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Int J Sports Med. 2008 Jan;29(1):53-8. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Effects of long-term aerobic exercise on EPOC.

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Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois 66026, United States.


This study sought to determine the influence of 16 months of progressive aerobic exercise on excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and the extent EPOC contributed to weight management. Twenty-five overweight/obese women and 16 overweight/obese men participated in a 16-month exercise program (moderate-intensity treadmill walking) that progressed across the first 26 weeks to 5 days.wk(-1), 45 min.session(-1), and 75% HRR. Three-hour EPOC was measured at baseline, 9 months, and 16 months by indirect calorimetry in response to an exercise session (treadmill walking), in which energy expenditure (EE) was estimated from the participant's previous 10 exercise sessions. For women, EPOC was 7.5 +/- 4.9, 9.6 +/- 7.6, and 6.5 +/- 6.5 L at baseline, 9 months, and 16 months, respectively (p > 0.05). For men, EPOC increased from baseline (11.8 +/- 6.8 L) to 9 months (13.5 +/- 8.6 L) (p < 0.05) with no further increase at 16 months (13.5 +/- 11.0 L). Change in EPOC was correlated with change in EE at 9 months (r = 0.65; p < 0.05) and 16 months (r = 0.58; p < 0.05) for men but not women. Progressive long-term exercise significantly influenced EPOC in overweight/obese men but not women. Change in volume of exercise likely explained the increase in energy expenditure during EPOC in men. EPOC contributed modestly to EE compared to the exercise itself.

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