Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! In celebration of you, class today is cancelled :)
With an additional day for my weekend, I definitely prioritized workouts. My last bleomycin treatment was one month ago, and I’ve been steadily increasing my exercise amount since the beginning of January. Now that my mileage is back to an average state, I feel like I can start adding in weekly HIIT workouts, some body-weight strength training, and even a little elliptical interval action. What I really noticed yesterday was how stiff my legs were feeling. So I took to Youtube to find a beginner’s level stretching video. This was the first one I clicked on, and I really enjoyed it!
Yoga is not my thing. I actually kinda sorta really hate it. The whole ‘breathe in, breathe out’ thing is too hippy for this anxious girl. The poses in this video, which are mostly just basic stretches, were not so bad. Something I will definitely try to incorporate after particularly-strenuous workouts.
Don’t think I’ll ever be considered a yogi. Even though sometimes my nightstand looks like it.
Other internet inspirations = Alexa Jean Fitness’s Instagram account and her latest “towel workout.” I brought two hand towels out onto our faux hardwood floor last week to follow along to her workout video. Loved the variety of exercises. For some reason, using a prop made it seem more fun. Always a plus!
Sweaty High Bun = Business. Serious-workout-mode hair style. No drippy ponytails please!
Last night my roommate had her (large) family over to our (little) apartment. While they cooked and ate dinner, I decided to escape to the fitness room. Have you heard of the podcast ‘Serial’? Other bloggers have been mentioning it for a while. The first episode kept me entertained through some more stretching and walking. The podcast is several episodes all covering a single murder case from 16 years ago. Seems like there isn’t enough material in this case to span several hours worth of a story, but I’ll try the second episode today.
Later today, some people are coming over for a movie night. After today’s run, I plan on finding another video for cooldown stretches and a core routine. Justification for the wine and popcorn I plan to enjoy tonight ;) enjoy the rest of your long weekend!
When I say “running on coffee” I mean it in the most LITERAL sense.
Within 30 minutes of waking, I drink half a cup of coffee and hop on the treadmill for an early morning run.
Because there is a name for everything in the fitness world, this is called “Fasted Cardio.” A few times a week, I run 5 miles (with the incline set to .5%) before driving home, taking a shower, and eating my first snack of the day.
“Fasted cardio” is exactly what it’s name implies…completing a workout before eating anything after waking up in the morning. Many fitness freaks report that this strategy increases fat burn because there are no immediate glycogen stores to pull energy from.
*Note: calorie burn remains the same; where the calories are sourced from is the idea in question.
Personally, “fat burn” isn’t my mission when I tackle a treadmill sesh before breakfast. I’m just not ready to ingest anything at dark:thirty in the morning. I mean I like my oatmeal, but not at 4:30am.
The truth behind the myth of increased fat burn with fasted cardio is still highly debatable. Many sources support the ability to tap into fat stores quicker. Others say it makes no difference in the big picture. Web search “Fasted Cardio” and the first result argues for the miraculous effect while the second result claims it has no positive enhancements.
Pro & Con list time….
- No waiting additional time for food to digest
- No stomach sensitivities that could affect your workout
- Avoid feeling heavy
- Sessions longer than an hour could have compromised performace due to lack of quick energy
- Rumbly stomach = annoying
- Ravenous appetite after workout could cancel out any extra fat burn
I can’t say which is better, to eat or not to eat before morning cardio sessions. Fasting for 45 minute runs works for me! I wouldn’t dare attempt a long run with a small snack though. Which works for you?
Sometimes cardio can get boring, especially on a stationary machine for 60+ minutes. I love the gym and its convenience, however it seems the minutes tick by slower and slower each time I look up at the clock.
Doing Cardio at the Gym:
Pro: getting a high calorie-burning workout in an air-conditioned and safe facility, no weather or crazy drivers to deal with.
One boredom buster I enjoy is people watching, through which I have noticed the 3 silliest gym trends:
- Guys who spend more time staring at themselves in the mirror than lifting anything.
- Girls who work out with their hair down, fixing and primping in between sets (heaven forbid they break a sweat!)
- Stationary Bikers on Level 1 pedalling about 10 rpms. (you could burn more calories chewing gum)
Solution: Mix It UP! My parents and I like to do a “Cardio Carnival” where we pick 3 different cardio machines for 20 minutes each. It’s a great way to keep the heart rate up for an hour without getting bored. Knowing that you are spending a smaller amount of time at each “station” allows you to push a little harder, and take a “rest” while moving from one cardio machine to another.
Row Machine ~ Elliptical (forward and backward) ~ Sit-down Bike ~ Treadmill (walk with high incline OR jog/run) ~ Stairmaster
My Rotation of Choice:
Elliptical, Run (treadmill), Bike.
I put my least favorite at the end because I know when I finish that 20 minute set I am DONE. However incorporating Row, Stairmaster and Treadmill would be the best whole-body blast because it targets upper body, butt, and legs.
It’s like a personal triathlon to keep things fresh. Not to mention, calling it a “Carnival” instantly means it’s gotta be fun, right?!