The afterburn effect is also known as the oxygen debt. Its scientific name is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  By definition, the afterburn effect is the amount of oxygen required to bring the body functions back to a resting state.

During intense exercises projected to burn body calories and keep the body fit, the metabolic rate increases. After the exercise, your metabolism rate doesn’t go back to resting phase immediately, however, it remains elevated for some time.

This in turn causes an increase in calorie burn, even after you’ve done some stretching, showered and eaten post-workout snacks.

To be specific, the additional energy expenditure occurring after the workout is called afterburn effect.

When and how does the afterburn effect occur?

Increased physical activity makes the muscles increase demand for oxygen that oxidizes the carbohydrates and the fats, producing some significant energy required for movement.

Oxygen debt occurs during an intense exercise, the body will require more oxygen than breathing could provide. The gap in demand for oxygen by the muscles and the actual available oxygen delivered stimulates the afterburn effect.

The advantage of the afterburn effect is that this fascinating activity by the body burns extra calories in your body the right way. How to do this? Train hard and intensely (not forgetting proper technique obviously), and incorporate high intensity aerobic exercise and/or HIIT into your program.

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