Christa Bache

I only have 20 minutes to work out. Should I do cardio or weight training?

The short answer is that you need to do both.

And even with only 20 minutes a day, you can accomplish both by alternating your workouts.

An ideal schedule for the average week:

- Three days of cardio

- Two days of strength/weight training

- One day for something relaxing like stretching or yoga

- One day of rest

The most important thing is consistency, so aim to make physical activity -- whether it’s organized exercise or just taking the stairs and walking more -- an integral part of your everyday life. Even on your days “off” from exercise, you should still try to get 20 minutes or so of movement scattered throughout your day.

To maximize the results from your short sessions, you need to be focused in your approach:

On cardio days

Alternate 20 minutes at a steady pace one day with 20 minutes of more intense interval training another day (e.g., four minutes at a moderate pace, step it up for one minute; repeat four times through).

On weight training days

Do an assortment of moves that work all of the major muscle groups.

Christa Bache is a personal trainer based in New York City.


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Health - How to Get Cardio and Weight Training in 20 minutes