Friday, September 2, 2011

Lasting results

By Jason Kennedy, Wellness Coordinator

A recent article in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise got my attention. Researchers at the University of North Carolina's Human Performance Laboratory found the calorie burning effect of exercise can actually persist for more than 14 hours after the activity. This isn't a metabolic increase due to increased muscle from exercise; this is simply a lingering elevation in resting metabolic rate. I am excited about applying this research with my clients in the Club's Wellness Department because I think most of you would be pretty excited about finding a way to increase your exercise calorie burn.

Although this study was done on men, it is believed the results would be transferable to women as well. The researchers had the subjects cycle hard (approximately 70 percent VO2max) for 45 minutes and then they carefully controlled the subjects' activities of daily living. They compared subjects' 24-hour resting metabolic rate on days they did not do exercise to the ones where they cycled. They found a significant elevation in post-exercise energy expenditure that lasted for 14 hours. In fact, the amount of energy burned after exercise was around 36 percent of the total amount they burned while cycling hard. Most people would love to burn another 36 percent while not exercising.

There are requirements to get this wonderful benefit to happen. It really has to be a hard workout. Getting to 70 percent VO2max is a push. The body must experience significant physiologic stress for a prolonged period of time to get this to happen. The good news for Bellevue Club members is that we have the equipment in the Wellness Department to teach you what you need to do to reach the 70 percent VO2max threshold.

Adding two or three intense workouts into your weekly schedule could make a huge difference in attaining weight loss goals.

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