For many of us, the idea of cardio or working out is filled with images of sweat filled rooms,
feeling like you’re running out of oxygen, or torturing your body through another round of hell!
Although high-intensity training can be beneficial for your fitness journey, it’s not always the
best thing or the necessary thing for our bodies.
LISS training has become a common word in the fitness industry to describe low-intensity
steady-state training, or a method of cardiovascular exercise in which you do aerobic activity at
a low-to-moderate intensity for a continued, or often extended period of time.
High intensity interval training or (HIIT) involves alternating short bursts of intense cardio or
strength movements with your heart rate generally reaching 80 to 95 percent of your max and
40 to 50 percent for your low intensity intervals.
So why LISS over HIIT?
People often associate HIIT training with a way of achieving your fitness results in a shorter
period by burning a significant number of calories in a shorter amount of time. Too much HIIT
training and not combing low intensity aspects of fitness into your fitness routines can also lead
to over training, injury, and a stressful impact on our hormones.
Here are some other benefits of LISS cardio:
1) It aids in fat burning and fat loss.
Low impact steady state workouts like swimming, yoga, biking, and walking
have been shown to improve your body’s ability to use fat as fuel instead of
glycogen that we store in our muscles. Continued aerobic exercise has
been shown to be more effective than HIIT at improving fat distribution on
2) It’s appropriate for all levels.
One of my favourite things about LISS is that it’s gentle on the body and
appropriate for all fitness levels. So whether you’re a seasoned athlete
or just dipping your toe into your new fitness journey, there are many
options for getting your body moving in a gentle and enjoyable way.
3) Improves Mental health and recovery.
Movement is essential for not only keeping our bodies strong and
healthy but also improving our mental state. Movement has been shown
to improve our brain function, mood and also can improve our hormone
levels. Adding something like a hike, a gentle morning swim, or a yoga
flow into our day is not only a great way to improve blood flow and
recovery in our bodies but also boost our moods and improve our
Challenges to LISS training-
One of the challenges I see show up for clients or even my own workout schedule when it
comes to LISS training is the time commitment. One of the positive things and huge draws of
HIIT training is that is short and powerful! HIIT workouts are typically under 45 minutes and can
be done on a lunch break or injected into free time in our days in order to get our bodies
moving. LISS workouts typically range from 60-90 minutes and require more time and
scheduling in order to fit them into our schedules.
Due to the fact LISS workouts are longer, we also risk feeling bored with our workouts and can
lose interest. Even when we know something is beneficial for our bodies, if we are not having
fun or seeing a positive effect on our moods, we can quickly lose interest.
Here are some of the ways I keep LISS in my weekly workout schedule and stay motivated in
these longer workouts:
1) Schedule connection time with friends as a way of getting outside for a hike/walk.
2) Put in on the calendar. If I don’t put my yoga on my weekly workout schedule or plan for
recovery time for my body it honestly just won’t happen.
3) Try something new! Whether it’s a new hike, trying cold water swimming, or discovering
a new biking trail, adding variety and exploring your city is a great way of keeping things
interesting and also staying connected to movement without it seeming like a chore.
I personally have seen huge benefits with LISS training on my stress levels by reminding myself
to slow down, allowing my body to recover more efficiently from workouts, and also learning to
fall in love with new aspects of movement.
In the words of Albert Einstein:
“Nothing happens until something moves”
What would change, shift, strengthen, or soften if you chose to move in this season?
I would love to hear from you and move together! Find me on Instagram @dailyroutinefitness