Have 20 minutes to burn? Of course you do. Lace up those shoes—it’s time to learn about high-intensity interval training. (No equipment necessary.)

High-intensity interval training (or HIIT for short) is a cardio workout in which you alternate between periods of short intense exercise and breaks for recovery. Sounds like a lot of work, sure. But the upside? Turns out this type of anaerobic exercise is extremely efficient—in burning calories and increasing your lung capacity—and can be accomplished in a mere 15 to 30 minutes, perfect for those busy travel days.

Here’s why it works: With truly intense exercise, you dramatically increase the number of mitochondria—the cellular ‘powerhouses’ that convert fat to energy—in your body. So, even when you’re in recovery mode, your body is still at work. Therefore you can rest easy knowing that heart-pumping sweat session is still paying off.

HIIT can involve running, biking, or any other type of movement where you can quickly elevate your heart rate. With a short workout you can do anytime and anywhere, check your excuses at the door and get moving with our HIIT workouts below.

* If you have any cardiovascular problems or other health concerns that limit your ability to exercise at intense levels, HIIT may not be right for you. Please check with a medical professional before trying HIIT.

Running Workout—25 Minutes

Begin by warming up for 5 minutes with a walk or slow jog. Sprint or run at an intense pace for 1 minute. Walk or slow jog for 2 minutes. Alternate between sprinting for 1 minute and walk/slow jog for 2 minutes, four more times. Cool down for 5 minutes with a walk or slow jog.

Plyometric Workout—18 Minutes

Perform as many sit-ups as you can for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Perform as many jumping jacks as you can for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Perform as many push-ups as you can for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Perform as many jumping squats as you can for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds.

Repeat the exercise two more times.

 

Author: Allison Klibanoff