The world of workout acronyms can be a confusing and intimidating place, particularly if you’re familiar with the brutal four letter acronym known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), but a by-word for absolute muscle-burning agony. Fortunately, the newest exercise style on the block is a far less aggressive version of HIIT…
Known as LISS (Low Intensity Steady State), this is an exercise methodology which is the opposite of pushing yourself as hard as possible for short bursts. Instead, LISS is all about maintaining a low level of exertion continuously over a much longer period of time.
Does LISS work?
The theory behind LISS is fairly convincing, although no serious studies have looked into the principle. The idea is that our bodies need lots of oxygen in order to metabolise (break down) fat. When we’re pushing ourselves to breaking point, it’s not easy to catch a breath, which decreases our oxygen levels rapidly.
By contrast, exercise like walking leaves us with plenty of oxygen to help with fat burn and weight loss. In fact, compared to sprinting and jogging, walking burns the most fat per calorie. That means you’ll need to do a lot of walking to enjoy the same benefits, but if you can keep going for a long period, you should see greater weight loss.
What counts as LISS?
Any gentle form of exercise which keeps you active for a long period qualifies as LISS. Whether you’re going on a hike, heading to the pool for a swim or taking a long bike ride, you’ll be getting great LISS exercise. But remember: don’t push yourself to the limit, keep the exercise gentle and keep going for as long as possible.
Are you already performing LISS exercise without realising? Do you prefer the adrenaline of going all out, or do you prefer to work out in a more relaxed way? Share your thoughts and your fitness tips with other readers below.