As I'm sure you know, cardio is a key element of a good fitness routine, but HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is intimidating. And, I’m sure you've heard the term “LISS.” For those of you who don’t know what it means or why it is so beneficial for you, I’m going to explain it in this blog and why it's beneficial.
LISS stands for Low-Intensity Steady State cardio. As its name suggests, it is any form of low-intensity cardio where you maintain the same pace for a set period. This is running about 65-75% of your max heart rate for an extended period. For most people this means a slow jog or very fast walk. This period is usually marked as anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes. When thinking about HITT versus LISS, it’s pretty much a sprint vs. a marathon.
This is completely different to HIIT, which focuses on quick bursts of cardio followed by a rest period. This type of cardio raises your heart rate fast and can cause an “after-burn effect”, where your body continues to burn fat even after you have stopped exercising. While HIIT can be great for burning fat and calories in a short amount of time, I do not recommend that it be the only type of cardio you do as part of your exercise routine.
LISS Builds Fitness Levels
If you are looking to build up your fitness or haven’t exercised in a while, LISS is an excellent way to do this. Not only is it simple to do, but it is an easy addition to your exercise routine. This is because LISS does not place a lot of strain on your body, and may be done several times per week.
Example os LISS
LISS is great because it can be done in or out of the gym; Pretty much anywhere. You could go on a brisk walk around your town, or a comfortable bike ride, or you could utilize some equipment by having a gentle session on a rowing machine, stair machine or elliptical. Another great example of a full body LISS would be to spend some time in a swimming pool, having fun while also working out.
Why Is It So Popular?
There are three main reasons why LISS has become so popular in recent years. The first is that it is perfect for fitting in as a form of exercise that #people can do on their ‘rest days’ for HIIT. The second is that it is not intimidating in the slightest compared to more active and intensive workout regimes. And, third is that it appeals to those who would class themselves as ‘lazy’ because the low effort of the exercise shines over the fact that you have to commit to extended period of time.
Does LISS Work?
To put it simply, yes, it does. When maintained as part of a healthy, balanced diet and fitness, LISS can be just as good for your as any other kind of regular exercise. The trick is not to cut corners and commit the time to these extended periods of lower intensity exercise.
It Is Great For Recovery
If you have had a few tough training sessions during the week, adding in another HIIT or resistance session may not be the best idea for your body. LISS can be an excellent way to still fit exercise in because it is low impact. Its low-impact intensity means that you are unlikely to hinder your recovery by training over the top of sore muscles. LISS can help to increase blood flow to damaged muscles and reduce post-workout stiffness.
You Can Do It Often
If you complete your LISS exercises correctly and don’t put any unneeded stress on your body, there is no reason that you shouldn’t do it every single day. The more you do it, the more it will become routine, and once something is a habit, the day feels weird if you don’t do it, not if you do.
If you are used to high-intensity training, then LISS is the perfect complement for when you want to work out that day, but your body is still in slight recovery from your more intense efforts from the day before. It’s a great way to stay permanently active.