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July Fitness Tips

  • Published
  • By Michelle Walker
  • 169th Force Support Squadron
If you are looking for yummy, cool, and healthier options for summer, you have to try this no-fuss ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream maker. 

Banana Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes about 2 cups ice cream (depending on size of bananas)

4 ripe bananas
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (can substitute almond or soy nut butter)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Peel and slice the bananas into small chunks. Spread on a tray and freeze overnight or for at least 4 hours.

In a food processor or blender, combine the frozen banana pieces, peanut butter, and cocoa. Puree until smooth. Eat right away (it will have a soft-serve like texture), or refreeze for 2 hours to give it a more scoop-able texture.

Store in freezer in an air-tight freezer safe container. Can be made up to 48 hours in advance.

What workouts boost afterburn the most?
High-intensity resistance training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are the most effective for upping caloric burn post-workout. Fundamentally, the most effective moves are multi-joint compound exercises. So rather than doing just a bicep curl, do a squat plus a curl, making it a compound exercise. Burpees, squats with a lateral raise, and jump lunges or jump squats are all good examples of dynamic, compound moves. What makes these moves effective is the level of exertion they require. If you're healthy, work out regularly, and aren't injured, "a general gauge is you need to be somewhere between level eight and 10 on a perceived exertion scale. That means reaching that point where you don't think you can even bang out one more rep because you are so spent.

There are a lot of people that have the misconception that HIIT means you have to do burpees and squat jumps and high-impact moves, but there's a lot of research on the benefits of HIIT with cycling and running or even on the elliptical. If you're working at 80 percent or more of your maximum heart rate, you know you're working close to [your limit] and are maximizing the afterburn effect.

How long does afterburn last?
Your body can continue burning calories at this increased rate anywhere from a few hours to well beyond 24 hours after exercise, depending on the person.  It can even be 48 hours, which is why we recommend people don't do these kinds of workouts back to back, and that you take 48 hours between workouts to make sure the body has time to repair. That doesn't mean you can't work out in between HIIT days--active recovery workouts, like jogging and swimming are ideal.

There are a number of restorative properties to that and it allows a nice cross-section of training. Pushing yourself through too many high-intensity workouts without adequate time to repair in between can lead to overtraining and burnout, which can actually decrease your performance or get you hurt. Stick to two or three days a week, with less intense endurance work in between, to keep your metabolism revving full-speed-ahead all week long.