Did you know that you can actually continue burning calories after you finish your workout? Sometimes we focus too much on burning a certain number of calories when we work out and don’t realize that the calorie-burning process continues long after we leave the gym.
If you’ve never heard of EPOC, which stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, here’s how it works. EPOC is the process that burns extra calories as a direct result of your workout. It’s a pretty simple concept. The harder you work out, the more calories you burn and the more energy your body needs to recover after the workout which means you’ll burn more calories. Here’s some exercises that you can add to your routine that will kick up your weight loss and have you feeling and looking good!
1. Interval Training
Alternating high and low intensity workout periods for 20 minutes will keep your body burning calories long after you’ve left the gym. This short, but effective workout boosts your metabolism significantly longer than a steady workout for a longer period of time. Here’s a routine you can do on a stationary bike or get out and do some cycling for fresh air! Warm up for 3 minutes, do 1 minute high speed at max resistance, switch to 75 seconds of low speed and low resistance and then repeat this cycle 12 times.
Well this is a simple equation: the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. So building muscle is the best way to burn more calories while losing more fat and boosting metabolism long after you leave the gym or get back from your run. An easy way to build muscle is to incorporate weights in your workouts. Get yourself a set of 3, 5, or 8 pound dumbbells for your home gym, or ask one of the trainers at your gym to get you started on some of the easier resistance machines for legs and arms. Then as you get stronger, continue to maximize your results by using heavier weights.
3. Compound Exercises
What’s a compound exercise anyway? They work out more than one muscle group at a time and they’re one of the best exercises for maximizing your workout time and burning calories after the clock stops! A couple of good examples are squats, which work your quads, hamstrings, and core. You can add an extra layer of calorie burn by holding some lightweight dumbbells while doing your squats. Feel the burn and watch those pounds drop off!
4. Four-limb exercises
Use your whole body and see the results all over your body – sound good? Start by pairing an upper body sculpting exercise with one for the lower body to save time and burn calories faster. One popular exercise is the corkscrew. This power move tightens the hips and thighs, strengthens the core and firms the chest, shoulders and back while keeping the heart rate strong. Here’s how to do it: Lie faceup with arms by your sides, palms down. Extend legs at 90 degrees and cross your right leg on top of your left. Then tighten your abs into your back and start to trace a circle with your legs, moving from the right down and around to the left. As you bring your legs in and up to complete the circle, press your arms into the floor and lift your hips, bringing your legs as high overhead as you can at the top of the circle. Slowly lower your hips and your legs back to your starting position and then cross your left leg over your right and reverse the circle.
You’re on the right track with these exercises that burn calories after working out and it’s also worth mentioning that this is the best time to consume a carbohydrate based food since this is what your body is using as fuel during intense exercise, and your muscles are low on it after these workouts. Check our list of healthy carbs to have after a workout routine and enjoy your nutritious snack while getting on the path to optimal health!