A cardio workout is any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up and keeps it there for an extended period. This can be anything from running to swimming to biking. The key is finding an activity you enjoy and can sustain for at least 30 minutes. If you are new to cardio workouts, starting slowly and gradually increasing your workout intensity is always a good idea. This will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.
There are many benefits to doing cardio workouts. They help improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and burn calories. A recent study showed that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio could burn up to 200 calories!
When we talk about cardio workouts, the two most common programs that come to mind are HIIT and LISS. So, the main struggle is finding the most suited cardio workout type that works for your body. HIIT and LISS have shown significant benefits for health and fitness, but the big question is which one to follow.
Here we will discuss the fundamental difference between HIIT and LISS and when to follow each.
Lower Intensity Steady State (LISS)
LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio is a great way to get your heart rate up without putting too much stress on your body. It's a perfect for beginners to start. To do LISS, you can use any type of cardio machine at a moderate intensity for a more extended period. A good rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate at around 50-70% of your max heart rate.
Another difference between LISS and other workouts is the intensity of the exercises. LISS is a much lower intensity than other types of workouts. This means it's perfect for days you're short on motivation or are experiencing fatigue. It's also a great way to warm up your body before a more intense workout.
The benefits of LISS are numerous. It helps improve cardiovascular health, increases endurance, and burns calories. It's also a great way to reduce stress and improve recovery from other workouts. And, since it's a low-intensity workout, it's less likely to lead to injuries.
The goal while doing LISS is to keep your heart rate in the 50-70% range. This means you should be able to carry on a conversation while working out. You're probably working too hard if you can't talk without feeling out of breath. LISS is a great way to get your heart rate up without overdoing it, which is why it is suitable for people of all fitness levels. If you haven't been exercising for a longer time, it is best to start with LISS training.
Benefits of LISS
LISS cardio is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness without putting too much stress on your body. Here are some of the benefits of LISS cardio:
Easy on Your Joints
LISS cardio can be a great alternative if joint pain or other issues make high-impact activities difficult for you. Because you're not putting your body through the same intense movements as with HIIT, your joints have less strain.
Warms Up the Body
Warming up is essential before any exercise, and it's especially more important before HIIT, which puts a lot of stress on your body. LISS cardio is a great way to warm up because it gets your heart rate and blood flow without being too strenuous.
Helps Burn Fat
LISS cardio can help burn fat, even when not working out. When you do LISS cardio, your body has to work harder to maintain a steady state, which means you're burning more calories even when you're not exercising.
Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
LISS cardio is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness. Because it keeps your heart rate up and there, it strengthens your heart and improves efficiency.
LISS cardio can be done with any exercise, whether walking, running, biking, or swimming. You can also do it indoors or outdoors, such as jumping rope, making it a convenient option regardless of the weather.
Is LISS Right for Me?
LISS cardio, or low-intensity steady-state cardio, is a type of aerobic exercise performed at a relatively low level of intensity for an extended period. This type of cardio is often recommended for people new to exercise, as it is considered a less demanding form of cardio than other types such as HIIT or interval training.
If you're thinking about incorporating LISS cardio into your workout routine, there are a few things to remember:
- Choose an activity you enjoy and can sustain for an extended period, such as walking, biking, or even light jogging.
- Warm up before beginning your LISS cardio session, as this will help reduce your risk of injury.
- Don't forget to cool down and stretch afterward!
If you're looking for a way to improve your cardiovascular fitness without putting too much strain on your body, then the answer is probably yes. Make sure to add diversity to your workouts to avoid burnout.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is an exercise that alternates between short bursts of high-intensity activity and rest periods. This type of workout is more effective at burning fat and improving fitness than traditional, longer workouts.
HIIT is mainly characterized by extremely challenging workouts, followed by equally short periods of rest or even complete rest to allow the body to recover and adapt. The challenge here is to increase your heart rate to your max capacity and then recover within a short time.
You can do HIIT with any cardio exercise, such as running, biking, rowing, or swimming, or with an aerobic stepper. The key is to push yourself hard for a short period, then recover for a minute or two before repeating the cycle. A typical HIIT workout might last for 30 minutes total, with only 20 minutes of actual exercise time.
The important thing is to push yourself as hard as possible during the "work" periods while maintaining good form. During the "rest" periods, you should completely recover to be able to give your 100% during the next workout. The rest periods in the HIIT workout are usually shorter but sufficient enough to catch your breath.
Benefits of HIIT
If you're looking for a workout that's effective, convenient, customizable, and fun, HIIT is worth trying.
Burn Fat & Calories in Short Time
HIIT workouts are a great way to burn fat and calories within a short time. One study found that participants who did HIIT workouts burned more than twice the amount of calories as those who did traditional cardio exercises like jogging or cycling.
Boosts Cardiovascular Fitness
HIIT workouts can help improve your cardiovascular fitness by making your heart and lungs work harder.
HIIT workouts can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is a timer and some space to move.
HIIT workouts involve a lot of compound exercises, which means they work for multiple muscle groups at once. This makes HIIT workouts great for people who want to get a full-body workout in a short period.
Should I Do HIIT?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a type of workout that alternates between short bursts of intensity and rest periods. You can do HIIT with any exercise, but it is often used with running, biking, or other cardiovascular activities. You can also incorporate HIIT into your strength-training routine by doing short bursts of intense activity followed by brief rest periods.
If you are thinking about adding HIIT to your workout routine, there are a few things to consider.
- Make sure you understand the principles of HIIT and how to execute the exercises correctly. HIIT is challenging, and you should be able to keep up with the challenge.
- Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you become more comfortable with the movements.
- Always listen to your body and stop if you feel pain or discomfort. If you have spent some time exploring the fitness world, you might be ready to do HIIT. It is more suited to advanced and experienced fitness levels. If you are ready for a challenge, try HIIT.
LISS Versus HIIT: What's the Difference?
LISS, or low-intensity steady-state cardio, is a type of exercise that keeps your heart rate consistently stable. This can be anything from a slow walk to a moderate jog. HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is an exercise that alternates between short bursts of high-intensity activity and rest periods.
Choosing the right exercise type for you depends on a lot of factors, such as:
- Your Stamina and Endurance
- Medical Conditions
- Activity Level and Status
- Your Fitness Goals
- Your Routine
- Your Nutritional Status
So, consider your preference and current fitness level before choosing between these two cardio workouts.
1. Is HIIT better than LISS for fat loss?
While HIIT and LISS (low-intensity steady state) workouts can help burn fat, HIIT is generally more effective. This is because HIIT workouts elevate your heart rate to a greater extent, resulting in more calories burned.
2. How can I do a HIIT workout at home?
There are many ways to do a HIIT workout at home. One way is to use an interval timer and alternate between exercises like jumping jacks and push-ups for 30 seconds each. Another way is to use cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical piece and set the machine to alternate between high and low-intensity periods.
3. How often should I do HIIT workouts?
Most experts recommend doing HIIT workouts 2-3 times per week, with at least one day of rest between sessions.
4. How long should a HIIT workout be?
A HIIT workout should last 45 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down periods. However, the actual interval training portion of the workout should only last 20 minutes.
HIIT and LISS are both crucial types of cardio that boost your heart health, improve your metabolism, and push you to start on your fitness goals. You can choose any workout type, but you must know your fitness level. If you are a beginner, it is ideal to start with LISS, and if you are ready for a more significant challenge, go for HIIT.
Both workout types are great for burning calories and reducing the fat percentage of your body. When doing any workout program, make sure to be mindful so that you can reap the maximum benefits.
- D’Amuri, Andrea, et al. “Effectiveness of High-Intensity Interval Training for Weight Loss in Adults with Obesity: A Randomised Controlled Non-Inferiority Trial.” BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, vol. 7, no. 3, July 2021, p. e001021. bmjopensem.bmj.com, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsem-2020-001021.
- Corliss, Julie. “High-Intensity Exercise and Your Heart.” Harvard Health, 1 Dec. 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/high-intensity-exercise-and-your-heart.