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EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, sounds too complicated to bother understanding. But if you want to burn more calories for weight management, keep reading!

Let’s use a simple analogy. Think about when you travel in your car. You start the car, the engine heats up while you drive, you turn the car off at your destination, and the engine slowly cools down.

Driving your car is like exercising your body.  After the workout, your body is still warm and needs to cool down. Your metabolism works with your body’s oxygen demand to bring your body back to its normal, resting temperature and to refuel your muscles. That requires effort, which means you continue to burn more calories even hours after you have stopped your workout!

So how do you initiate EPOC?

To take better advantage of EPOC, increase the intensity of your workouts! One way to do that is by exercising at a higher level of intensity through multiple bouts of exertion. For instance, bumping up to an interval run rather than just going for a continuous jog. A popular and effective way for many people to initiate EPOC is to practice high intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. HIIT workouts alternate between high intensity exercise and short rest periods.  With HIIT, you will burn more calories during the workout AND continue to burn more calories post workout when your body is at rest.

You can incorporate high intensity interval training into a variety of exercise routines. Here’s an example of how to use HIIT during your jogs:

  • Start with a 5-minute jog or incline walk to warm up.
  • Sprint all out for 30 seconds.
  • Recover by walking for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat that routine 10 times.

By HealthEase fitness pro Jessika Miller