6 Exercises That Double As Cardio AND Strength-Training

Juggling a job, family, friends, and fitness can sometimes feel like a circus act, with quality time at the gym hard to come by.

To make the most of your your precious muscle-building moments, you need to be as efficient as possible. The best way to do this? Kill two birds with one stone and perform exercises that work your muscles and your heart rate at the same time, suggests Sean De Wispelaere, master trainer at MBSC Thrive, and owner of Sean D. Thrive. You’ll reap the benefits of both strength-training and cardio at once, instead of focusing on each separately.

The following six powerhouse moves do just that—so put them to work the next time you need to churn out a killer workout in a hurry. Just start out with a few slow warmup reps before going all out: “A few slow reps to pattern the movement will help wake up your muscles to make the exercises more effective and keep you safe at the same time,” De Wispeleaere says.

Total Body

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Kettlebell Swing: “The kettlebell swing is king when it comes to building muscle and jacking up your heart rate at the same time,” says DeWispeleaere. The exercise hammers your hamstrings and glutes—some of the most metabolically-active muscles (meaning they torch the most calories when you work them) in them. But the kettlebell swing also demands serious work from your core and upper body, making it an effective total-body burner.

Place a kettlebell on the floor in front of you and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Grip the handle tightly and lock your shoulders back and down. Swing the bell back between your legs. (Your forearms will make contact with your inner thighs and your hamstrings should feel like they’re stretched.) Once your hamstrings reach maximal stretch, snap your hips forward to shoot the kettlebell up to chest height. The kettlebell should feel like it’s floating at the top of the rep.

At the top of the swing, you should be in a vertical plank—arms out straight, core tight, legs clenched.  Once you feel the bell start to fall back to the ground, swing it back between your legs to start the next rep.

Related: 6 Kettlebell Moves That Work Every Muscle

sled push

Sled Push: This movement doesn’t have to be fast to be super effective. Slowly pushing a heavy sled is a great way to work your legs, core, upper body, and lungs, says De Wispelaere. “It’s like performing a walking plank,” he says. “You need to tense every muscle in your body to help propel the weight forward.” And even though you’re methodically marching forward, it feels like you just sprinted the 200 meter.

Grab the posts of a sled near the top. Lock your back and down, tense your arms, pull your chest up, and tighten your abs as if you’re about to be punched in the stomach. Step forward by driving your knee to your chest and sharply stomping into the ground with the ball of your foot landing first to push. Repeat and walk the sled 10-30 meters.

Upper Body

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Plyo Pushups: The pushup is a staple in any workout routine because it’s great for hitting your upper-body and core-stabilizing muscles, says De Wispelaere. Dialing up the intensity by making it faster and more explosive will not only test your strength, but also leave you breathless.

Get into a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders, your heels together, and your abs tight. Bend at the elbows, (keeping them tucked) and lower your chest to the ground. Once your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, quickly push away from the ground so your hands jump off the floor. Land with your hands directly under your shoulders and repeat.

If you can’t make your hands leave the floor just yet—or if the impact bothers your wrists—you can get a similar effect by powering through fast-paced pushups with your palms firmly planted.

Related: Find a preworkout formula to power your next sweat session.

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Push Press: If you’re looking to build boulder shoulders, the push press will help you load up the pounds. Since you’re using some lower-body strength to heave the dumbbells overhead, you can use heavier weights than you’re typically used to, according to De Wispelaere. After pumping out a few fast-paced reps of this exercise, you’ll be panting.

Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at shoulder level. Bend you knees a few degrees to get in the loaded position. Pop up by pushing through your legs, clenching your glutes, and driving through your heels. At the same time, use your shoulder muscles to punch the dumbbells up to the ceiling until your elbows are fully extended. In a controlled manner, lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders. Repeat.

Lower Body

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Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat Jumps: Single-leg exercises are critical for building well-rounded strength. “When you only perform bilateral—or two-sided—exercises you can end up with strength imbalances that affect your performance and can potentially lead to injury,” says De Wispelaere. That’s why one of his favorite exercises is the rear-foot-elevated split squat (also known as the Bulgarian split squat). “It takes one leg almost completely out of the equation so you’re forced to rely on the muscles in one side of your body,” he says. Plus, adding a jump to the movement will send your heart-rate soaring.

Find a bench or box that’s about knee height and stand about a foot in front of it with your back to it. Reach back with your left leg and rest the top of your left foot on the box or bench. In a controlled manner, lower yourself until your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Pause, and then explode up, jumping your right foot off of the floor. Pause to reset if needed and then repeat. Perform the same number of reps on your left side as you do on your right.

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Jump Squats: These are a doozy no matter how fit you are. Jump squats hammer the large muscles in your lower body to jack up your heart rate and rev your metabolism. If you want to make them even more potent, try performing them after a set of slower weighted goblet squats, suggests De Wispelaere.

This activates what’s called post-activation potentiation (PAP). By doing the weighted version of the movement, you stimulate your muscle fibers and nervous system, so when it comes time to drop the weight for explosive reps, you recruit more of the muscle to do the work, resulting in a bigger burn for your buck and better performance, according to De Wispelaere.

Grab a moderate-to-heavy kettlebell. Hold it at chest level by gripping either side of the handle. Perform weighted squats by bending at the knees and lowering your backside as though you’re about to sit into a chair until your knees form just below a 90-degree angle. Pause, then extend your knees to return to standing. Do five to 10 reps before dropping the weight an adding an explosive jump on your way up for another five to 10 reps.

Related: 15 Moves Your Booty Will Thank You For Doing

Should You Be Doing A HIIT Workout?

HIIT workouts—that’s high-intensity interval training—have gotten a lot of buzz for some time now. That’s because you can burn serious calories in a short amount of time (read: buh-bye super-long gym sessions).

The gist: If you go all-out on a particular workout or exercise for 30, 60, or 90 seconds, recover for twice as long, and then move on to the next set (and repeat!), you’ll blast fat, boost endurance, and tone your body. (HIIT workouts often have a 1:2 ratio of work to recovery.)

This kind of high-intensity movement is anything but easy, but that’s the whole idea: You’ll work harder for shorter amounts of time and your work will pay off.

When executed properly, the benefits of HIIT are abundant:

You’ll burn serious amounts of calories.

“It’s like city driving versus highway driving,” says Pete McCall, C.S.C.S., a San Diego-based personal trainer. “Highway driving is like steady state cardio—you keep the heart rate at a consistent level the entire time; it conserves energy. City driving is HIIT—a lot of starting and stopping uses a lot more gas.”

Alternating between high-intensity work intervals and lower-intensity active recovery intervals burns more calories because accelerating and decelerating is tiring, he explains. “HIIT workouts challenge the cardiorespiratory and circulatory systems to bring oxygen into the body and deliver it to the working muscles,” McCall says. “The body consumes oxygen at a rate of five calories of energy per one liter of oxygen. Any exercise mode that increases the demand and consumption for oxygen can improve overall caloric expenditure.”

Related: Let’s Set The Record Straight About Fasted Cardio

According to the Journal of Obesity, HIIT workouts are not only linked to weight loss, but they produce significant increases in aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

The calorie burn doesn’t stop once you stop moving.

There’s actually a scientific term for it: EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). “It’s when your body continues to burn calories for a period of time, even after your workout is over,” says Holland. And with high-intensity intervals, you get the added benefit of burning calories long after your workout is in the books.

Switching between slow and steady cardio and HIIT adds variety. This is hugely important to any successful exercise routine. Says Holland: “Variation in exercise is not only essential for continued physiological adaptations, but it also has positive psychological benefits as well.”

According to a study published in the journal, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, HIIT has been shown to have positive effects on patients with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. You can kiss all that stress goodbye!

The workouts are short and sweet.

“The number one reason people give for not exercising is lack of time, especially a full hour,” says Tom Holland, C.S.C.S., an exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym. “People find it much easier, therefore, to squeeze a quick HIIT workout into their busy lifestyles.”

Most people do a 20-minute HIIT workout, although some people love super-fast workouts, like Tabata.

…And they’re fun, too.

HIIT will certainly kick your butt, but it’s more fun than slogging away on a treadmill. “Most people get bored quickly with doing the same, long, slow cardio workouts,” says Holland. “HIIT sessions provide a welcome change, both mentally as well as physically. You also feel a unique sense of accomplishment when you complete a challenging HIIT session.”

One of the very best things about HIIT, though? You don’t need any equipment to complete a workout, says Holland (as you’ll see below).

Related: 13 Burpees That’ll Blow Your Mind (And Torch Serious Calories)

Is HIIT Right For You?

“Almost anyone can benefit from a HIIT workout,” says McCall. That is, he explains, people without pre-existing medical conditions or orthopedic injuries. (Which means if you have sprains, strains, or muscle tears, or long-term issues like heart disease or high blood pressure, you might want to hold off and talk to your doctor first.)

That’s because, by definition, HIIT is—well—high-intensity. “Therefore, it’s challenging to both the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems,” he says. You don’t want to overdo it out of the gate only to wind up injured, hurt, or worse—in danger.

Related: 3 People Share How They Dropped Over 60 Pounds—And Kept It Off

Want to try your hand at HIIT? Take on one of the below workouts from Holland.

20-Minute Bodyweight HIIT Workout #1

Warm-up:

  • 3 minutes of easy cardio (run in place or do jumping jacks)

Circuit (repeat five times):

  • 20 seconds of burpees
  • 40 seconds recovery (jog in place)
  • 20 seconds of pop squats
  • 40 seconds recovery (jog in place)
  • 20 seconds of jump lunges
  • 40 seconds recovery (jog in place)

Cool down:

  • 2 minutes of easy cardio (run in place or do jumping jac

20-Minute Cardio HIIT Workout #2

Warm-up:

  • 5 minutes of easy cardio (run in place or do jumping jacks)

Circuit (repeat 10 times):

  • 20 seconds all-out sprint
  • 40 seconds walk or jog to recover

Cool down:

  • 5 minutes of easy cardio (run in place or do jumping jacks)

6 Possible Reasons Why You’re Gaining Weight (That Have Nothing To Do With Food or Exercise)

Nothing is more frustrating than when you dedicate yourself to eating healthy, saying ‘no’ to your favorite junk food, and crushing your workouts week after week—only to continue gaining weight despite your efforts. And it’s not as rare as you might think.

That’s because the scale’s reaction to your weight-loss plan is largely determined by the countless chemical messengers, called hormones, that are floating through your bloodstream and body tissue. Together, they decide how fast your metabolism churns, how you build muscle, and where exactly you store those extra calories.

We talked to top weight-loss docs about your all-important hormones, six common problems that could be causing your mysterious weight-gain, and, most importantly, how to get your scale moving in the right direction.

  1. Hypothyroidism

About five in every 100 people—most of whom are women—have an underactive thyroid, otherwise known as hypothyroidism, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, doesn’t produce enough hormones, explains endocrinologist Kent Holtorf, M.D., medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group and a founder and director of the non-profit National Academy of Hypothyroidism. Since your thyroid hormones (called T3 and T4) affect the way your body uses energy, low levels mean that all of your body’s functions (including your metabolism) slow down big time, he says.

How to tackle it: If you suspect your thyroid might be out of whack—symptoms include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weakness, thinning hair, and of course, weight gain—ask your doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist who can perform comprehensive and thorough thyroid testing, Holtorf recommends. Traditionally, physicians have diagnosed (or ruled out) hypothyroidism based only on the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) that your brain’s pituitary gland produces.

However, just because your pituitary gland tells your thyroid gland to get busy, it doesn’t mean that your thyroid gland is actually coming through and producing the thyroid hormones you need, he says. That’s where other testing—for those T3 and T4 thyroid hormones themselves—comes in. Treatment typically involves taking a synthetic thyroid hormone, typically with the name levothyroxine, which gets hormone levels back on track to alleviate symptoms.

Related: Could You Have A Thyroid Issue?

  1. Medications

No medication comes without potential side effects and, unfortunately, for a lot of meds, those side effects include weight gain. “I have a lot of patients who gain weight due to the medications they take,” explains says board-certified family and bariatric physician Spencer Nadolsky, D.O., a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. The most common culprits include medications for diabetes, blood pressure, and mental health conditions, as well as birth control. Corticosteroids, hormones often included in allergy meds, can also contribute to weight gain, he says.

How to tackle it: Read your meds’ full list of side effects and talk to your doctor about any meds that are linked with weight gain. “There may be other options for you that are weight-neutral or can possibly even contribute to weight loss,” Nadolsky says. If your doctor doesn’t advise switching meds, he or she may have some advice on how to minimize the side effects.

  1. Perimenopause and Menopause

As if PMS wasn’t bad enough, fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone that occur during both perimenopause and menopause can lower women’s metabolisms and increase the risk of fat storage. Unfortunately, most of this weight gain occurs around the abdomen, according to research from Monash University in Australia.

Related: The Truth About Belly Fat

How to tackle It: “We cannot stop ‘the change,’ but there are some things we can do to naturally mediate the side effects,” Nadolsky says. For instance, 2017 research published in Menopause found that by participating in a 20-week exercise program, post-menopausal women significantly reduced their weight while simultaneously improving menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood disturbances. Talk to your doc about these and other lifestyle changes that might reduce your waistline before opting for hormone replacement therapy.

  1. Low Testosterone

“This is one of those chicken-or-egg issues,” Nadolsky says. “A lot of patients gain weight as they age, which then lowers their testosterone levels, which then can further deteriorate their body composition.” That’s largely because fat tissue contains an enzyme, called aromatase, which converts androgens (like testosterone, which promotes muscle-building and fights fat) into estrogens. So, as men’s waistlines increase, their levels of testosterone lower. In fact, research published in Clinical Endocrinology suggests that weight gain (among other variables), not just aging itself, may cause many men’s testosterone levels to decline as they get older.

How to tackle it: While getting to the gym to combat low T can be tough (low energy levels are another common side effect), building muscle can go a long way toward reducing fat levels and their effects on testosterone. In one landmark Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 men, those who performed strength-training workouts for just 20 minutes a day gained significantly less belly fat over a period of 12 years compared to those who performed the same amount of daily cardio. (Prior research has also shown that strength training triggers the body’s release of testosterone.) Thank you, muscle power!

Related: Find the right testosterone-support supplement for you.

  1. Poor Sleep

Affecting men and women alike—and in a big way—sucky sleep not only makes you less likely to work out and more likely to binge on junk food, it changes the way your body metabolizes and stores calories, according to Nadolsky. Here’s a compelling example: In one University of Chicago study, when dieters slept for 8.5 hours per night, half of the weight they lost came from fat. When they switched to sleeping only 5.5 hours per night, their rate of fat loss dropped by 55 percent—even though they were following the exact same diet. Holtorf notes that getting less-than-optimal shut-eye results in increased levels of stress hormones including cortisol, which can increase the tendency to store calories as abdominal fat.

How to tackle it: Get more sleep—whether on your own by setting a bedtime and upping your sleep hygiene (turn off those gadgets!), or with the help of a sleep medicine physician. If you’re clocking lots of time between the sheets but still feel groggy during the day, you may want to speak to your doc about sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea, for example, occurs in up to 20 percent of adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and is strongly associated with weight gain. “If you wake up un-refreshed, snore, or gasp during the night, definitely talk to your doctor about the possibility sleep apnea,” Holtorf says.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Affecting one in 10 American women, PCOS is a common hormonal condition that’s associated with small cysts forming inside the ovaries. While its exact causes are not yet clear—its effects are. “PCOS is essentially insulin resistance that affects the ovaries,” says Holtrof, noting that it’s intricately linked with weight gain and problems losing weight. After all, in insulin resistance, levels of the hormone insulin (produced by the pancreas in response to carb intake) get excessively high. As a result, the body ups its production of male sex hormones, called androgens, which can lead to weight gain in women—typically around the middle.

How to tackle it: Apart from weight gain, symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstrual cycles, excess facial and body hair, acne, thinning hair, patches of darkened skin, and skin tags. If you observe these symptoms, talk to your gynecologist, Nadolsky says. Hormonal contraceptives are commonly used to regulate hormone levels in women with PCOS and can help ease symptoms, including weight gain, in women with the disorder. Your doc may also recommend a medication like metformin, to address the insulin resistance.

Related: 8 Possible Reasons Why Your Hair Is Falling Out

The 5 Fruits With The Most (And Least!) Sugar

With so much anti-sugar buzz bouncing around these days, you’ve probably already nixed the added sweet stuff that lurks in salad dressings, granola bars, and coffee shop drinks (that one was hard). You’ve maybe even considered cutting back on fruit. After all, sugar fast-tracks you to diabetes and obesity, right?

While too much sugar can be a major problem for your bod—both on the inside and the outside—fruit packs tons of other nutrients, like vitamins and fiber, and deserves a spot in your grocery cart. (We asked the experts.) But that doesn’t mean you can’t go for lower-sugar fruits if you’re really zeroing in on your intake.

Related: Is Sugar Really All That Bad For You?

Check out this infographic for the low-down on the high- and low-sugar fruits in the produce aisle:

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Could You Be At Risk For Metabolic Syndrome?

When it comes to your health, caring for your ticker should be a top priority. After all, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is responsible for a whopping one in three deaths in the United States. And it turns out there’s a scary-sounding condition—metabolic syndrome—that could increase your risk for serious issues in the heart department.

Want to show that vital beating organ the love it deserves? Brush up on your knowledge of metabolic syndrome, and learn how to curb your risk of developing it.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

“Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions that directly increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke,” says Sindhu Koshy, M.D., a cardiologist with Ascension/Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, Michigan.

Yep, metabolic syndrome actually refers to five not-so-great health factors—increased abdominal weight, high triglycerides, low HDL (a.k.a. “good” cholesterol), high blood pressure, and high blood sugar—that, together, can cause major health problems, says Koshy.

You’re more likely to develop these individual conditions if you’re obese and inactive, says Matthew Budoff, M.D., professor of medicine at the division of cardiology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Koshy notes that your risk increases as you age, too.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Determining whether or not you have metabolic syndrome can be done via blood testing and other evaluations at your doc’s office. The thing is, none of the conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome have outward symptoms, says Budoff, so you may not be aware that something’s wrong.

For starters, find out if you have a family history of these issues. “If your family members had diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or cardiovascular disease, you are at higher risk,” says Koshy.

To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you need to exhibit three or more of the following measurements, per the AHA:

Abdominal obesity: a waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men or 35 inches in women

High triglycerides: 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or higher

Low HDL cholesterol: Less than 40 mg/DL in men or less than 50 mg/DL in women

High blood pressure: Top number (systolic blood pressure) of 130 mm Hg or higher, or bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) of 85 mm Hg or higher

High blood sugar: 100 mg/DL or higher

“[Having] just one condition doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome,” says Koshy, “but if you have one, you should make sure you are evaluated for the others to learn how to prevent them.”

And while you may not feel sick if you have metabolic syndrome, Koshy says oftentimes your doc will request lab work and measurements to test for these risk factors, so don’t skip out on booking that yearly appointment. If you do get diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you’re definitely not alone.

According to the AHA, about 23 percent of adults in the U.S. have it. Yikes. Once you’re diagnosed, you’ll likely be asked to see your M.D. every three months to check in, but in most cases you can wait longer than that if you’re managing the disease, says Budoff.

What Can You Do to Treat Metabolic Syndrome—and Reduce Your Risk?

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome or your numbers indicate you’re creeping into danger territory, there are a few steps you can take to get your health back on track.

For starters, physical activity is key, as it can help with all five risk factors, says Budoff. He advises patients to get a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day three times a week, and to work their way up to more.

Related: This Is The Best Cardio Workout For Weight Loss

Watching your weight is also super-important, says Koshy, who suggests cutting back on sugar, fats, and red meat, as well as upping your intake of fiber, green veggies, and fruits. The USDA recommends eating the following per day: 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams of fiber for men; two and a half cups of vegetables for women and three cups of vegetables for men; and one and a half cups of fruit for women and two cups of fruit for men.

Plus, according to Mayo Clinic, foods high in fiber (like fruits and greens) aid in digestion and can help control your blood sugar. Koshy recommends working with a dietitian to help get your healthy eating in order.

Omega-3s, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid found in fatty fish and some plants, like flax seeds, may also be helpful. Check this out: One review published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine found that higher levels of dietary omega-3 fatty acids helped to lower blood triglyceride levels, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

However, Budoff says that traditional meds are often necessary if lifestyle changes aren’t working. These might include diuretics, beta-blockers, or ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure, or statins for high cholesterol, according to the AHA.

Meanwhile, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which lower blood sugar levels, are often prescribed for type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. These will help prevent further complications, like a heart attack or stroke, says Koshy.

Related: Shop a variety of supplements to support a healthy ticker.

A Workout In A Pill May Soon Be A Thing

What if you could reap the benefits of a good workout without leaving the couch? Would you do it?

Believe it or not, this might soon be a very legit premise, as researchers come closer and closer to developing what we might call ‘exercise in a pill.’

It all starts with a gene called PPAR delta (PPARD), which plays a key role in our metabolic response to exercise—a.k.a. how much energy we use and whether that energy comes from carbohydrates or fat. It’s activated when we work out, signaling muscles to shift into fat-burning mode and improving the body’s insulin sensitivity (a.k.a. blood sugar regulation), according to research out of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The theory is, when the body burns carbs for fuel, it ‘hits a wall’ when available sugar drops below a certain level. So, by burning fat for fuel instead, the body can conserve sugar for the brain, and can perform for longer before bonking. Not only does this mean better performance, but it also makes maintaining a healthy body weight easier.

So, what’s this about a pill? There is now a drug that can activate that PPARD gene. A new study published in Cell Metabolism found that after eight weeks on a high dose of this drug, couch potato mice were able to run for about 100 minutes longer than mice that didn’t take the drug. (Imagine being able to go further than you’ve ever run before without training!) Because the PPARD gene had been regularly activated in these mice, their bodies were able to run for longer, as well as better able to burn fat instead of carbs. Yep, they were also resistant to weight gain and had better insulin responses than the non-drugged mice.

Sounds great, right? There’s a catch, of course: While the drug boosted the metabolic benefits of exercise and increased endurance, it had no effect on some of the other payoffs of a good sweat—like changes within the muscles that lead to increased muscle mass, explains a Salk University press release. So while a PPARD-activating drug could potentially keep you from burning out on a long run or bike ride, it’s not going to help you increase lean mass while you veg on the couch.

Related: 6 Ways Building Muscle Benefits Your Health And Well-Being

And let’s not forget about all of the other wonderful benefits of working out, like stress relief, or the instant mood boost that comes with a good endorphin rush. Research (like this study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness) has also shown that exercise helps boost self-esteem. Then, too, there are the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, like healthy blood pressure and cholesterol support. And perhaps most importantly, what would our lives be without the fantasy-fulfillment of a good gym crush?

On the flip side, an ‘exercise pill’ could be a valuable game-changer for people with certain conditions, like type 2 diabetes or obesity, who could benefit from extra fat-burning and blood sugar support, suggest the researchers. It could also help bolster the fitness of patients kept sedentary before or after surgery, they say.

According to the Salk Institute, pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in developing human clinical trials—so those mice may not be the only ones popping exercise pills for long.

Related: Grab training equipment so you can sweat successfully wherever you are.