How To Hit Your Fitness Goals In 22 Minutes A Day : Shots - Health News To stay healthy, we need at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly. This routine, created with a celebrated trainer, hits this goal in 22 minutes a day — cardio, weight training and stretching included.

Get Fit — Faster: This 22-Minute Workout Has You Covered

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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.

MARTIN: Sweet.

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

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