Here's how to make it your own.
Sure, it takes time to see major payoffs from working out, whether you're looking to build muscle, lose weight, or improve your general health. But exercise does offer some forms of instant gratification (oh hey, endorphins). Among the best of which is a metabolic boost due to EPOC, a.k.a. the afterburn effect.
Wondering what is EPOC, exactly? The acronym stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and it refers to the increased level of O2 your body consumes and calories it burns in order to recover from working out.
Tracy Wehrman, an exercise physiologist at Maximized Potential, likes to tell people to picture EPOC this way: You go on a run with your dog and he suddenly breaks free to chase after a squirrel. "Your casual jog turns into a sprint to catch him. After three minutes, you finally get a hold of the leash again but are exhausted and have to find a bench to sit on and catch your breath."
If the casual run is your body's regular state of operation, and the sprint is your workout, then EPOC is happening while you're posted up on that bench. Now that you understand what EPOC is, here are eight things you should know about it if you want to optimize the EPOC effect of your workouts.