We spend hours in gym working out, sweating it out, and plunging into exploratory new exercises to get the most out of our rigorous workout. But do the effects of your workout last long? What do you do for that? What steps you take to keep yourself interested in your workout and prolong its benefits? And what is even more significant is how you manage the “after-burn” effect which might prove to be helpful in burning fat for up to three days after the workout.

So here are some tips, with inputs from successful fitness professionals, on how to make the workout benefits last for long, keeping you hale and hearty!

HIIT the nail on the head

HIIT it hard (high intensity interval training) is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy that is highly effective in fat loss. In fact it burns twice as many calories than the traditional regimen. Julia Buckley, Personal trainer, and author of The Burn Revolution tells , “The short bursts of activity allow us to get right outside our normal comfort zones and exercise at a level of intensity we’d find impossible to maintain for a longer, steady session.”

Diana Mitrea, fitness professional clearly states, “HIIT boasts what’s called excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC), which allows for an “after-burn” effect on your body post-workout. Essentially, this means you will continue to burn calories hours after training — even if you’re just lazing around.”

Heavy Lifting makes sense

Being a woman we often tend to refrain from lifting heavy weights for fear of getting huge. But the fact is that weight training is good for bringing about after-burn effect, just like HIIT. But of course, do heavy lifting strictly under the guidance of fitness professional. Valerie Bisharat, wellness expert, says “”Weight training — using substantial weight — increases lean mass, which is absolutely critical in looking ‘toned.”

Right eating helps

Doing the right exercise in gym is definitely very important but at the same time eating right is equally important to get the most out of your workout. If you think you can eat anything as long as you are hitting the gym every day, you are absolutely wrong. Robert Herbst, personal trainer, coach, and power-lifter guides we should eat a balanced diet with no junk. The more muscles we have, the more metabolically active we will be.

Drink lots of water

No matter what your fitness goal and fitness level is, you must drink enough amount of water throughout the day and not just during workout. Mitrea aptly tells, “Just because the workout is over, it doesn’t mean that your body is done needing water and electrolytes.” Water comes with lots of benefits like increase in energy level, fat metabolism etc. It prolongs your fitness benefits.

Make progress with food

Working out is important and equally important is to recover from a workout. These days high-protein smoothies are quite popular as a recovery work-out food but don’t succumb to it as Mitrea suggests. They contain suger which gets burned quickly and can’t provide you energy for the entire day. For maximum recovery, Herbst suggests “giving the body the proper nutrients within two hours afterwards: protein to aid muscle repair, and carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen.” So eat right!

Rest is the best

Taking rest is one of the best means to recover after a workout. There is no need to work out each day as it might increase the risk of damage to your muscles or even cause an injury. Taking a day off from your workout in a week is a good practice to follow, even professional athletes do so. Franklin Antoian, founder of iBodyFit and one of SHAPE’s Top 50 Trainers in America, tells, “Your body recoups and your muscles grow when you’re resting.”

So keep these tips in mind and get the best out of your workout. Cheers!

Pooja Chaudhary