As I'm sure you know, cardio is a key element of a good fitness routine but HIIT (High Intensity-interval Training) is intimidating to many of us. So if I tell you there is an alternative that is more palatable to those of us who struggle with bursts of intense exercise yet is still cardio-beneficial, you'd be interested, right? Then, read on.
1. What is LISS?
Here’s what you should know about LISS. LISS is the acronym for low intensity sustained state, and it is a term that is used for any kind of cardio and aerobic based exercise that is performed a low intensity rate but for an extended period of time. This period of time is usually classed as anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes. When thinking about HIT versus LISS, it’s pretty much a sprint vs. a marathon.
2. Is It Brand New?
No, not really. Essentially, LISS is a new branding for a traditional form of exercise that trendy personal trainers can entice people with at the gym. Its recent resurgence in popularity has been linked to an Australian trainer called Kayla Itsines who runs a super popular Instagram detailing her fitness journey. Though it is really trendy right now, this kind of low intensity exercise has been used by athletes since the 60s and 70s.
3. 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 the third is that it appeals to those of us who would class ourselves as ‘lazy’ because the low effort of the exercise shines over the fact that you have to commit to long period.
4. Examples of 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 whilst also working out.
5. Does It Really Work?
To put it simply, yes, it does! When maintained as part of a healthy, balanced diet, LISS can be just as good for your fitness and body as any other kind of regular exercise. The trick is to not cut corners and commit the time to these extended periods of lower intensity exercise; there is no point cutting corners because it’s only you that will be disappointed.
6. How Often Should You do LISS?
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 habit, the day feels weird if you don’t do it, not if you do!
7. Can You Combine It?
Sure, if you are used to performing high intensity training, then LISS is the perfect accompaniment for when you want to work out that day but your body is still in slight recovery from your more intense efforts the day before. It’s a great way to stay permanently active.
This sounds more attractive to me than HIIT. What do you think?