Increased Calorie Burn After Exercise

I’ve always read and beleived that exercise is good for you.  Exercise was always promoted to my by my parents and school and I’ve always taken part in extra curricular activities after school and outside my work life.

Exercise is good for you, not only because it can improve your health and mood, reduce the risk of major illnesses and help you to lose weight, but also because when you exercise you get something called:

After Burn : where your body continues to burn calories for hours after you’ve exercised, at a higher rate than it would if you’d have rested.

It has also been proven that if you do Anaerobic work (speedwork / High Intensity Interval Training / Circuits) the After Burn is higher than if you do Aerobic work (steady state running / cardio).  You can read more about the After Burn Effect here.

A little After Burn experiment of my own 🙂

After I ran the D33 where I ran for nearly 5 hours with my heart rate averaging 85%, (maxing at 95%), I then recorded my heart rate for the next 18 hours (remember I was able to get my Garmin to stay charged for that long by using this method after copying a method John Kynaston used)

This was during times of very limited activity, most of it either spent lying down resting, sleeping or up and eating.

Here are the calorie burn figures I got:

Date Activity Activity Detail Time Calories Burned Calories burned per hour
17/03/12 33 mile run 33 miles at 85% of max HR. 4:54:24 2,409 491
17/03/12 Recovery 1 Stretching, eating, drinking, walking, sitting. 0:51:30 126 147
17/03/12 Recovery 2 Lying down, resting , sleeping in later parts 13:00:00 947 73
17/03/12 Recovery 1 + 2 Resting  / Recovering 13:51:30 1,073 77
17/03/12 Recovery 3 Sleeping 4:22:00 251 57
20/03/12 Resting 1 Lying / Sleeping (after no exercise previously) 1:36:00 94 59

As you can see, my normal resting calorie burn where I’ve done no exercise is around 59 calories per hour.

And on the day I ran 33 miles with my heart rate at 85% for 5 hours, my calorie burn after the exercise was 77 calories per hour for the same type of activity (lying resting).

That’s an extra 18 calories per hour, over the course of 14 hours, so by doing my long run, I burned an extra 252 calories as After Burn. (18 x 14)

Or for anyone who knows me well… the equivalent of a MARS BAR… work rest and play you see?!  That’s one of the main reasons I exercise, so I can eat what I want! 😀

So if you do exercise regularly, you’ll burn more calories when you rest, compared to if you don’t.  And if your aim is to lose weight, it’ll be easier if you exercise and get some After Burn in there!  🙂

The exercise could be running, cardio or strength work, circuits, classes or it could be as simple as a regular fast paced walk.

Even doing more exercise during your day helps… take the stairs instead of the lift, walk where you would normally drive.

You get the picture, and if you really want to increase your after burn, do circuits or HIIT training, to really increase the calorie burn.  🙂

There’s another experiment I’d like to do with how many calories I burn after doing shorter periods of High Intensity Interval Training, but that’s for another day / post.  🙂

Further Information

Click the following links for more information on  the benefits you can get from exercising and what the NHS recommends you do as base levels of exercise.

And you can read more about the After Burn Effect here.


This entry was posted in Heart Rate, Intervals, Recovery, Tabata. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Increased Calorie Burn After Exercise

  1. Pingback: 50 fitness facts you need to know | Lorn Pearson Trains…

  2. Pingback: Strength training (not cardio) is the real fat burner | Lorn Pearson Trains…

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