Running sprints is a high-impact, high-calorie-burning, cardiovascular and full-body workout. The movements engage the glutes, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and muscles throughout the entire upper body. It's an efficient way to get your body in optimal shape in a fairly short amount of time when compared to other exercises.

Maximize Your Calorie Burn With High-Intensity Intervals

The American Council on Exercise confirms a significant reduction in abdominal and subcutaneous fat is one of the many benefits of interval training 12. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, refers to breaking up your moderately intense cardiovascular activity with short bursts of high-intensity activity 2. If you’re jogging this would mean that after a few minutes of moderate movement you would then bump up your exertion level to a maximum, sprinting for eight to 12 seconds and sometimes as long as 30 seconds.

Getting Started With Sprints

If you’ve never sprinted before, diving right in will only put you at risk for injuries. Start out jogging on a regular basis, then get fancy with it. To incorporate HIIT in to your cardio, start by adding eight- to 12-second bursts of sprinting, followed by two minutes of recovery back at your starting pace. Perform these short sprint intervals about five times per session, which should be about once or twice a week for beginners. You’ll work your way up to about 15 sprint intervals throughout your workout about three times a week. Each of these workout sessions should last 20 minutes, recovery time included.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training

Running sprints is both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise 3. Aerobic refers to the muscles in your body receiving adequate oxygen to produce the energy you need to jog. Anaerobic running, or sprinting, occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen and your body resorts to breaking down sugar to produce the energy demanded of it. Because of this, lactic acid is produced and when it’s built up fatigue sets in; sprinting in short bursts is a way around that.

Translating it All

Sprinting burns more calories than jogging does, making it an effective method of weight loss in a smaller amount of time 4. A pound consists of 3,500 calories. The idea is to create a deficit of 500 calories a day to drop a pound in one week's time. With a combination of burning calories with regular exercise and consuming less daily, you will see results fast. The American Council on Exercise confirms that you'll burn more calories with interval training than traditional cardiovascular activities 12. The harder you work, the better the results, and incorporating sprints is an effective way to do so.