Boost your metabolism with these short workouts


kettlebells and lunges

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The holiday season is a particularly busy time of year, which can leave you feeling so lethargic, you just don’t think you can gather the energy to work out. However, if you choose the right routine, you can speed up your metabolism. The trick is to find short workouts that get your heart rate up.

The American Council on Exercise, or ACE, recommends incorporating High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, workouts, into your exercise schedule to boost metabolism, explaining, “When you are doing cardiovascular exercise, HIIT keeps the body guessing by constantly alternating faster, more intense exercise periods with slower, shorter recovery paces. The body is forced to continually pump up the intensity and it helps exercisers to burn more calories and get in shape faster than if you exercise at a slower pace.”

The ACE also suggests strength training as a way to boost metabolism. For a workout with a big impact, even when you’re pressed for time, check out these short HIIT routines specifically designed to get your metabolism going. Talk to your doctor before getting started to see if these workouts are right for you.


Two-minute blast

Just when you think you couldn’t possibly fit exercise into your day, along comes SheKnows with a major two-minute drill. Men, don’t be deterred: the drill is taken from the book Belly Off! Diet  by Jeff Csatari and the editors of Men’s Health. The HIIT workout consists of eight classic exercises such as Mountain Climbers, Pushups and Jumping Jacks done back-to-back without rest for 15 seconds apiece for a quick blast of cardio and strength training. SheKnows suggests repeating the drill if time allows as a means of adding the workout into your exercise routine. Unfortunately, this workout doesn’t come with any demonstrative images or videos, which will be a problem for those who aren’t familiar with the exercises involved. Lack of images aside, I was really impressed with this workout. Switching up exercises every 15 seconds kept things interesting and fun, and my heart rate was definitely up at the end. I felt fierce after completing this routine.


Five-minute fix

For those of you who want a more challenging workout, Sarah Fit's five minute Express HIIT workout video makes the SheKnows routine seem like child’s play. It is chockfull of compound exercises like Sumo Squat Jumps with Alternating Leg Kicks and Hover Jacks with Mountain Climbers. Dussault categorizes this workout as intermediate, though some may find it even more difficult. Even with Dussault’s demonstrations, you will still need to understand proper form and the foundational movements involved before you attempt this one. Trust me when I tell you that the time flies when you’re doing this tough routine. I was so focused on completing each move that I was actually surprised when the last move, Twisting Belly Cinchers, popped up. If you’re comfortable with bodyweight workouts and want a fast, fun routine to get you going, give this video a try.


ACE this HIIT routine


The ACE’s no-frills HIIT circuit is perfect for those who are looking for a slightly longer workout with simple, effective movements. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of time. You can complete a circuit of this routine in under 10 minutes if you follow the 30-second active/30-second rest formula outlined in the workout. Those who aren’t as advanced in HIIT-style workouts are advised by the ACE to take a full minute in between moves to catch their breath. The ACE also incorporates weights into the mix to really ramp up the intensity of exercises such as Curtsy Squats, and the routine is a balanced mix of cardio and strength training moves. You could also modify this to be an all-bodyweight workout if you don’t have weights around or aren’t ready for the additional challenge. This workout was straightforward and effective without being overwhelming. The images were clear and helped me with my form, though you may need some more help if you’re unfamiliar with the moves. This is a good example of the HIIT format for those who want to go beyond their usual cardio and strength training routines.

Incorporate these workouts into your fitness regimen for a metabolic boost!