Lately I have heard repeatedly from spinning and aerobics instructors that if I work harder, I will burn more calories after I leave their classes. Initially I was sure this was a ploy - a mental game - one to diminish my mental focus on my physical anguish, and push me to work through the pain. One week as I expressed my discomfort - which lasted for three long days - after the previous week's workout, my aerobics instructor assured me that my aching muscles simply meant that my body was continuing to burn calories. I wasn't so sure, but I did like the idea.
Honestly, it just sounded too good to be true, don't you think? So, I decided that all instructors must have formed a consortium and settled on that explanation to subdue the complaints and not lose attendees.
The article, For an Exercise Afterburn, Intensity May Be the Key, presents a link to a recent study carefully conducted to determine if this "myth" is true. (Apparently there have been many studies attempting to do the same, but have never had conclusive results.) The researchers found: "that when studies are done properly (many are not), extra calories are burned in the hours after exercise - but only if subjects exercise at least as hard and long as Dr. Knab's subjects. And if they exercise even harder, they burn even more calories afterward."
Oh, so cool. So, tomorrow I have aerobics at 10 a.m. Usually I dread it a bit, just because it is such a challenging workout, and I am so sore for days afterward. Now, I am much more motivated to go and workout - even harder. Wow, how powerful is a little motivating thought like that.