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We see it, read it and perhaps even witness it – fasted cardio for weight loss. This approach is currently trending in many exercise circles, but does it really stand up to all the hype?

Let’s examine this concept through a series of practices – say for example you consume a dinner this evening containing carbohydrates. This will replenish (to varying levels) your two primary glycogen stores; the muscles and the liver within the ensuing hour or two. While we all understand the reason for storing carbohydrates within muscle, one might ask why we store carbohydrates within the liver? The reason lies with the fact that once carbohydrates enter the muscle, they cannot be released back into circulation (1, 3).

By contrast, liver cells can release glucose into the blood which is critical to our survival given how little glucose is stored in the blood at any time. The blood serves as a medium to constantly deliver glucose to various cells (e.g., brain, central nervous system) and as a source of glucose for our red blood cells which can only fuel with glucose. In other words, it is the role of the liver to preserve blood glucose, but the challenge lies with the fact that the liver only stores about 75-100g of glycogen (50g / Kg or mass) or 300 – 400 kcal worth of energy which can be depleted relatively quickly. After eating, you may not retire to sleep, but may spend a few hours awake, skimming glycogen from both muscle and liver before bed as illustrated in Figure 1. However, during your overnight sleep, while your muscle stores do not deplete, your liver tank empties due to ongoing metabolism. Lowering your glycogen stores within the liver overnight triggers the release of cortisol, a glucose-preserving hormone that responds to the biological stress of lowered liver glycogen stores).

FITNESS_SMR

By Stacey Penney, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, FNS

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) stretching technique that has been embraced throughout the fitness industry. This effective and simple to do technique delivers positive, feel good results. Foam rollers have become easily accessible, either shared at the gym or found in almost any sporting goods aisle to bring home for a minimal investment. Using the foam roller can deliver improvements in flexibility, muscle recovery, movement efficiency, inhibiting overactive muscles, and pain reduction with just minutes of application

Why SMR?

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