Post workout Afterburn

So, I have to finish packing, pick up some things I don’t have AND workout this morning.  There is so much to do, and not nearly enough time to do it.  I could always cut some things, rearrange some things, or do some re-prioritizing.  The only thing, however, NOT up for cutting is the gym, and it isn’t just because I’m fanatical.

Getting exercise is always very important.  However, staring down the gun of a 17 hour train ride of mindless boredom and physical inactivity it is especially crucial:

When you push yourself hard, pump some resistance into your muscles and get your heart rate up for several minutes an interesting thing occurs… when you stop.  It was been called “afterburn” but its official name is Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC.

EPOC is the phenomenon that occurs during the recovery phase.  A body physiolgy study lead by Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM, discovered that for a minimum of 38 hours after an intense workout (thats when they stopped measuring) the bodies oxygen consumption and in turn metabolism was raised 1/4 to 1/2 a calorie per minute.

That means:  If you really push yourself for a workout of 2o minutes, raising your caloric rate by as little as 1/4 a calorie.  In addition to the “X” amount of calories you burned during, you’ll lose in the ball park of 570 calories over the next 2 days as a direct result.

So, today I’ll be inactive, as many of you and your jobs are most days.  But, by pushing myself a little harder today than I usually would, I can up my EPOC and burn a little brighter as I cruise the auto train for Orlando to DC.


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