If working out for 45 to 60 minutes a day takes too much time, cut back your gym session to less than three minutes—but be ready to sweat—a ton!
According to a new research from scientists at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado, two and a half minutes of intense exercise performed in 30-second intervals can burn an extra 200 calories by the end of the day.
In the study, men performed a half-minute sprint on a bike, then recovered with four minutes of easy pedaling and repeated this for a total of five times. The thing is, they really pushed it during those 30 seconds.
“The men in our study sprinted at 100 percent of their ability for each of the sprints,” says lead researcher Kyle Sevits. “This is why a four-minute active recovery was needed between each sprint.”
While the men performed all five sprints and recoveries in a row for a total of about 30 minutes, Sevits says men and women may see similar results by performing five 30-second sprints over the course of the day. He also says a bike isn’t the only way to go—any extremely intense exercise, such as running uphill on a treadmill or plyometrics like jumping lunges or burpees, would also work.
To be sure you’re giving your absolute max effort, Sevits recommends working with a personal trainer so you have someone there to make you take your effort to the highest level possible.
Sound too extreme? Try these other interval workouts:
Bob Harper’s 30-Minute Bikini Body Cardio Workout
3 Short Workouts for Weight Loss
Tabata: The 4-Minute Fat-Burning Workout
Nicole Glor is a fitness expert on Fox & Friends, author, and star of eight fitness DVDs, including Hard Core Abs. She is also an AFAA-certified NYC personal trainer, group instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, 200 RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor, author of the new book The SLIMNASTICS Workout, fitness columnist for Shape.com and Military.com, and spokesperson for SilverSport antibacterial fitness products. Get her newsletters, music playlists, video demos, and DVDs at www.nikkifitness.com or follow her on twitter @NikkiFitness.