Can’t find time for exercise in your tight schedule? Then we have good news for you: Shorter workouts can still burn plenty of calories and make you fitter. Does it sound too good to be true? Turns out, it’s not.
A recent abstract presented at the American Physiological Society has shown that just 2.5 minutes of hard exercise can boost your calorie burn for the whole day, allowing you to burn nearly 200 calories in a very short time. Want to get more bang for your buck when it comes to fitness? Read on, because everyone has a few minutes per day to spare.
Alternating periods of intense effort and recovery is known as interval training. For newcomers to running, a constant pace is enough. But after a short time, this won’t cut it anymore. Your body requires training stimuli to improve your performance and make you stronger.
Interval runs are perfect for this. Warm up by jogging for a few minutes before starting to alternate between sprints and easy running at 30-second to two-minute intervals. Sprints burn calories, but they can only be done for a certain period of time—that’s why the afterburn effect is even greater. Interval training is also suitable for cycling and swimming. However, running is still a great way to burn calories.
Jumping rope may sound at first like a fun leisure-time activity. But what many people don’t know is that there is hardly any other exercise that drives your heart rate as high as skipping rope. It strengthens both your upper and lower body and burns lots of calories in a short time. This type of endurance training also has a positive effect on your heart. Plus, it improves your coordination.
Tabata training is a high-intensity workout that really boosts your metabolism in just minutes. It goes like this: You work at maximum intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. You repeat this round eight times. This type of training is uncomplicated and consists mainly of bodyweight exercises like push-ups, burpees, squats and sit-ups. According to studies, Tabata training burns 15 calories per minute, or 400 calories in a half hour.
Whether you like to run, walk or cycle, it’s a good idea to change up your workout routine. Hill workouts are a good option for working some resistance into your training. Hills require you to expend more energy, causing you to burn more fat. Running on an incline requires you to lift your knees more, thus stressing more muscle fibers than usual.
In fact, this training can work all three types of fibers: the red, the intermediate, and the white fibers. The red, slow-to-fatigue fibers react more slowly to stimuli, work aerobically (i.e., with oxygen) and have a long contraction time. The white muscle fibers react quickly and are responsible for strong contractions, but thereby become fatigued more quickly. They work anaerobically (without oxygen). The intermediate type shares properties with both the other types.
Because it works all the different muscle fibers at the same time, uphill training burns about 10 percent more calories than running on a flat surface. Plus, you improve your performance when you incorporate hill running into your training plan on a regular basis.
Whether you are just a beginner or already a professional, integrating these short workouts into your training routine can help you maximize your fitness routine in a shorter amount of time!