Find Out How Many Calories You Burn After Exercise

503SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  87 comments   :  255,634 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

  • 87
    Interesting, I will try to keep my workouts early and see how it goes :) - 9/4/2016   1:29:25 PM
  • KELLY48647
    86
    I also wonder if there is any more recent research on the subject, especially studies that include women. - 9/4/2016   6:04:52 AM
  • 85
    I've seen this article a few times before. It's dated 2013 but the comments go back as far as 2011. Is there any new research on this topic? - 9/4/2016   3:12:22 AM
  • 84
    Good to know. But it would be nice to start having studies that look at women too. We can't assume from this study that the same results are true for women because they didn't test using women. - 9/4/2016   12:53:07 AM
  • 83
    I wear a heart rate monitor and when I work out for 1 1/2 hours show about 650 cals. If I wear it longer (like today for 5 hrs) I showed about 1400 cals and I didn't do much except walk after working out. - 8/25/2016   7:39:27 PM
  • 82
    Like I always say no matter how little "work" you put in exercising its alot better than sitting at home flipping the remote. - 4/9/2016   12:56:27 PM
  • DESING4
    81
    how many calories you burn with an hour of bike riding. My bike saying I burn 1357 calories in 30 minutes riding 17 to 18 mph - 6/30/2015   4:26:13 PM
  • 80
    I believe it! I've started working out at a gym and I'm seeing and feeling results way beyond what I would've expected for the time of the workout. - 11/15/2014   4:57:40 PM
  • 79
    I had a good workout today and kept my HRM on for about 2 hours and it showed I burned just over 400 calories in that time period. I don't deduct it my calories in, but interesting to know. - 9/29/2014   10:01:12 PM
  • 78
    I agree. I started working out during my lunch hour instead of sitting at my desk and my energy level has improved. I no longer get tired between 2 and 3. It has made a huge difference. - 8/3/2013   3:48:10 PM
  • 77
    sleeping and burning calories?! Yeah, I like that idea! - 6/5/2013   7:23:24 AM
  • SOCALDEBBIE
    76
    I was hoping my Bodybugg would confirm this, but unfortunately it doesn't. I burn calories at the same right after cardio as before. - 5/22/2013   1:36:16 PM
  • 75
    I love that somebody mentioned feeling revved up after a walk. I love intense exercise but a brisk 10 minute walk lifts my mood and energy level like NOTHING else! - 4/29/2013   9:49:28 AM
  • 74
    I absolutely think it's true! I will find my body heating up for "no reason" after a work out, and feel more alive for some time afterwards. - 4/25/2013   1:15:01 PM
  • 73
    I think it's true. I can tell that my metabolism is still revved up for some time after a workout, even a walk. - 4/5/2013   12:26:40 PM
  • 72
    I know that the benefits of exercise are important to me both psychologically and physically. That's a given. I do wonder if similar studies have been done on women?
    Nancy - 4/5/2013   8:49:04 AM
  • 71
    According the the Body MediaFit I used to wear last year, this is a pipe dream. I didn't burn any more calories throughout the day after a bootcamp or a run or anything else intense than I did any other time of the day/any other day. Well, besides about the 10-15 min after, I burned a couple more. Not even the extra amount of calories in a stick of celery. HOWEVER, the calories burned doing HIIT bootcamps, kickboxing or running were amazing.

    Wish this would apply to me! - 4/2/2013   4:24:42 PM
  • MOM_ON_THERUN
    70
    If my hunger is any indicator this is ABSOLUTELY true. - 4/1/2013   8:37:46 PM
  • MOM_ON_THERUN
    69
    If my hunger is any indicator this is ABSOLUTELY true. - 4/1/2013   8:37:46 PM
  • 68
    I have a friend who totally believes in this, but as for me I feel I need to keep my cal intake to normal no matter how hard I work out. Maybe with that mindset I will be able to lose more weight, for my deflicte will be more in theory - 4/1/2013   3:21:37 PM
  • SOCALDEBBIE
    67
    According to the calories I track with my Bodybugg, this is a pipe dream. I burn no more calories after exercise than before. - 4/1/2013   2:41:25 PM
  • 66
    Interesting - 3/30/2013   6:31:35 PM
  • 65
    Thanks for the article i do not care about it. So long as I still feel energized and flexible. At 69 years young iI am feeling great. EXERCISE in the key.Pat in Maine. - 3/30/2013   2:31:23 PM
  • CIRANDELLA
    64
    Affirmation du jour: "I incinerate billions and billions of calories each nanosecond!" - 3/30/2013   12:52:50 PM
  • IAMTOLOSE
    63
    Exercise is good but this was not a statistically viable sample. - 3/30/2013   11:44:43 AM
  • KATHIE_B
    62
    Sorry, I took statistics in college. This is not a valid sample size to prove anything. And I bet it was funded by my tax dollars. - 3/30/2013   8:25:38 AM
  • MICHIE632
    61
    I would like to see more of these studies done on women past the age of 50. I am 63, reasonably healthy, but have a muffin top to get rid of. I don't burn calories the way I did when I was in my 40's. Is it possible to lose some of that fat?
    - 3/30/2013   7:55:46 AM
  • 60
    It must have some credence because I've been able to maintain my weight since Autumn, 2012 with about 45 minutes of dancing (4 times a week) and regular housework. And I do not starve myself. Thanks for the update! - 3/30/2013   6:20:06 AM
  • DD-FAT
    59
    sweat and starve, no miracle. I subscribe to it. my trouble is 30 min later I tend to don't care anymore. any advice on how to stay motivated each minute of the day ? - 3/30/2013   2:35:00 AM
  • 58
    I totally agree that you continue to burn calories after a workout. I workout every day and I am able to not eat perfectly all the time and I don't gain a pound! I haven't in three years! I still I can contribute that to the intense workouts I do every day and I combine cardio and strength training and they say when your gaining muscle that your definitely burning fat too! - 3/30/2013   12:49:44 AM
  • PUGGLEMONKEY
    57
    Maybe so but...I'd like to see a study done on post 40ish overweight people (esp women) who do not have a lot of muscle and have not been working out regularly. I also agree - small sample size. Encouraging but.... - 3/29/2013   7:54:15 PM
  • 56
    Would seem like the "Hunter/Gather" would have not made out well. Guess that is why farmers got fat. LOL Didn't take much energy to sit on a stool and milk a cow. - 3/29/2013   7:10:58 PM
  • LEXIED1
    55
    Thank you, one more reason to keep sweating. Not only am I burning during but throughout the day, cool!!! - 3/29/2013   6:29:15 PM
  • 54
    Ten healthy males? Holy tiny-sample-size, Batman!

    Please find a study that isn't done entirely on males, and preferably with a sample size that isn't ridiculously small. Bad science is...bad. - 3/29/2013   3:53:55 PM
  • 53
    Great news... - 3/29/2013   2:33:16 PM
  • 52
    I totally believe it! If my energy is up all day thanks to my morning routine and I'm usually a little hungrier, then I would hope my body is in high gear burning those cals. - 3/29/2013   1:39:36 PM
  • FREE2BEHEALTHY1
    51
    Another reason to do my exercises in the morning.....keeping my metabolism moving!!!!! - 3/29/2013   1:30:56 PM
  • 50
    Great article, but a little disappointed after reading the title.

    "Find Out How Many Calories You Burn After Exercise" - 3/29/2013   12:28:31 PM
  • KELLYD2112
    49
    More encouragement to get moving! - 3/29/2013   12:25:50 PM
  • 48
    I was afraid they were going to call it a myth, so glad to hear it's true! - 3/29/2013   12:05:36 PM
  • 47
    This is great and motivating to know!
    Blessings... - 3/29/2013   11:29:21 AM
  • CLARAELIZABETH1
    46
    Great to know! Motiviating! WooHoo! :-) - 3/29/2013   10:14:29 AM
  • 45
    Motivation for me! Thats exactly what I needed to read today to stay on track because I was feeling kinda "worn out" already after just starting again! - 3/29/2013   9:35:30 AM
  • MZNAYLUV
    44
    Motivation to keep on working out!! - 2/13/2013   4:27:15 PM
  • 43
    This is just one more reason that I need to keep working out even when I don't want to. New Mantra, Burn More and More! - 3/31/2012   9:16:44 AM
  • 42
    This is an encouraging study. The use of the metabolic chamber makes it unique. Hopefully more studies will be done and include women in them. Before reading this I had read that weight training has a lengthy after-burn and interval training, especially high intensity interval training (hiit) increases the after-burn. HIIT workout sessions are short (20 mins) and have numerous benefits but are so very hard. I've had a tough time maintaining them on a weekly basis. I've also read that adding a few intervals at the end of a steady state cardio workout increases the 'after-burn' as well.
    I'd be interested in how they determined the max heart rate of the participants. I find that the calculators are too inaccurate to depend on. - 1/17/2012   6:22:42 AM
  • 41
    I just got back into the gym and this article definitely gives me the motivation to continue on with my cardio workouts! - 1/13/2012   12:59:36 PM
  • 40
    So interesting! Good to know! - 1/13/2012   10:54:27 AM
  • KCAMILLES
    39
    Love the after burn!!! - 12/29/2011   6:08:58 PM
  • 38
    Love that the burn keeps on burning!! - 12/29/2011   10:28:37 AM

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