Confirmed: This Is Exactly How Long You Need to Work Out to Get Fit

When it comes to working out, an understanding of how long you should be spending at the gym can help you formulate a healthy exercise regimen that works for you. Offering some insight on the subject is Shawn Arent, a professor of kinesiology at Rutgers. He recently spoke with New York Magazine's The Science of Us about how long you need to work out each day in order to see positive changes in your health.

"If we're talking per day, from a health standpoint, it's accumulating at least 30 minutes most, if not all, days of the week," he told the magazine. "From a fitness standpoint, however, 20 to 60 minutes a day, but that's minutes of the actual movement not of the actual bout." This falls in line with the Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation of roughly 30 minutes of exercise per day. 

But "intensity and volume are inversely related," he notes. "In other words, if you don't want to work out as long, work harder. If you don't like to work harder, you're going to have to work out a little bit longer." Of course, it's worth noting that this plan may not work for everyone; it's more important to formulate an exercise regimen that's healthy for you. 

In terms of the workout itself, various studies point to the transformative powers of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or alternating between short bursts of intense anaerobic exercise and less-intense recovery periods. It's essentially the most effective workout you can possibly do, with studies linking it to anti-aging and improved athletic ability.

Read up on the HIIT workouts that burn more calories than a three-mile run, and share your favorite exercises in the comments below.