Did you know that taking it easy during your workout could actually be an effective fat-burning strategy? Sign me up, you’re probably thinking. Enter LISS training, which stands for Low-Intensity Steady State cardio and refers to exactly that: any form of cardio exercise where you maintain the same low-intensity pace for a duration of time.
LISS proponents typically recommend 30 to 60 minutes spent at roughly 60 percent of your maximum heart rate effort, otherwise known as the LISS fat-burning sweet spot, which also brings the added benefits of increased blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the cells in your body.
One of the biggest advantages that LISS cardio has over other popular training methods, such as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) or specialized training classes like CrossFit, is that it’s easy and free.
“If you are new to fitness, LISS is an easy, low-intensity form of exercise that you can start out with. You don’t have to go to a gym to do it, or step outside of your comfort zone too much. Starting a new fitness journey can be intimidating, so LISS workouts can be a great way to ease into a new routine in a way that isn’t as scary,” says viral personal trainer and author Kayla Itsines, who incorporates LISS cardio as a key component in her popular fitness guides.
Another benefit to this kind of slower-paced workout is that it’s safer, reducing the chance of injury, as there is less strain placed on the joints — especially the more delicate knee area. This makes LISS ideal for those recovering from an injury or those who want an easy addition to an already active exercise regimen, since it has minimal potential to harm the body and can be done several time a week.
While it may sound too good to be true, training at a lower intensity is also a great way to support healthy weight loss. The science behind this is that when you do LISS cardio, more oxygen is available to your body. As fat requires oxygen in order to be broken down, it makes sense that increasing the oxygen you can give your body also increases the fat you may be able to burn.
“LISS is an important addition to your workout routine because it helps your body metabolisz fat — something that HIIT doesn’t do,” explains Itsines.
Here are some LISS cardio workouts you can try today. It is recommended to do one of the following at a steady but moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes:
- Brisk walking
- Steady cycling (spin-cycle bike or outdoors)
- Steady rowing
- Gym cardio equipment, such as the elliptical trainer
- Recreational activities, such as skateboarding or surfing