Guest Blogger: Roni Davis tackles FASTED CARDIO!

Guest Blogger Roni Davis on RunningKatTalesSo, Kat asked me how beneficial and safe it was to do fasted cardio. I laughed because it’s SUCH a controversial subject. I’ve read some fairly heated debates from some of the top pros in the industry arguing both sides with points that are all really compelling. Below, I’ll provide a link to one of my favorites but if you’re not interested in reading a lot about the science behind it, the two basic schools of thought are as follows:

Pros: Proponents say that you will burn more fat than if you eat beforehand.

Your body stores glycogen to use as its preferred source of fuel during exercise. The idea behind fasted cardio is that your glycogen stores would be somewhat depleted first thing in the morning after fasting overnight. Having less glycogen available to use as fuel, it would switch and use fat stores as its next source of fuel, allowing for a greater amount of actual fat being burned.

The key to this being successful seems to be that the intensity level of the exercise stays in the low to moderate range. When your body exercises at a low intensity, it uses more fat than carbohydrate.

Cons: Opponents say you’re burning less calories and that it’s a recipe for muscle wasting.

Because the work is easier, you’re not burning as many overall calories so you’d have to work for a longer period of time than if you were training hard. You shouldn’t run sprints or do some other high-intensity exercise as the lack of glycogen in your system wouldn’t allow for it. This makes it a definite no-no if you’re training for a race, endurance event, etc. It’s also said that all fasted cardio manages to do is burn off muscle, rather than fat.

My take is that like most things, there are no absolutes. If you spend some time looking, there are studies to support both theories.

The bottom line for me? I train with a team of the most perfect bodies in the world and most do some form of fasted cardio or another first thing in morning. That’s good enough to convince me …when done properly and depending on your goals, of course!

How’s that for a clear as mud answer?

Click to read more on this subject!

Guest Blogger: Melanie Bowen + exercise and cancer

cancer_more than ribbonLiving with cancer can be one of the most difficult things that you do in life. You might be wondering about your future and what you can do in order to feel better each day. The truth is that exercise and a healthy lifestyle can be wonderful options for just about any cancer patient. It does not matter if you were recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment or are in remission, exercise is still a great way to improve the quality of your life. There are a few ways that exercise can accomplish this for anyone who’s suffering from mesothelioma, breast cancer, or any other type of cancer.

Exercise helps you both physically and emotionally. Physically, exercise helps to provide you with more energy and releases feel-good endorphins into the body. If you can remember that great feeling you got after your last workout, just imagine that feeling being incorporated into your daily life and the impact it will have on you during treatment. As a cancer patient, you may be dealing with anger, depression and sadness. Exercise can help you to feel more alive and energetic when things around you seem glum.

When it comes to the emotional aspect of exercise, it is easy to see the benefits that it can have for you. For one, just getting away from your everyday surroundings is a way to feel better in general. Whether you decide to join a local gym or just make regular trips to the park, it is easy to see why so many people exercise every single day, whether they have cancer or not.

As always, you should speak with a health professional before you begin an exercise regimen. Your doctor will be able to tell you how much exercise is enough for you considering your current state of health. This will help tremendously when it comes to helping you get the best out of your daily routine, especially during treatment. Exercise is healthy for just about anyone of any age, so incorporating it into your everyday schedule is a fantastic thing for when you’re undergoing cancer treatment or are even in remission. You will find that the benefits you reap from exercise help tremendously when it comes to your physical strength and your ability to feel better about your situation. Speaking with a knowledgeable health professional will help you to determine what is right for you when it comes to an exercise schedule.

Melanie Bowen 

Guest Blogger: Amy + how to find time to stay active!

make fitness a priorityIt’s me again.  Kat and I have many discussions about finding the time 
to stay active with a busy life.  I am often asked where I find the
time to do what I do.  It is a challenge for all of us.  I always
 enjoyed an active life but it was inconsistent and certainly was 
never at the level it is at now.  I really ramped it up over the past 
year.  I have the least amount of time I’ve ever had but am in the
 best shape I’ve ever been in and work out more than I ever have.




Ramping it up has been a process that came out of a not so great time
 in my life.
 I never had any health concerns, ever. Shortly after I had my
 daughter last year I found out what it is like not to have your 
health.  It was an unbelievably stressful time for myself and my 
family.  I was unable to get out of bed at times and saw more doctors 
in a few months than I had in my whole life.  Being sick also takes an
 emotional toll, add a little bit of postpartum anxiety to that and
 I became an emotional disaster.

Running was a way out of an
 extremely dark time for me.  I am much better today; although I
struggle daily with chronic pain and the emotional impact that comes
 with that.  I don’t take anything for granted and do everything I can 
to maintain my health.  When I was able to start up a running routine 
my mantra was: “I run becasue I can, I run because I can”, I repeat 
it over and over 
again and still do on tough runs.

Everyone that can be active should 
be active, in my opinion.

OK!  that is a bit more than I thought I would ever be sharing on
the internet!!!! Everyone has their struggles in life and mine have
 led me to be such great friends with Kat and to this blog. I have a
total new lease on life and oddly enough I am actually thankful for such a miserable time, I found out who my real friends are, I realized
 how wonderful my husband and family are and it led me to do things I never
 thought possible.

 So I am taking my take on time and exercise to the blog.  I am still 
not the best at saying what 
I need to say so it’s a little Q&A.

Kat: You’re a busy mom (and teacher) – why do you make the time to exercise?

Amy: I make the time to exercise for many reasons.  The number one reason I
 make time to exercise is because I want my kids to grow up in an
 active household with two active parents.  I also make the time to
 exercise because it makes me a much better mom, wife and teacher.  I
 am not tired or
 cranky, I feel good and I generally have lots of energy.  I do feel
 guilty if I have to leave the kids for an hour but that hour makes the
 rest of the time so much more enjoyable.  It’s worth it.

Kat: How do you make the time to fit exercise in.

Amy: This one is tricky. The only way I will ever have time to work out
 with my busy life is to make it a priority in my day.  If I cannot go 
to the gym I go for a run with the double jogger, if there is snow on 
the ground I have a number of circuits I can do at home while I busy the kids
 with activities (or include them).  I also do yoga or jump rope.
There is always
 something I can do to get a workout in.  I have a million and one 
excuses not to
 work out but I do it anyway.  In the end it’s all down to prioritizing 
and finding the 
time to do something, anything.  Once you establish an active life it 
is so much easier to keep it up.  I’ve lived life as an active person
 and a non-active person.  This life is so much better.

Kat: What do you think is the biggest challenge for you to get it in.

Amy: Hands down it’s the guilt of leaving the kids to do something for
 myself, as much as I can workout at home it is not realistic for me to
 always do it at home.  Also I really don’t want to.  I like to get
out… alone. 🙂

Kat: 

Do you have any tips for other parents out there who want to get more 
active but are struggling?

Amy: I do!  If you can get your work outs in before the kids wake up, do 
it!  Also think of things you can do with the children.  I trained for 
a 5K and a 10K with a double stroller.  Take the kids to a big field
 and just go crazy running after after them, get some cheap snowshoes,
go skiing, have a dance party, there are a million things I do with 
the kids to get a sweat on.  Also go to the gym and don’t feel badly
 about making your health and fitness a priority in your life.  It will
 make you a happier parent with much more energy to spend with the 
little ones.  As a person who grew up with an extremely active father 
I can’t tell
you how much they will look up to you (even when they are 33).

Kat: How is crossfit going?

Amy: Unbelievable!!  I had a terrible chest cold so was out of commission
 for almost 2 weeks but I am back at it!!!  I put weight on the
 bar now and am so much faster!  I truly cannot believe the things I am
 achieving.  I recommend it to everyone!  It is an amazing sport.

Day 131: cross training at the gym. YEAH BUDDY.

Set goals Tonight I did some cross training at the gym. It was awesome. I hopped on the elliptical for five minutes, then over to the AMT for 35 minutes and finished off with ten laps of the track. I also continued with my Chaturenga Challenge ! My legs are feeling great today – which is a little surprising given my run yesterday, but knock on wood no problems! I guess training properly does pay off.

In other news, I am super excited to announce that Roni Davis will be a guest blogger from time to time on RunningKatTales. Several weeks back I posted an article written by Roni (you can see it here) and it sparked some passionate responses. In an effort to learn more, I asked her if she would be interested in sharing her expertise and she graciously accepted.

Stay tuned to learn more from Roni – you can also catch her on her Facebook page!