The New York Times notes that significant health benefits usually only achieved from long, regular workouts can be obtained by:
“One minute of strenuous effort, at about 90 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate…followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery are repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes.”
Own a piece of exercise equipment? Now you know what to do with it twice a week
If you’re ready to start, the article notes that you can roughly estimate max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.