4 Hidden Benefits of Sprinting

May 21, 2010

Written by Denis Cindric, NC Personal Trainer, O2 Fitness @ Falls

Adding Sprints to your routine can help you get those abs you've always dreamed of! As you probably know, sprinting has such a high intensity that it burns a ton of calories.

Hidden Benefits of Sprinting:

  1. Sprinting improves hormones and sky-rockets fat burning through EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
  2. Sprinting can help to regulate your fat burning hormones, especially growth hormone. When you include high intensity anaerobic exercise in your fitness program, you will likely support ideal growth hormone levels. In medicine, growth hormone is sometimes referred to as "the fountain of youth," and it really is one of your body's main fat burning hormones.
  3. Sprinting or high intensity anaerobic exercise will increase insulin sensitivity. When you cells are more sensitive to the hormone insulin, you can better control your blood sugar, and this allows your body to more easily burn stored fat.
  4. In addition to improving your fat burning hormones, sprinting burns a ton of calories through excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. Don't get overwhelmed by that physiology term.

Basically, when you perform vigorous exercise, it takes your body many minutes and sometimes hours to recover from the exercise. In order to recover your body needs to take in more oxygen. Oxygen is necessary for fat burning, and following intense sprinting your body will burn more fat even after you stop working out. This is just an example, but let's say that sitting and watching tv burns 2 calories per minute.

After a good sprint workout, your body might burn 4 calories per minute for the next 2-24 hours. 2 hours is 120 minutes times an extra 2 calories per minute equals an additional 240 calories burned. Some research on elite sprinters has shown that their metabolism can be raised even 24 hours after an intense sprint type workout.  24 hours is 1440 minutes. Imagine if your metabolism was 1 calorie higher each minute following an intense sprint workout-- that's an additional 1440 calories a day!

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