Why LISS Should Be Part Of Your Workout Routine
If you follow any of my High Intensity with Kayla Itsines (formerly BBG) programs in the Sweat app, then I’m sure you are very familiar with the term “LISS”.
For those of you who don’t know what LISS means or why it can be beneficial for you, keep reading!
What is LISS?
LISS stands for low-intensity steady-state cardio. As its name suggests, it is any form of cardio exercise where you maintain the same low-intensity cardio pace (that is, a steady-state) for a set period of time.
Since the release of my first High Intensity with Kayla program (formerly BBG), this type of exercise has become a lot more popular among women. However low-intensity cardio exercise has been used by many professionals in the fitness industry for a long time as a way to complement intense training sessions!
That’s why I have included LISS in all of my High Intensity with Kayla programs — I wanted to share with you what so many people in the fitness industry already knew was a beneficial form of exercise.
What is the difference between LISS cardio and HIIT?
LISS is a completely different form of cardio compared to HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). HIIT focuses on quick bursts of high-intensity cardio followed by a rest period. For example, sprinting all-out for 30 seconds on a treadmill, followed by a short period of rest before beginning again. This cycle of work-rest periods is then repeated for 10-15 minutes.
HIIT cardio raises your heart rate fast because of the high intensity of the exercises. This can cause an “after-burn effect”, where your body can continue to burn fat even after you have stopped exercising.
[ Learn more: Your Questions About HIIT Workouts Answered ]
Why is LISS cardio good for you?
Combined with regular HIIT training, incorporating LISS into your workout routine can help you see results faster.
These are the reasons why I recommend including LISS cardio into your training program.
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.
LISS builds your fitness foundation
If you are looking to build up your fitness or haven’t exercised in a while, LISS is a great way to do this!
Because it is low-intensity cardio, this also means that it can be a great form of exercise for someone who is recently recovering from an injury or illness and wants to ease back into fitness.
Not only is LISS simple to do but if you are already working out, it is an easy addition to your exercise routine. This is because LISS generally does not place a lot of strain on your body, meaning it may be done several times per week.
It's a style of exercise that's easy to stick with
If you don’t like doing high-intensity cardio such as HIIT, then LISS is a great way to get moving because it is easy to stick to. I prefer to complete my LISS on the treadmill, or if I am travelling by going for a walk and listening to some music, which makes it super relaxing and enjoyable. If you don’t think about it as a chore or something you absolutely HAVE to do, you will be surprised at how much you want to do it.
You can do it for your recovery sessions
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. Low-intensity cardio can be a great way to still fit exercise in because it is low impact. This means that you are unlikely to impede your recovery by training with sore muscles. LISS can actually help to increase blood flow to sore muscles and help reduce post-workout stiffness.
It helps to burn fat
Training at a lower intensity means that more oxygen is available to your body. As fat needs oxygen in order to be broken down, the more oxygen you can give your body, the more fat you may be able to burn.
If your goal is to lose body fat, combining both HIIT and LISS into your routine is an efficient way to achieve this.
While HIIT can be great for burning stored body fat and calories in a short amount of time, LISS is an important addition to your workout routine because it helps your body metabolise fat — something that HIIT doesn’t do.
If you choose to only do LISS and not HIIT, your body may also begin to break down stored muscle as it burns energy, which means you may potentially lose muscle and strength!
That’s why my High Intensity with Kayla Itsines programs in the Sweat app include a combination of both — each form of cardio complements the other, helping to optimise your results!
LISS workout ideas
There are so many types of LISS that you can incorporate into your fitness schedule! The beauty of this type of cardio is that there are so many options for you to choose from you won't get bored from repeating the same kind of low-intensity cardio.
Here are some suggestions for LISS exercises that you can include in your workout routine. I recommend mixing it up as often as you can to keep it interesting!
Types of LISS cardio:
- Walking at a moderate pace
- Going hiking
- Steady cycling either on a spin-cycle bike or outdoors
- Steady rowing
- Using cardio equipment at the gym, such as the elliptical trainer, at a steady and moderate pace
- Recreational activities that can be done at a steady state, such as skateboarding or surfing.
The great thing about LISS is that it can easily fit in with your lifestyle! You can choose anything you like if you are able to do it at a steady and moderate pace for around 30-45 minutes.
I’ve mentioned this before but if you like to walk your dog for LISS, it only counts if they’re the type of dog that can walk briskly and doesn’t stop every two seconds to sniff or explore! Remember, it’s called low-intensity steady-state cardio for a reason — it needs to be steady! So, if your pet is anything like my two dogs, then taking them for a walk probably can’t count as your LISS!
Walking your dog is a great way to get outside and spend time with your furry friend though, and this alone can have so many benefits for your health.
Time to schedule your LISS in!
LISS has SO many benefits and may help you boost the results you get from your training.
It's great for your body, but it's also great for your mind and can help you to relax.
If you don’t already include LISS into your weekly routine, I highly recommend it. If you’re a fitness beginner, you could even start your journey with a LISS session today!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.