Find Out How Many Calories You Burn After Exercise

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/29/2013 6:00 AM   :  78 comments   :  183,453 Views

We’ve always heard that the positive benefits of physical activity continue long after your workout session is over.  More energy, less stress and those “feel good” endorphins are some of the immediate effects.  But what about the mysterious “afterburn” that a lot of people talk about?  Do you really continue burning more calories after the workout, or is it really just during the workout that matters?  A new study finds that it’s possible to burn more calories throughout the day--in fact, up to 14 hours later.
 
The study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, took 10 healthy males and examined their energy expenditure under two different sets of conditions.  “During the first session, participants were mostly inactive, but they stood and stretched for two minutes every hour. They could also perform everyday tasks, such as washing their hands and brushing their teeth, as needed. During the second session, participants followed the same routine, but then cycled vigorously for 45 minutes.”
 
Researchers found that participants burned 190 additional calories while at rest throughout the day after vigorous exercise (defined in the study as a 73% max heart rate), compared to when they did no activity.  The increased calorie burn lasted for over 14 hours--and continued even into the first few hours of sleeping.  This is the first study to use a metabolic chamber (a highly controlled environment) to estimate calorie burned after vigorous physical activity.  
 
The number of calories each person burns during--and after--a workout will vary.  It depends on many factors:  gender, age, genetics, type of workout, etc.  But it’s something to keep in mind as you weigh the benefits of exercise, and whether or not the time and effort is worthwhile.  I think exercise is a key component of any healthy lifestyle, regardless of how much exercise you can do or how intense it is.  Previous studies have also shown that your body's metabolism stays revved after a workout and that generally, the more intense the workout is, the greater the post-workout "afterburn" will be. This study just gives one more reason to get off of the couch and get moving--no matter how much or how little time you have!
 
What do you think?


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Comments

  • NONNA52
    28
    I have noticed that I have more energy after a good workout. I go for a swim after exercising and have found that my muscles don't get as sore. - 11/22/2011   9:22:54 PM
  • 27
    I couldn't care less as I am stuck at this crappy PLATEAU and NO MATTER what I do (eat less exercise MORE ) it makes NO difference I fee like giving up, - 11/22/2011   9:22:26 PM
  • MARKYFLETCH
    26
    Ok this isn't a new finding. it's called Excess Post Oxygen Consumption and works on men and women (remember women's metabolism is naturally slower). Calories are burnt during high intense exercise, but not FAT calories. To actually burn fat calories in conjunction with a high intense workout, you need to wait 60mins before eating (so no coffee's and muffins after Spin class, sorry ladies) or you will just burn off the food (but at an accellerated rate). The big problem is, alot of people over estimate the number of calories they have burnt during exercise, and completely underestimate the calories they eat throughout the day. So all the intense exercise in the world may stimulate your metabolism, but if you are overeating, it's not going to make much difference to your results on the scales. And that is one of the biggest problems with high intense exercise and dieting. It makes it much harder to control your portions. It's because of all the NON FAT calories (stored carbs) that are burnt during the workout end up leaving you ravishing. So don't over do it and make it harder than it has to be. - 11/22/2011   8:56:09 PM
  • MARKYFLETCH
    25
    Ok this isn't a new finding. it's called Excess Post Oxygen Consumption and works on men and women (remember women's metabolism is naturally slower). Calories are burnt during high intense exercise, but not FAT calories. To actually burn fat calories in conjunction with a high intense workout, you need to wait 60mins before eating (so no coffee's and muffins after Spin class, sorry ladies) or you will just burn off the food (but at an accellerated rate). The big problem is, alot of people over estimate the number of calories they have burnt during exercise, and completely underestimate the calories they eat throughout the day. So all the intense exercise in the world may stimulate your metabolism, but if you are overeating, it's not going to make much difference to your results on the scales. And that is one of the biggest problems with high intense exercise and dieting. It makes it much harder to control your portions. It's because of all the NON FAT calories (stored carbs) that are burnt during the workout end up leaving you ravishing. So don't over do it and make it harder than it has to be. - 11/22/2011   8:56:07 PM
  • 24
    I would believe this, on days where I've had an exceptionally hard workout I feel energize and "heated" all day in fact so much so that when I do things like take a short walk around the building at work I feel like I'm "working out". - 11/22/2011   7:31:14 PM
  • PETLUVR18
    23
    What kind of exercises? It would be good to do those in addition to the other things I do. - 11/22/2011   4:48:24 PM
  • 22
    That's is good to know. It will be used a impetus to keep me exercising - 11/22/2011   4:10:02 PM
  • ARKNFROG
    21
    I'm a woman and I was Trying to figure out why cleavage was mentioned so much till I went back and looked at the pic. Guys, please! Anyway, I hate exercise. I'm 48 and the only thing it does for me is make me hurt so bad, that night and the next day that I never want to do it again! I used to could walk forever and it not bother me. I was at 400 and have lost 100 lbs with very little exercise but would love to burn and lose faster. It's just hard. - 11/22/2011   3:12:56 PM
  • 661KATRINA
    20
    On the question of whether or not there would/should/could be a difference in the metabolic outcome given the same intensity in a group of ten women vs ten men. You should absolutely expect a difference. Everyone is absolutely right that the net positive is that with 45 min of a burst of exercise, your health will be improved is correct. To expect the same level of increased calorie burn is not in accordance with the literature on male and female exercise (athletes or non-athletes). My favorite example is post exercise differences in male and female swimmers. When matched for skill, time, distance, caloric intake over time the male swimmers will lose significant body fat. Female swimmers will not. Logically females carry more body fat, they should lose more fat. There are evolutionary (e.g. hormonal) reasons why a female body will work diligently to hold onto body fat. This is not justification to NOT exercise and give up before you start. Its simply a better understanding that to expect yourself (woman) to lose # for # beside a man when you pedal like crazy for 45min, is naive and can be self sabotaging....especially once you hit 40 HAHAHAHAHAH. The days of increasing exercise for a week to look good in a dress are in the rear view mirror. Its an everyday committment....soooo not fair :-) - 11/22/2011   12:48:31 PM
  • 19
    This is someting Jillian Michaels promotes, and I have tried to adhere to. You can exercise 45 minutes a day, broken up into 4 sessions, but the BURN you get from 45 minutes in one workout is increased in those 14 hours. You WILL lose weight exercising 4 sessions of 10 minutes at a time, but you will not get that extra burn, and it will take LONGER to lose the weight.

    Another thing, check out the Biggest Loser program, those contestants do alot more than 45 minutes, and they lose FAST. Many have complained about their rapid losses, BUT they ARE getting that extra BURN.....

    So like it or not, losing weight is HARD WORK!!!! - 11/22/2011   12:41:44 PM
  • 18
    I didn't realize that women need to see a study on women in order for them to believe it! Wow people, exercise makes you burn calories and revvs your metabolism. So what if men get a bigger overall benefit because of their different composition? I'll take a little bit of help over none all! - 11/22/2011   12:15:17 PM
  • HAPPYKT
    17
    This is a very limited study, conducted on only ten men, so, as with any study, you should take the results with a grain of salt. You can't expect exactly the same results as those found in the study, but you can expect good things to happen after you exercise. - 11/22/2011   11:45:32 AM
  • GOLFBUM72
    16
    If an equal study were done on women we would typically see overall fewer calories burned due to male/female differences in muscle mass. However, it would likely be the same or similar percentage. The take home message of the article is that the higher intensity burns more post workout calories. So stop wasting time by wondering "OMG if they'd only done a study on women" and get busy increasing the intensity of your workout. Happy Turkey Day! - 11/22/2011   10:38:49 AM
  • 15
    Wow, if this is true for women as well, gives me more incentive to hit that higher burn rate (70%) during my regular workout. Would be nice to have the study done for a female group to see if it is as effective. I know I feel "warmer" after I work out for quite a while afterwards...maybe that is part of the 'afterburn'! - 11/22/2011   10:00:18 AM
  • SUEGW11
    14
    Please do the study on women too, would love to know where I'm going wrong!! - 11/22/2011   9:53:31 AM
  • 13
    We know men and women loose differently and have different metabolisms. PLEASE do a study on women, I'm guessing the numbers will be different due to hormonal differences!! - 11/22/2011   9:45:34 AM
  • 12
    This just makes me happy :) What I've been reading about is that eating a 100-200 calories after working out helps the after-burn more. Has anyone heard studies on that being true or false? - 11/22/2011   9:43:43 AM
  • PICKANYNAME
    11
    I'm finally reaching the point where I don't even need to think about the calorie burn as an incentive to exercise. I just FEEL so much better after I do!!!! THAT, in itself, is reason enough! - 11/22/2011   9:39:36 AM
  • 10
    Geat article! Even more reason to exercise everyday in some form. - 11/22/2011   9:17:06 AM
  • NOWHEALTHY1
    9
    Does the time a day make a difference. If you exercise in the evening will the after burn work the same. - 11/22/2011   9:03:26 AM
  • LOUANN5511
    8
    Leave it to the men to notice the cleavage shot which has nothing to do with what they are talking about. You silly guys. - 11/22/2011   8:38:02 AM
  • 7
    Why did they do the study only on men?! - 11/22/2011   8:11:54 AM
  • 6
    I think we do burn more calories after we finish the workout. It explains why I sometimes feel absolutely ravenous at lunch time on my running days. :-) - 11/21/2011   7:07:13 AM
  • 5
    Yep, the cleavage is the first thing I noticed, too. As for the article, I've heard this before, too. Would be nice to know if shorter periods of vigorous exercise does the same, or how the length of afterburn relates to length of exercise. - 11/19/2011   10:35:05 PM
  • 4
    That was my first thought -- do women metabolize similarly? Age factors? It's interesting, though, and does jive with my experience. I get more benefit from exercise than just from the time I actually do it. - 11/19/2011   10:26:13 AM
  • 3
    A study using women would be nice! More after burn, less, same? - 11/19/2011   9:55:11 AM
  • 2
    This is truly fascinating! So interesting. - 11/18/2011   7:26:14 PM
  • 1
    Does the post-workout "burn" taper off throughout the day? If so, is it the strongest immediately after a workout? Or when does it peak? - 11/18/2011   2:49:22 PM

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