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EPOC is What You Need To Know About Fat Burning!

EPOC is What You Need To Know About Fat Burning!

You have noticed that after cooking when you turn the stove off, it’s not cool immediately – it takes some time for it to return to its normal state. The same thing happens with our body when we exercises – it takes some time for our body to restore the balance and return to its resting state. During the recovery time, we need more oxygen so that our bodies could function properly, and it might take as long as 48 hours for our bodies to recover fully. This recovery period can actually help you burn more calories as EPOC comes on the scene.

Understand the concept of EPOC

EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and it is the amount of oxygen your body needs to get back to normal state and it is excess compared to the amount of oxygen you needed before doing exercises. When your body is in post-exercise state, there are a lot of processes going on which require oxygen, and thus you burn calories even when you’ve stopped working out.

Before you start doing exercises, your body is at resting state, and doesn’t require excess oxygen levels. Once you start with your training, your muscles fill with lactic acid and we use up our oxygen supplies, which need to be replenished in the period following our training session. To recover, our body needs energy, so we spend more calories during post-exercise period than we did during pre-exercise period. Research suggests [1] that more intense exercises that maximize excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, have a positive effect on weight loss.

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How long does the process last?

When having high-intensity trainings, your body uses more oxygen, and therefore your body needs to restore its oxygen supplies and it needs to work much harder compared to after less intense workouts. All this is happening 16-24 hours after your training session has ended, as indicated by research [2]. This means that once you have stopped working out, your body is still working for up to 24 hours to restore balance, and therefore consuming energy.

The math is simple – the more intense training session, the more oxygen your body will need afterwards, and therefore more calories will be burnt. Researchers from National Institute of Occupational Health [3] found that when training at 75% of your maximal oxygen consumption can result in much more EPOC, compared to training at 50% of your maximal oxygen consumption.

How many calories you can burn during the resting period depends on a number of factors, but an estimated number is up to 5 extra calories for every liter of oxygen your body consumes. A study at Appalachian State University [4] concluded that participants who cycled vigorously for 45 minutes burned extra 190 calories during the 14-hour post-exercise period compared to the days without any workout.

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Which types of workouts most stimulate EPOC?

HIIT

HIIT is high-intensity interval training and it is designed in way to make your body work harder. During HIIT workouts, you do short intervals of high-intensity exercises where you give your maximum and push yourself to the limit, followed by short periods of active rest. When you are alternating between such intense intervals and short periods of rest, it increases your heart rate, and when you are working out at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate, that’s when you maximize the EPOC effect.

This type of training doesn’t need to be time consuming, and there are plenty of short 10-minute training sessions available, and you can make a HIIT training with almost any exercises. Some simple HIIT trainings include:

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  • Walk and sprint: walk for 30 seconds, then sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.
  • Pushups: Do 10 pushups, then rest for 30 seconds. If you want to make it even more difficult, rest for 15 seconds.
  • Squats: Do 10 squats, then rest for 30 second. You can repeat as long as you like.

Circuit training

This type of training can be very appealing to people who get bored with one type of exercise easily. It is very fast paced and it involves doing one exercise for 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and then you move on to the next exercise. Circuit training improves your strength and muscle endurance, and you can put different groups of muscles to work during one session. Circuit training has a similar effect as HIIT training – it creates increasing demand on your heart, therefore, you take more from your oxygen supplies. Moving from one type of exercise to another without rest, puts your body under pressure, thus it takes more time for your body to recover afterwards.

The best thing about circuit training is that you can do it at home without any equipment. You can create your own circuit training routine. First, you need to select your time limit – the ideal time span is from 10-45 minutes. Next select an upper-body exercise, then lower-body exercise, followed by a compound exercise, then choose a cardio for 1 minute. Rest for one minute and repeat.

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Resistance training

Resistance training is a type of training where your body is working against some external force that causes your muscles to contract, which increases your strength and endurance. Various research confirm [5] that resistance training has s greater EPOC effect compared, for example aerobic exercise. You put an increasing demand on your muscles during a resistance training, therefore, your body is also in a greater demand to restore the balance – thus more oxygen is needed.

You can go to the gym and try out resistance training on various machines, or you can train at home as well – you can use dumbbells, different types of resistance bands, even bricks or other heavy objects you have at home, or even your own body weight.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

Reference

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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