Workout Tips

This section of our health library is devoted to – you guessed it – workout tips! Learn about all things fitness in these articles that are designed to help you get up and get moving, regardless of your physical ability.

What Is LISS Cardio & Is It Worth Trying?

Many turn to intense workouts when wanting to lose weight fast, though a slower pace cardio may be just as effective. But what is LISS and is it really worth trying?

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When it comes to accelerated and successful weight loss, people often turn to higher intensity workouts.

But unlike HIIT (high-intensity interval training), LISS (low-intensity steady state) works at a much slower and steady pace. What's more, it may be just as effective.

Can a low-intensity workout really generate healthful benefits? Let's find out!

What Is LISS Cardio?

Before detailing what LISS cardio is, it is helpful to establish cardio's meaning. Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise and also known as aerobic training.

Aerobic is defined as "living, active, or occurring in the presence of oxygen." So in the context of aerobic exercise, oxygen is required to supply the body with energy to sustain the workout.

Cardio exercise encourages the heart to move more oxygen-carrying blood throughout the body. The lungs are then able to take in more oxygen, which strengthens the muscles ability to use it as cardio fitness strengthens.

Low-intensity steady state cardio (LISS) was founded and popularized by Kayla Itsines and boyfriend, Tobi Pearce. Kayla became an infamous personal trainer on social media while Tobi further drives and grows the empire via digital marketing.

LISS cardio stresses continuous movements instead of intense bouts of exercise like HIIT. Individuals who partake in LISS exercise at consistent paces for longer durations. This is typically 45 to 60 minutes while maintaining an approximate 50 to 70 percent maximum heart rate.

Kayla touts LISS training promotes fat and weight loss related to more oxygen availability while doing low-intensity exercises. She further explains that when more oxygen is available, it is able to burn more fat.

LISS exercises include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and the elliptical but at a relaxed, comfortable level.

Cardio Tips

To get the most out of cardio workouts for optimal health, implement these tips:

1. Alter Workouts

When it comes to workouts, the body can start to adapt to movements. Instead of sticking to the elliptical for the fourth day, choose a different form of cardio such as swimming or biking.

Strength training should also be included in a workout regimen. A HIIT workout can likewise be included.

2. Go the Extra Mile

Well, sort of.

If looking for workouts that burn calories quickly, LISS might not be the best option. Effective LISS workouts last about 45 minutes to an hour, requiring a little more time than a quick one-mile sprint.

But whether doing HIIT and LISS, aim to go the extra mile, put your best foot forward, and use proper technique.

3. Allow for Recovery

One perk of LISS over intense workouts is the decrease in muscle soreness and possible injuries.

Whereas muscle soreness can be a sign of an effective workout, constant soreness can hither and prevent further workouts.

But with any workout, if feeling too sore, allow the body to heal to prevent injuries.

4. Stretch

Stretching is just as important as the actual workout. Take the time to stretch out muscles for optimal recovery, which may include foam rolling. Your body will thank you!

Should You Add LISS Cardio Workouts?

Ultimately, individuals should choose a workout that best suits their goals and schedules. Besides, each fitness journey is unique and personal!

But one criticism of LISS is the devoted time to workout, especially with busy and demanding schedules. On the other hand, a majority of LISS exercises can be done without a gym membership and equipment. This avoids the costs of and drives to the gym.

Additionally, LISS closely aligns with physical activity recommendations by the American Heart Association, suggesting at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise. Most health experts will agree a cardiovascular routine paired with a strength training regimen generally produces maximum health benefits.

As a concluding note, Kayla suggests incorporating LISS cardio helps to build fitness levels. It is also easy to stick to and great for recovery.

To find more information on Kayla and LISS cardio, check out her personal website.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Medically reviewed By Jenni Berman, PA-C. Published on June 22, 2016. Updated on September 16, 2019.

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