Move that Burns 14 Calories Per Minute

Hate cardio? But hate fat even more? We hear you. Science shows that cardio is without a doubt the best way to incinerate calories, so even if you don't love it, you make like Nike and just do it. But there's good news: Research proves you can put an end to the tedious routine of repeating the same mind- and body-numbing workouts. In fact, doing fewer when-can-I-stop sessions will help you get past plateaus and burn more fat than ever. Now who wouldn't love that?

THE ULTIMATE FIT TRIFECTA

1. Long, slow distance (LSD)

Why it works Low-intensity, chat-with-your-BFF cardio sessions build your fitness foundation. Even though you're moving slowly, these one-speed, "no-sweat" workouts increase your endurance. Long (more than 45 minutes) sessions train muscles to keep on going, so no matter what type of workout you're doing, you stay strong to the end. Plus, they serve as active recovery, refueling you for the more intense bouts you do on other days, research shows. Competitive runners who increased the amount of LSD workouts during training shaved 30 percent more time off their 10K run compared with those who added extra tempo workouts, according to a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

HOW LONG YOU NEED TO SWEAT
45 to 60 minutes
TOTAL CALORIES BLASTED
158 to 240 (4 per minute)
YOUR EFFORT LEVEL
You can sing the entire chorus of your favorite song without getting super winded. Then start over again.

2. Tempo workouts

Why they work Juiced-up medium-speed sessions push you closer to your anaerobic threshold, the point that your body shifts from burning a higher percentage of fat to more carbs, which are easier to access for energy. You'll be breathing hard but not breathless. As a result, your calorie burn spikes in this zone, explains exercise physiologist Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise. But you don't want to clock more than two of these sessions a week, so your body has time to bounce back between workouts. When you're not revving to go, you can't give it your all—and you want to be fresh so you can keep getting fitter!

HOW LONG YOU NEED TO SWEAT
20 to 30 minutes
TOTAL CALORIES BLASTED
130 to 195 (6.5 per minute)
YOUR EFFORT LEVEL
You can hum a couple of lines of a tune you heart, but it ain't easy.

3. High intensity interval training (HIIT)

Why it works Killing it for short bursts, then quickly recovering, activates fast-twitch muscle fibers, which makes you stronger. HIIT accelerates calorie burning because higher exercise intensity creates greater metabolic demand, Bryant says. Research from the University of Guelph shows seven hours of HIIT over two weeks raises women's fat-burning power (compared with 12 hours of tempo). CrossFit, Spin and intervals on a cardio machine all count. So why not HIIT it daily? It does micro damage to muscles—great for getting lean but not for speedy repair, says Rick Mikat, Ph.D., professor in the department of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse. Overdo it and muscles can weaken, so stick to two days per week max.

HOW LONG YOU NEED TO SWEAT
10 to 20 minutes
TOTAL CALORIES BLASTED
80 to 200 (8 to 10 per minute)
YOUR EFFORT LEVEL
You could muster only a one-word answer if you were asked a question.

BUST A MOVE

On HIIT days (or just to scorch extra calories), bang these out for 1 minute each. Flab, be warned.

Lunge hops
Calorie burn: 12 per minute
Step back into a lunge (front knee over ankle, back straight). Engage core, jump up, switch front leg, and land in a lunge. Repeat as fast as possible, says Jari Love, personal trainer and creator of the Ripped DVDs, who devised this HIIT routine.

Monkey jumps
Calorie burn: 13 per minute
Squat super low (feet hip-width apart, weight in heels), so fingertips touch the floor, then jump up, raising arms overhead. Return to start. Try to go lower, then higher, with each rep. Make this (and every!) minute count.

Jumping jacks
Calorie burn: 13.5 per minute
Don't underestimate this P.E.-class staple. Your legs and arms are moving simultaneously, and you're jumping. Ready, set…knock 'em out! As with all of these, try to beat your total number on subsequent sets.

Speed skaters
Calorie burn: 13.5 per minute
Jump from side to side, swinging your trailing leg behind you as you land. (Think: exaggerated curtsy.) Obviously, the lower you go, the more calories you'll burn. "Skate" as fast as you can. And don't forget to breeeathe. We bet you can outdo your last tally.

Step-ups
Calorie burn: 14.5 per minute
Yup, this is the basic (and somewhat boring) move from Step class—up, up, down, down ('90s flashback!). But it's got the biggest calorie bang, so step like you mean it: Do one interval starting with your right foot, the next with your left.

Not sure exactly how to mix and match exercises for maximum slimming effect? We've done it for you. Go to Self.com for a perfect week of workouts.
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