in time.
It's often we can intentionally neglect the "Summer bodies are made in Winter" approach, with the colder months spent mostly rugged up inside, with a little Netflix and chill, consuming that seventh slice of pizza heaven. You know you can get that bod to bounce right back, but first, you need to bounce right off that booty-molded couch.
Before I competed in the fitness competition earlier this year, I despised the look of the treadmill at my gym. It was big, bulky and boring looking, and the last thing I wanted to do was stare blankly at a wall for 45 minutes thinking about pizza and cookie dough. I didn't enjoy cardio because it made me hot and sweaty. Lifting weights and doing flips in the air during my usual aerial silk classes were a much easier option. But having to lean up for a competition that was only four weeks away, my coach prescribed me a weekly schedule of seven days fasted cardio, on top of my six days of weight training and crazy circus activities.
"What the heck is fasted cardio?"
This was the first question that popped into my head as I confidentially nodded and smiled, pretending to know exactly what my coach was talking about. No biggie. I can do flips and tricks in the air. This "fast" stuff will be quick and easy.
Ohhhh was I in for a treat!
I was to get up an hour earlier, head to the gym on an empty stomach, and jump on one of the cardio machines for 45 minutes. I had to go hard enough to work up a sweat, but not too hard that I couldn't hold a conversation. Rugging up in several jumpers and leaving the fans in the gym switched off definitely contributed to the 16 litres of sweat my sports bra accumulated every morning.
The 28 days of fasted cardio for my comp preparation proved to be a challenge, both physically and mentally for me. But the results I got from switching up my usual routine were amazing! The prescribed fasted cardio worked a treat and I began to shed fat in even the most stubborn areas of my body.
The idea of doing a cardio workout in a fasted state (no food in the tum), is with the focus being that the body is forced to turn to its stubborn fat stores for energy rather than the glucose left in your system after having something to eat.
It's generally suggested 30-60 minutes is all you need to fire up that fat burning wheel and if you can stick to it consistently over a period of time, chances are you will be saying "goodbye" to those love handles and mini muffin tops in no time at all!
Now, of course you would need to first consider your individual fitness goals and what it is you are physically capable of doing. But by incorporating a new workout routine even just a couple of days a week, just about anyone's health and well being is going to be affected in a positive way.
As I learned and experimented with this new found way to drench my body head to toe without even stepping foot inside a shower, I grew to love fasted cardio. The results were evident, "fast" (pun intended) and so much greater than just the physical.
My findings waking up an hour earlier everyday and doing fasted cardio included:
- greater sense of accomplishment & achievement
- fat being burnt in the most stubborn of places
- meeting & making new friends at the gym
- increased energy, endurance & stamina
- happier & healthier mind & body
- mentally stronger & more focused
- positive tone set for the rest of the day
- 45 minutes of pure selfish "me time" bliss
- ability to learn something new from a podcast
- pretending to be an athlete & feeling like a boss
Keep in mind though, your fat loss and the achievement of your goals are still largely dependent upon the foods you eat as well.
"You can't out-train a bad diet."
(and if you've read my story in the "Your Best Life" FREE eBook you'll know I'm living proof of that - see direct link to download a copy below).
Months on since the competition, and I still maintain a routine with a couple of days of fasted cardio throughout the week. The mental and physical benefits remain evident and fasted cardio has now become an enjoyable habit of my lifestyle. A few bad habits and over-indulgence in those greasy pizzas are now a thing of the past as my body gets much more satisfaction from a fast-paced walk along the Gold Coast Broadwater instead.
So, Ladies! If you're still defrosting from those Winter couch lazing months, why not live with a little "Morning Glory".
1. Wake up an hour earlier.
2. Drink a glass of lemon water.
3. Head to the gym or outside.
4. Get your body moving.
5. Get sexy! Pronto.
But if you're going to get your sexy back, you need to start right now, and you need to commit to it 110%.
Even when it's cold and raining outside.
Even when sleeping in sounds like a better idea.
Even when you've slipped up and consumed a whole block of Cadbury the night before.
You're human. I get it. But there's a part of you that's SUPER-HUMAN and you were born to unleash that side of yourself every single day. So get moving, feel funky, and look amazing just in time for those festive family snaps. Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle!
You truly deserve it and everyone else deserves to see that best version of you around town.
You were born for so much more.
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How has fasted cardio changed the way you look and feel about yourself?
I would LOVE to hear your story!