The internet is a wasteland of empty promises for exercise and weight loss advice. Spending money on quick-fix pills and cheap gadgets will only drain your bank balance and might even have a detrimental impact. However, there is an intelligent solution to exercising more effectively, and that is to listen to the basic lessons of science. This advice is exactly what experienced personal trainers are imparting on their best students.
The term “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC) outlines the scientific process whereby your body continues to burn calories even after you have finished your workout. EPOC is the process of how your body works for up to 24 hours after exercise to replace all of the oxygen levels lost during exertion.
Quite simply, being in a higher state of EPOC will mean that your body will burn many more calories when you undertake high-intensity activities. Essentially, what this means is that slowly peddling an exercise bike or plodding along laboriously on a treadmill will not enable you to reach the intensity required to increase the number of calories you burn.
Incredibly, a high-intensity exercise in which you lose your breath and struggle significantly can have a greater benefit over five minutes than a steady session of exercise undertaken over 25 minutes. High-intensity exercise depletes your body of oxygen and replaces it with lactic acid – low-intensity exercise does not. Shifting that lactic acid is how calories are really burned.
This is an eye-opener for many people seeking to lose weight, as they can devote much less time to exercise and still achieve the same results. Quite often, they can achieve superior results with a little extra dedication to maintaining their higher level of intensity. For instance, go to a spinning class instead of working intensively on an exercise bike for just 15 minutes – the results will be superior.
How to Increase the Intensity
Even just five minutes of working out at 70% to 80% of your physical capabilities will increase your heart rate enough to trigger the benefits of EPOC. You can perform 20 seconds of intense exercise and follow it up with ten seconds of rest. Repeat the cycle for eight rounds and then finish.
As for which exercise to perform, you can choose pretty much anything you like from running, cycling, skipping, jumping, or many other options. This approach is know as Tabata, and it is capable of burning up to 15 calories a minute. Comparatively, it could take three minutes to burn that amount of calories while on an exercise bike.
Crucially, you must bear in mind that these exercises are much more intense than consistent cardio. Thus, you should not attempt them every day. But what you can do is stretch or engage in light cardio exercises such as yoga to prepare your body for the next high-intensity session you have planned.
Don’t Fear Weights
Many women avoid weights out of concern that they might end up resembling a hulking Adonis from a rugby team. Well, the good news is that even most men don’t end up that way without intelligent training and special dieting. A little weight training is vital because it adds variety to your routine and helps you to burn calories and fat quicker.
Lifting weights a couple of times a week for two of months will enable you to burn up to three pounds of fat, based on research conduct by Ball State University. This will have a two-fold benefit because not only will you be decreasing the amount of fat on your body, but also you will be increasing the rate of your metabolism.
A higher metabolism will subsequently increase the rate at which you burn fat, in turn improving your body cycle. Just a single pound of muscle added to your body will allow for your metabolism to burn off an extra 40 calories per day. All of these subtle improvements really can add up to help you make significant gains.
Find the Right Schedule
When implementing the above advice, you have to ensure that you exercise at a time that suits you. There is no sense in trying to exercise on a Monday morning if you know that you are sluggish after the weekend. Switch to days and times that are actually achievable. You won’t benefit from missing sessions, even if you are exercising effectively.
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