10 Minutes to Burn Calories
By Joanne Chen
The low-effort, high-impact plan that'll have you in your skinny jeans by
spring. Bonus: All you need is 10 minutes a day.
Your doc has said it all along: 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity
physical activity improves health and cardio fitness. But what if you barely
have time to call your parents or squeeze in six hours of sleep? Here's what
trainers — and sports-medicine experts — have realized: You don't have to do
all 30 minutes in one stretch. In fact, you can do 20 or just 10 minutes a day
to reap some of the benefits, from losing weight to toning to reducing stress
and clearing your mind. The secret? In the case of weight loss, you've got to
move fast and hard and circuit-train; in the case of building strength, you've
got to do those moves slowly, precisely, and consistently every other day.
Here, high-intensity 10-minute workouts that make the most of the time you've
got. Do at least one each day, or if you’ve got time to spare, rotate up to
four for maximum benefits.
THE GROUND RULES:
- If you are target training (say, you want great arms), do the appropriate
exercises for that body part consistently, every other day. If you want overall
toning and fitness, mix and match the various workouts.
- How to know if you're working hard enough: "If you were to hold a
conversation during these segments, you should be breathing hard, but not be
completely breathless," says Gabriel Valencia, cofounder of Focus
Integrated Fitness in Manhattan.
- The indicated time for each move is a suggestion. If you need more time to
perform a move correctly, by all means take it.
BACKYARD BOOT CAMP
The lowdown: A heart-pumping, rev-up-your-metabolism workout you can
do in your backyard, the gym, or a nearby park.
What you'll get in four weeks: A healthier heart and better
Special equipment: A bench; a set of stairs or step-up; a treadmill
or open running space.
Extra credit: Wear a weighted vest. Start conservatively — about five
pounds, says Valencia, who created this workout.
How it works:
30 SECONDS Start with jumping jacks.
1 MINUTE Do step-ups (use a park bench if you're outdoors) with left
foot leading for 30 seconds. Repeat with right foot leading for 30 seconds.
30 SECONDS Follow with mountain climbers: Bend over and place hands
on ground about 6 inches in front of feet, hands and feet shoulder-width apart.
Knees are bent, back is as straight as possible. Keeping hands on the ground,
jump up your legs and land so that right foot is in front of left; jump up
again and land with left foot in front, right foot in back. Continue
4 MINUTES Do sprint intervals: Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds;
jog for one minute. Repeat for three sets.