How to Burn More Calories with Exercise

Excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) boosts your calorie burn

woman enjoying easy exercise
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Do you want to make your workouts more effective? All exercise sessions burn calories, but if you want to burn more calories with exercise, you need to follow certain guidelines.

The Best Way to Burn More Calories

To burn more calories, you need to work out at a vigorous intensity level. If you are healthy enough for hard work (check with your doctor first), learn how to do high intensity interval training.

During a HIIT workout, you complete short, intense bursts of activity, use all of your major muscle groups and burn mega calories in less time.

The other benefit of doing high-intensity exercise sessions is that you benefit from a phenomenon called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Researchers have found that when people work very hard during their exercise sessions, they continue to consume more oxygen and burn more calories for the rest of the day — even though they're not exercising.

Of course, the benefits of EPOC don't last forever, so you need to schedule at least 1-2 high intensity sessions each week. But don't do too many or you’ll put yourself at risk for injury and burn out. Build a balanced workout schedule that includes longer moderate sessions and easy workouts to give your body the break it needs to rebuild and prepare for the next calorie burning blast.

Other Ways to Burn More Calories

If you are not yet ready for vigorous workouts, you can still burn plenty of calories with easier exercise sessions.

The key is consistency and duration. That means that you want to exercise most days of the week for 20-30 minutes or more. Even if the workouts aren't hard, you'll gain several benefits. 

First, these easy weight loss workouts help to improve your level of fitness so that you can eventually participate in harder workouts that burn more fat.

And these workouts also help to improve heart health, muscular endurance and reduce stress. They also make great "recovery day workouts" for the days when your body needs to rebuild after a tough session.


Lyons, Scott; Navalta, James; Schafer, Mark; Arnett, Scott; Fedor, Elizabeth; Lee, Greg; Kell, Holly. " Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption following Repeated Bouts of Anaerobic Exercise." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise May 2010.

Weapons of Fat Mass Destruction - The Use of Diet, Exercise, and Science to Battle the Bulge (Recorded Webinar) Personal Trainer Continuing Education Course. Mark P. Kelly, Ph.D., American Council on Exercise. Accessed: February 2013.

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