Hang around any fitness venue long enough and you're guaranteed to hear people touting the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But running is tough enough—why add sprints that make your heart feel like it's going to explode?
Super high-intensity sprints (10 on a scale of one to 10) with short recovery periods (30 to 60 seconds) have been shown to improve endurance and overall fitness level just as well as much longer steady-state exercise, Dr. Grotto says. So you reap the same benefits in a much smaller amount of time. And when it comes to torching calories, HIIT can't be beat! Not only do you burn more calories during HIIT workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body's repair cycle into hyper-drive, meaning you burn more calories in the 24 hours after you leave the gym. (Click here to learn more benefits of HIIT).
To do a HIIT workout, try one of our fat-blasting Tabata drills or simply pick your favorite piece of cardio equipment and alternate 20 seconds of maximal effort with 10 seconds of rest, eight times total.