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Less cardio = Less fat!?
A common scene within millions of fitness centers all over the world echo the all familiar sound of people pounding the treadmill, climbing the Stairmaster and peddling the stationary bike. Within the adjacent rooms are members taking part in Pilates, Aerobics, Yoga and Spin classes. The center of attention is localized around the commotion of slamming weight stacks, sweating muscle, loud music and exaggerated grunts and groans. As vast as all these people may be with as equally diverse goals and objectives, they all have something in common, - they all want to evolve. Another scarce commodity the majority of active exercisers share is, - lack of time.

Today we live in a world where more hours are devoted to work, children, daily travel etc, and less time for recreation. But the ironic thing I notice of these very individuals is that many of them devote around two hours of cardiovascular activity in an attempt to either battle the bulge, tone up or maintain their current appearance. I have watched many athletes prepare for competition, conducting anywhere from 1-3 hours of cardio activity per day on top of their daily grueling weight training schedule. How these people have time to lead a normal life on top their day jobs is beyond me. Where does this train of thought originate from I often ask. I have concluded that it has stemmed from a trend that began years ago and has failed to alter since. Nutrition has constantly been manipulated in an attempt to find the sure fire short cut to physical success but its close friend, - cardiovascular exercise, has remained almost unchanged. You only have to look at the abundance of diet books in ratio to cardiovascular exercise books for clarification.

Before you begin your journey, in relevance to your goals, break down everything needed to help you get to your destination within an efficient time frame and that doesn't utilize more time than necessary.

When conducting cardio for the fat loss/toning effect you are essentially burning stored calories - fat. Most people as a whole will do way too much cardio too soon and end up burning out before they have started, which in turn leads them to an uphill battle to fat loss failure. Think of it in simple terms and ask yourself this question, - do I really want to conduct lengthily cardio sessions to burn off excess calories, or do I want to eat less calories and conduct much less cardio. Nine out of ten answers will relate to the latter. So, it is simple, eat smaller portions at regular intervals with a restriction of carbohydrates and fats which are dense in calories, but maintain a higher influx of protein to hold onto the muscle required for a healthy metabolism. Don't be worried that your energy levels will be lower; the excess fuel will no longer be necessary to carry you through those arduous and boring cardio sessions because now you only have to conduct much, much less.

Your body adapts to its environment very easily so when you continue the same routine everyday then it is obvious that the body will slow down on its evolution of appearance. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. Even the slightest change will take leaps and bounds towards you objective, so make only small ones that keeps chipping away at that sculpture you have always wished for. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.

To begin with, I suggest only conducting 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day. I know it is only very small amounts but believe me, your body and your spare time will thank you later down the road. Because this is something your body is not used to doing it will react by changing to adapt to its environment, in this case, losing fat via the calories burned from the short cardio interval and more importantly from the metabolism spike.

After two weeks it is quite possible that your body would've adapted to this environment so then I then would recommend adding an additional five minute trend to your regime. These small but effective trends should continue with five minute increments every two weeks until you max out at two, twenty minute cardio sessions per day, totaling at forty minutes. The small changes and short cardiovascular sessions will keep your metabolism charged enough to consistently burn fat and just as importantly, enable it to efficiently digest consumed foods without the risk of storing as excess fuel ? fat. When people conduct as much as 2 - 3 hours of cardiovascular exercise per day, the metabolism slows down to a snails pace in an attempt to spare the reserve energy that is stored. It feels that the extended cardio is too much and fears that the continuation will put the body in jeopardy of its health, thus the metabolism slows down and more calories are stored at meal times.

Another issue that I would like to bring to attention is the all too common need for people to conduct cardio before breakfast. We have all been placed under the false pretence that this is in fact more productive towards fat loss because we have fasted for 6-8 hours and now the only stored energy is within our fat cells. Importance should be placed on consuming breakfast, not extending your fast. At breakfast time the metabolism is at its slowest because the body has been in hibernation and no energy (food) has been consumed for sometime. Extending this fast will ultimately result in an even lower drop in the metabolism and more calories being stored when the first meal has been consumed, this is because the body is experiencing an extended period of starvation. Eating breakfast immediately upon rising will spike the metabolism and results in more calories burnt during the 20 minutes of cardio and continue the metabolisms momentum to the next meal, enabling fewer calories stored at this sitting also. Instead of using a lengthily cardio session as a tool to directly burn fat calories, participate in smaller cardio sessions at the right times to enhance the bodies ability to maintain a positive around the clock metabolism. The second option takes a much smaller chunk out of your daily schedule and bypasses the sugar crash/craving and insulin drops associated with diets of desperation.