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Moderate-Intensity Exercise Boosts Calorie Burning for an Entire Day

It's okay to go at half-speed.

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Need more convincing reasons to do a moderate-intensity workout on days when skipping training is attractive? New study findings show that energy expenditure increased for at least 22 hours after bouts of moderate-intensity (50% of peak) exercise, leading to an additional 64 (±119) kilocalories burned per day. Prior research had shown that high- but not moderate-intensity exercise increased resting energy expenditure.

Study authors adjusted caloric intake to achieve energy balance; they believe this design difference isolated the exercise’s specific effects on energy expenditure. Potential mechanisms underlying the extra calorie burning include increases in fight-or-flight system stimulation and muscle damage repair following exercise.

Read the full report in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2017; doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001386).

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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