Putting your running shoes on and going for a nice jog is an easy and effective way to get a cardio workout. But commitments often restrict your ability to get out and enjoy exercising at a specific time.

Besides, everyone wants to maximize their time in order to accomplish more; especially when it comes to exercise. And studies have shown that bursts of intense exercise can be just as effective as endurance exercise.

A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that subjects had the same oxygen consumption 24 hours after 30 minutes of steady exercise as they did after multiple short bursts of intense exercise.

This indicates that the intensity of the exercise is just as important as the time invested for boosting metabolism and losing weight.

In a similar study out of Australia, subjects spent 20 minutes doing short bursts of intense cycling on exercise bikes. During these three-times-a-week sessions, subjects completed intervals of 8-second fast pedaling and 12-second slow pedaling.

Over the course of the 12-week study, subjects lost an average of 4.4 pounds of mostly abdominal fat and gained an average of 2.4 pounds of mostly leg muscle.

So the next time you want to save a little time without losing the benefits of your standard session, try a regimen of intense bursts.

Related: Listen to an Audiobook While Exercising for Longer Sessions

Image: Dave McLean