I remember in my early-20s reading a copy of Muscle Media Magazine and one of the top recommendations of the experts in the magazine was to do cardio – usually first thing in the morning – before having breakfast.
This popular method was know as “Fasted Cardio”.
The theory (or “bro-science”) behind it was that if you’re fasted, then your body has very little muscle sugar to access since you have yet to eat, so it will go directly for your fat cells and burn them for energy.
Well, there may be some merit to that.
Someone recently brought this study to my attention…
Shamida, K., et al. Effects of Post-Absoptive and Postprandial Exercise on 24h Fat Oxidation, Metabolism, 2013
Researchers in Japan took 2 groups young men and had them both do slow cardio workouts (50% VO2 max for 60 minutes).
With one group, they fed them breakfast AFTER training, with the other, they fed them breakfast BEFORE training.
The researchers found that both workouts burned the same amount of calories during exercise and over 24 hours.
BUT, the “fasted cardio” group burned MORE FAT during the workout and over the course of 24 hours.
Now, do not mistaken what I am saying here because NOTHING will help your body composition more than continuing to train for strength by using your kettlebells.
But it seems as though slow-boring cardio will burn additional fat for those of you looking for an edge.
Do I suggest you go out and by some short-shorts and one of those running fuel belts that you can put your fancy gels in and start getting abrasive as you yell “LEFT! Passing LEFT!” on the sidewalk.
But if we take a closer look at the study above, what is a 50% VO2 max activity (a low intensity activity) that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will not only help you burn fat, but would be great for your psyche, help you connect with nature and improve your mood?
The Benefits of Walking
In fact I had one of my online coaching clients who is going through a tough separation with his wife and was getting really stressed out over it, walk everyday before introducing kettlebells & resistance training.
All I had him do was 8-minutes of Original Strength Resets and 30-minutes of distraction-free walking first thing in the morning.
The rules were simple…
Everyday after waking up and having his morning coffee (cream, no sugar) he would do his resets on his family room floor and then lace up his Nikes and go for a 30 minute walk in the fresh air.
He was not allowed to bring his cigarettes – we’re working on that.
AND he’s not allowed to bring his cell phone.
After he gets home, I have him write in a journal, drink a few glasses of water and then eat a high protein breakfast.
In the 4 weeks before I even introduced him to kettlebells, he dropped 15lbs and lost 4 inches around his waist.
Not only that, but he’s reported having a better overall mood, more patience with his son, not feeling as “depressed” anymore and his confidence has increased.
Now we have him still walking in the mornings AND training with KBs and he’s looking better than he did in his 20s – he’s an old highschool friend, so I knew him when I we were younger.
So are you incorporating walking into your daily routine?
In addition to riding my bike everywhere, I try to get in at least 30 minutes per day of cumulative walking. In fact, I’ll walk for 20-30 minutes AFTER my KB training just to cool down and to find some time for myself.
Whether you do it first thing in the morning or after your training or you make a conscious effort to do it at some point in the day, I strongly suggest you start to just incorporate some low-intensity walking into your routine.