There have been various studies about the Afterburn or Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) effect of training. In a nutshell, scientists have discovered that long after you have finished training, your metabolism is elevated for a period of time following the exercies (up to 24 hours).
Exercise after-burn, also referred to as excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), is the number of calories expended (above resting values) after an exercise bout. EPOC represents the oxygen consumption the body uses to return to its pre- exercise state. [more...]
Although experts can't agree whether long duration steady state cardio, weight training, or interval cardio produce the most metabolic disturbance, the fact remains that any exercise will burn calories while you do it, and keep your body burning more calories during the period afterwards.
If you want to boost your metabolism for the entire day, make sure you undertake some sort of training. Even if it is just a walk. It stands to reason that if you can burn more every day, then it is going to make a difference (small or large) to the amount of fat you lose, or how easily you keep it off. If you want to fire up even further, then do an additional session [10 minutes or more] later on in the day.
This is why I think a shorter training session daily is better than longer sessions 3 times a week. I have been reminded that although I need to take rest days, I should still do something physical every day to keep my metabolic fire burning.
It doesn't matter if you can't give 100% all the time, or that on a bad day you only burn half the calories that you normally do, doing something means you will reap the benefits all day long - even while you are sleeping.
Although individual responses to exercise appear to vary in terms of EPOC, the fact is that any additional caloric expenditure following exercise can add up over time and may contribute to long-term weight management. When working with clients who want to maximize energy expenditure through EPOC, focus on developing their training status so they can perform higher-intensity exercise for periods of 30 minutes or more.
In addition, regularly incorporate interval training workouts, as this type of training positively enhances EPOC. Most of the current literature supports exercise intensities at or above 70% of VO2max for optimal energy expenditure following exercise. Additionally, encourage clients to engage in resistance training at least twice a week. Not only will resistance training maintain or increase muscle mass in weight management interventions, but studies also report a meaningful EPOC effect following high-intensity and circuit resistance training. [more ...]