To burn fat and slim down, you ideally need to do 45 minutes of cardio four to five times a week. But these days everyone is short on time. This is where our mini-workouts come in.
These short bursts of exercise will help you burn kilojoules fast:
A comfortable pace burns about 1 600kJ an hour. For extra thigh-firming, try adjusting the gears, but not so much that you hesitate or stall. You want to keep pedalling steadily through each stroke. You can also use a stationary bike or treadmill. On the treadmill, for more toning, tip the incline ramp higher (but not so much that you have to bend forward or grab the handlebars), and walk for up to a minute. Do another minute at an easy level.
2. Tighten your tush
Stand in front of a chair and hold your arms straight out in front of you for balance. Bending your knees, lower your body smoothly until your bottom grazes the chair seat. Do not sit down. Stand up slowly. Do 12 to 15 reps.
3. Jog for focus
Run slowly backward and forward, 10 steps in each direction, for three to five minutes. This short exercise will improve your focus and balance and also challenge muscles that you don’t ordinarily use. For safety, do this run indoors or on a park path where you won’t bump into people or trees or other objects.
4. Mix it up
While walking – even if it’s just a kilometre – vary your stride. Start out with short, quick steps. After one minute, mix in 15 longer slow steps, then repeat for another minute of quick steps. Alternating your stride works more muscle groups, helps protect your knees and can increase your kilojoule burn.
Exercises from Jennifer Huberty, associate professor of physical activity in health promotion at the University of Nebraska, Omaha