Is 15 Minutes of Cardio Enough?

Question: I can only get 15 minutes of cardio work in, is it worth my time?

Answer: Definitely. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend healthy adults do 30 minutes five days per week at a moderate pace or 20 minutes of vigorously intense cardio a day three days per week to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. Even 15 minutes produces positive benefits.

There are a couple of ways to get a great cardio workout done in 15 minutes. The first is doing interval training. Although it’s a bit more challenging, you burn more calories and improve your endurance faster than when you workout at a moderate intensity. To do it, work at intensity higher than your regular pace for one minute then slow down for one minute of recovery. Repeat the pattern for 15 minutes. This can work whether you are jogging, cycling, rowing, stair climbing or to name a few.

The second option is adding cardio cycles into your resistance training workouts. Instead of sitting there for 30 to 60 seconds between your sets, try jumping rope, doing mountain climbers or squat thrusts between your sets to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories. Cardiovascular workouts don’t have to be done on a machine in their own workout; it simply means to work your heart and lungs. This type of workout is guaranteed to give your cardiovascular system a great workout and doesn’t take any more time than you’re already working out.

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