You’ve likely heard of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) before, but what you might not be as familiar with is LISS (Low-Intensity Steady-State Cardio). If you are on the quest to get healthier or just trying to maintain your current weight, you are probably willing to try anything to find what works best for you. By reading on, you can learn more about LISS, its benefits, and how it differs from HIIT so that you can decide which option will work best for you.
What is Low-Intensity Steady-State Cardio?
Also known as LISS, low-intensity steady-state cardio is a type of cardiovascular exercise where you will do low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise for a continuous and typically extended period of time. While it might have recently been referred to as LISS, this exercise method has been around for a long time. Other terms were once used to describe this exercise, including:
- Low-intensity exercise
- LSD (Long Slow Distance) training
- SST (Steady-State Training)
- Continuous cardiovascular exercise
This exercise method uses the exact opposite of the principles of HIIT, which focuses on alternating bursts of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity exercise. LISS is typically associated with swimming, running, cycling, and other cardio activities that utilize long, low-intensity sessions.
Benefits of LISS Cardio
There are several benefits a person can gain from LISS cardio, just as one would gain from any exercise regimen. This section will take a look at some of the top benefits you can get from LISS cardio.
1. It’s Basically Free
One of the best-selling features of LISS is that it’s essentially free. There’s no need for a gym membership or membership to an online workout program. You can easily do this type of program right in the comforts of your own home if you want. Or you can take advantage of running, brisk walking, swimming, or cycling outside. If you already have the items you need for the workout of your choice, you don’t need to pay for anything else.
2. Helps Build Up Your Fitness Levels
Are you new to regular exercise or just haven’t exercised in a while? If so, LISS can be a great option for you because it can help you build up your fitness levels. If you were recently sick or injured, this can be the exact thing that you need to stay in shape or get back into shape. It doesn’t put as much strain on your body as other forms of exercise, which can make this an ideal choice.
3. Can Stick with It Better
It’s hard to stick with workouts if you don’t enjoy yourself, especially if HIIT is too much for you. Even something as simple as taking a brisk walk when you don’t feel like an “actual workout” can be a great thing to do when you’re just not feeling it but want to stay active. It’s also easier to stick to because it’s so flexible and can cover a variety of different workout categories.
4. Excellent for Recovery
After you have had a day of really intense workouts, it can be a struggle to get back out the next day to workout. With LISS, you can get the simple, low-impact workout that you need to recover while also providing you with a workout to keep you on your routine. Plus, LISS can improve blood flow to the muscles damaged during the workout, improving your recovery, and reducing the stiffness that usually follows after a hard workout.
5. Burns Fat
LISS can be highly effective at helping you burn more fat. When you are training at a lower level of intensity, more oxygen is free to move around your body. Fat needs this oxygen to be broken down, so the more oxygen you have, the better your body burns fat.
6. Better Prepares You for Endurance Events
Since LISS is an exercise method that uses low-intensity workouts for a longer time, this is the perfect way to train for any endurance events that you need to be prepared for.
LISS vs. HIIT
There are three primary differences between LISS and HIIT, as you can see here.
Intensity of the Workouts
The primary difference between the two methods of workouts is intensity. HIIT utilizes both high and low intensity during intervals, whereas LISS has low-intensity workouts over a period of time. The point of LISS workouts is to keep your heart rate at a sustainable rate while still pushing your limits, with a heart rate around 60% to 70% of your usual max heart rate. HIIT is meant to push you harder, where your heart should be working between 70% and 90% of what your max heart rate is.
LISS cardio will last a lot longer than the duration of a HIIT workout. LISS’s average workout duration is between 30 and 60 minutes, while the average HIIT workout is not usually more than 30 minutes. This is because the intensity required for HIIT isn’t sustainable for any longer than that period of time.
A common misconception is that you are burning more calories because you usually do LISS activities for longer than HIIT activities. But that’s not usually the case at all. In most cases, you will burn more calories during a session of HIIT than you would with LISS. That’s because, after a HIIT workout, the body continues to burn calories throughout the day, whereas LISS activities won’t burn any additional calories after the workout.
LISS can be a highly effective workout that can help you achieve your goals, especially when struggling with HIIT workouts. You will be better able to maintain a routine with these workouts, and you can help build up your stamina slowly so that you can work your way up to other workouts. The important thing is to find something that you love to continue to do every day.
Are you ready to take your workouts to the next level? Contact EVOLVE patient care to optimize your strength, energy, and muscle in and out of the gym.