Boost Your Energy Without Breaking a Sweat With These 60-Second Cardio Bursts

Micro exercise breaks throughout the day can spark some energy when you're feeling sluggish without a major time commitment.
Image Credit: Nattakorn Maneerat/iStock/GettyImages

Next time that 2 p.m. slump hits, instead of reaching for a fifth cup of coffee, try getting up and moving. Yes, it takes a bit more motivation and effort than pushing the button on your coffee machine, but it's a proven way to help you gear up for the second half of your day.

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Consistently engaging in physical activity has been linked to better cognitive function, including improved concentration and sharper focus, according to an April 2016 study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.

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Ideally, we should all aim to get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or at least 75 to 150 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

But you can chip away at that goal in small doses: Try these 60-second cardio breaks from Autumn Calabrese, Beachbody trainer and author of Lose Weight Like Crazy, Even if You Have a Crazy Life, whenever you feel the urge to snooze at your desk. They'll be over so fast you'll barely have time to sweat!

1. Cross-Country Skier

1. Cross-Country Skier
Image Credit: Autumn Calabrese/LIVESTRONG.com
Time (In Seconds) 1 Min
Type Cardio
  1. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Jump your feet apart and press both arms overhead. One foot should land in front and one in back in a staggered stance, as you pull your arms down to your shoulders.
  3. Jump again and switch your feet.
  4. Repeat the movement, jumping and switching the legs as you drive the arms up and pull them down with each jump.
  5. Continue for 60 seconds.

2. Twisting Skier

2. Twisting Skier
Image Credit: Autumn Calabrese/LIVESTRONG.com
Time (In Seconds) 1 Min
Type Cardio
  1. Start with your feet together and arms at your sides. Keep your core tight.
  2. Keep both feet together as you jump and twist your heels to the left while your chest stays facing the right.
  3. Jump again, this time twisting so that both heels go to the left.
  4. Shift the hips back and down with each jump to work the glutes and quads. Rotate from the hips and core.
  5. Repeat the movement, twisting side to side and keeping a bend in your knees each time you land.
  6. Continue for 60 seconds.

3. Jumping Jack

3. Jumping Jack
Image Credit: Autumn Calabrese/LIVESTRONG.com
Time (In Seconds) 1 Min
Type Cardio
  1. Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides. This is the starting position.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and jump into the air.
  3. As you jump, spread your legs to about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head.
  4. Jump back to starting position.
  5. Repeat for 60 seconds.

4. Heel Tap

4. Heel Tap
Image Credit: Autumn Calabrese/LIVESTRONG.com
Time (In Seconds) 1 Min
Type Cardio
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Jump onto your right foot, bringing the left heel up and in toward your inner thigh.
  3. Tap the left heel with your right hand.
  4. Now jump to the left foot, bringing the right heel up and in toward your inner thigh.
  5. Tap the right heel with your left hand.
  6. Continue jumping side to side, bringing the opposite foot toward the midline of your body and tapping the heel with your opposite hand.
  7. Repeat for 60 seconds.

5. High Knees

5. High Knees
Image Credit: Autumn Calabrese/LIVESTRONG.com
Time (In Seconds) 1 Min
Type Cardio
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your left knee toward your chest.
  2. Switch to lift your right knee toward your chest.
  3. Continue the movement, alternating legs at a jogging pace.
  4. Continue for 60 seconds.

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