No time to exercise? No problem. Less than three minutes of high intensity interval training—spread out over a mere 25-minute chunk of your schedule— can burn the same number of calories as longer endurance exercise, according to new research.
In the study, presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise meeting in Colorado, researchers found that people who did 2.5 minutes of sprint intervals (more specifically: five 30-second bursts of full-tilt, high-resistance, 100-percent-effort cycling separated by four minutes of recovery) burned 200 extra calories that day.
Does this mean that interval training is a better way to torch calories? Not necessarily. The number of extra energy burned is similar for longer, less-intense endurance training, like 45 minutes jogging, so if that’s your workout of choice, go ahead and stick to it.
But if you only have 25 minutes to squeeze in some exercise, use this study as motivation to go at it hard—and you’ll get a bigger payoff.