RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
But you don't have time, right? That's what so many people say. I'd like to exercise, but I don't have time in my schedule. I have definitely said that on more than one occasion, but NPR's Allison Aubrey isn't having that excuse. She told me she could give me a full workout in about 20 minutes. I said prove it, and she did at the NPR gym, starting on the treadmill.
ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: What we're going to do is start out nice and easy.
AUBREY: And we're going to get this entire workout in in 22 minutes.
MARTIN: Twenty-two minutes? How intense could that actually be?
AUBREY: You know, there is a ton of evidence to show that if you want to stay healthy, fend off disease, you need about 150 minutes of exercise a week. So divide 150 by seven. Boom. You got about 22 minutes.
TIM CHURCH: You can get a fantastic workout in 22 minutes.
AUBREY: That's Tim Church. He's a physician who's done a lot of research on exercise.
AUBREY: All right, how's that feeling?
MARTIN: It feels intense, yeah.
AUBREY: This workout is going to break down into 10 minutes of cardio, eight minutes of strength training and four minutes of stretching. How's the cardio going so far?
MARTIN: Well, I'm still upright. I'm still running. I guess fine.
AUBREY: All right. You're getting a little winded.
AUBREY: What I want to do now - I want to give you my top tip for shaving time off your cardio workout. So instead of going even-steven there, we're going to do some high-intensity interval training, and this means I want you to go hard for 20, and then slow down for 20.
MARTIN: For 20 seconds?
AUBREY: Twenty seconds, that's all.
MARTIN: OK. Let's pump it up.
AUBREY: Tim Church says high-intensity interval training, or HIIT as it's known, is really good for you.
CHURCH: HIIT helps you have a very efficient workout because you're stimulating more physiological pathways. You're stimulating more muscles, so you're getting more benefit.
AUBREY: Like a turbo boost.
CHURCH: Turbo boost is a great analogy.
AUBREY: All right. You are done on that treadmill.
AUBREY: Next, we're going to move on to strength training. And we begin with squats on a bench.
AUBREY: OK. Now I want you to stand up. Sit down.
AUBREY: Stand up.
MARTIN: You're so bossy.
AUBREY: Sit down.
Then I have Rachel lift one leg off the ground. It makes it a lot tougher.
MARTIN: I can't do anymore.
AUBREY: But just because it's hard, don't skip it. Tim Church says it is so important.
CHURCH: From age 40 or 50 on, you lose 1 to 2 percent of your muscle mass a year. Maintaining muscle mass, maintaining strength is absolutely critical to quality of life. It's the ultimate use it or lose it.
AUBREY: And Rachel says she's on it.
MARTIN: This was actually really valuable.
AUBREY: Even if those squats were really tough.
You know, this is the kind of thing you can do in the studio when you've got a little downtime.
MARTIN: All right, yeah. Me and Inskeep doing the old...
AUBREY: Pistol squats in the studio (laughter).
MARTIN: ...Pistol squats.
AUBREY: You know, we laugh, but it's good to be reminded of all the ways that exercise helps our bodies and our minds.
CHURCH: Reduced anxiety, reduced depression. There just are so many benefits, and each year we learn more and more.
MARTIN: I mean, I'm a true believer.
AUBREY: You know, we don't have time to do the whole thing here, but if you listen to our new Life Kit podcast, we'll walk you through the whole shebang - the 22-minute workout.
MARTIN: Thank you, Allison. I appreciate it.
AUBREY: Thanks so much, Rachel.
MARTIN: NPR's Allison Aubrey. If you want more help navigating life, tips on diet, exercise and personal finance, check out other Life Kit audio guides at npr.org/lifekit.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.