This article was written by weight loss and lifestyle coach Nichole Kellerman. The opinions herein are hers. For more on Nicole and her health and fitness tips, visit

So many people think if they don’t have an hour to exercise, then it’s not worth it. Well let’s ponder this for a moment. If you think you need an hour (or more), see how you feel at 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Then wait one second.

Does something magical happen at 60 minutes?

Of course not.

This is the thing: Our bodies are responsive to the intensity of the exercise, not the time. A 30-minute, effective workout can be just as beneficial, or even more beneficial, than an hour-long sweat session. It’s all about how you design the workout.

To maximize those 30 minutes, workouts should consist of both resistance training and cardiovascular training. The workout videos I design for my clients include 20 minutes of resistance training and 10 minutes of cardio. Yes, just 10 minutes. But we’re killing it for those 10 minutes!

And the cardio doesn’t have to be boring:I’m a fan of all-out booty dancing (read: gettin’ dooown!). It’s fun and makes me smile, but you can really do any type of cardio to get your heart rate up for those 60 seconds. Try any type of bodyweight cardio, like jumping jacks, speed skaters, and burpees. Or, hop onto any piece of cardio equipment at a high resistance— just be sure to push it!

As for resistance training, it’s vital to cover the entire body. Ideally, that means hitting the major muscle groups, and combining lower- and upper-body exercises.

An example of a circuit I would put together looks something like this:

1. Stationary lunge to shoulder raise (60 sec)

2. Push-up with a knee drive (60 sec)

3. Jumping jacks— or dance party! (60 sec)

Repeat two to three times before moving on to a similar type of circuit.

Doing an intense workout burns more calories per minute than lower-intensity workouts, and can lead to more calorie expenditure throughout the day. This is what the pros like to call afterburn.

Some research even suggests people can burn calories at the same rate for up to an hour after leaving the gym. Jackpot!

High intensity interval training (otherwise know as HIIT) sends the metabolic system a message that it’s time to make you a lean, mean, fighting machine… And who doesn’t want that?!

Thirty-minute HIIT training is an effective way to stay in great shape, while saving precious time. For more workout ideas, head to

Now, go get your HIIT on!