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The Effect on Metabolism Post Exercise

Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain weight or gain muscle your grind in the gym burns calories but did you know after you are finished your body continues to burn calories (metabolism increases) at a higher rate than if you had not exercised?

This effect is called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). During this period of time known as EPOC, your body is actively recovering from the bout of exercise you finished and restoring itself to a pre-exercise state by consuming oxygen at an increased rate. Some things that happen in the body during EPOC are replenishment of energy resources, re-oxygenation of blood, restoring circulatory hormones to normal levels, decreasing body temperature to normal, and a return of normal breathing and heart rate. All of these processes require energy to do hence the increase in calorie burn post exercise.

If the rate at which we burn calories increases after exercise, how much does it actually increase by? The answer to this question has everything to do with the intensity of the exercise. This means that the more intense the exercise you do the greater effect it will have on your metabolism after. This is because as exercise intensity increases, your body requires more energy to complete these intense exercises. This is taxing on the body and requires the body to recover longer which increases the length of the afterburn (EPOC) effect. Depending on the intensity of the exercise you can expect the afterburn of calories to be about 6% to 15% of the total calories you burned while exercising. So, if you burned 300 calories during your bout of exercise, your after burn of calories will be increased anywhere from 18 to 45 calories, on top of the calories the body burns in order to just function. For the type of circuit training we do here at KSP, you can expect the afterburn to be somewhere around 10% to 15% because of the intensity of the workouts.

Now that may not seem like a lot, but over time that little contribution adds up and can become a major contribution to your weight loss. For example, if you were to exercise 3 times a week at the same intensity over a month span. That’s about 10 sessions a month. If you burn 300 calories during that session that means your after-calorie burn would be about 18 to 45 calories per session. Times that by 10 and that is an extra 180 to 450 calories burned in a month. Which can help tremendously towards your weight loss goals. Now this is all with the understanding that you have a balanced diet and you are eating relatively healthy. Fitness and weight loss is a journey and every bit help gets you closer and closer to achieving your goals.

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