Do your body good in 1/2 hour

by Beacon Staff • October 5, 2005

Cardiovascular exercises, which involve constant movement, such as running and biking, can burn major calories in an intense half-hour workout.,"Between classes, extracurricular activities and studying, many students have a tough time getting to the gym for a workout. To burn calories and stay in shape, however, all you need is 30 minutes a day, four times a week.

Cardiovascular exercises, which involve constant movement, such as running and biking, can burn major calories in an intense half-hour workout.

Emerson College Fitness Center (ECFC) Fitness Manager and Assistant Women's Soccer Coach Katelyn Haggerty said high intensity cardio proves most effective for someone pressed for gym time.

According to ShapeFit.com, in 30 minutes a 145-pound person can burn roughly 400 calories doing step aerobics and anywhere from 250 to 500 calories biking. The same person can burn about 300 calories running, rowing or using an elliptical trainer for the same amount of time.

The key is to "go at a higher intensity than usual, then bring your heart rate back down so as to rest it," Haggerty said.

Haggerty recommends running intervals, alternating between sprinting and jogging.

"Intervals are a more intense [version] of a 30-minute run," Haggerty said.

For example, instead of jogging at eight miles per hour for 30 minutes, a runner would sprint at 10 miles per hour for two minutes then resume the jogging pace for another two to five minutes, said Shannon Peterson, a trainer in the ECFC.

"[This] will provide amazing results," Haggerty said.

In their eagerness to begin cardiovascular activities, many students dive right in by pressing the 'Quick Start' button on the exercise machine, which falsifies the information the machine provides regarding calories burned, Haggerty said. While many machines estimate calories burned, the majority of those at the ECFC also have the capabilities to give personalized results. Haggerty said students should take the time to input their age and weight manually.

To make a 30-minute workout really show, students must push their limits, Haggerty said.

High-intensity cardio exercises are, by ShapeFit's standards, only 20 to 30 minutes long. These are effective in burning "tons of calories and [also revving] up [one's] metabolism throughout the day," according to ShapeFit.

Haggerty said people should "choose something that [they] know will push [them] the most."

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