Even if you work out for an hour, there are very few exercises which will leave you perspiring and breathless. Even lifting your own body weight and doing squats does not compare. This is because most exercises strain a certain set of muscles at one time. A burpee is a whole different animal. If you are not familiar, do not confuse this with the post meal activity that you try hard to hide. A burpee in the world of exercise is standing up, squatting, doing a plank, doing a push up, returning to squatting position and then jumping up in the air as high as you can. All of these are performed in one single motion. You then repeat it 10 times. If you do try it, trust me, you will wish you had never read this article. There are few exercises that leave you so drained.
Hardship notwithstanding, there is a very good reason for engaging. A burpee ends up exercising all your major muscle groups all at one go. Because of the nature of the exercise, it ends up building muscle, muscle definition and strength. In addition, because of the range of motions, it ends up increasing your heart beat. This ensures cardio-vascular development or a strong heart. Since you are performing a range of motions, it increases your ability to intake oxygen. This builds lung capacity and the ability to use oxygen efficiently.
If you can believe it, a burpee was used as a fitness test in the 1930’s. Developed by Royal Burpee, of Columbia University, it was used by the US Army to filter the capable from those that were not. Personally, when I do this, most times, I dream of the days when life was simpler and involved eating, drinking and making merry. It is only about three hours later that I feel the high. No amount of eating and drinking can compare.
PS: the image has been taken from recapturefitness as there were no images available in the public domain.