Low Intensity Steady State Exercise

What is LISS?

L.I.S.S stands for Low Intensity Steady State. LISS refers to exercise that doesn’t put a massive amount of stress on the body and can be performed for longer periods of time. There are a load of different exercises you can use while doing LISS but my favourites have to be walking outside in the fresh air or on an exercise bike at home when the weather doesn’t allow me outside.

In terms of your heart rate, LISS will be in the aerobic zones, therefore the body is still getting plenty of oxygen. For myself I tend to work between 65% and 75% of my max heart rate. But anywhere between 60% and 80% is fine.

girl exercising

Benefits of LISS

  1. Burns Calories

    – If you are looking to burn a few extra calories to promote weight loss them LISS is perfect. It may not burn as many calories as High Intensity Interval Training however HIIT is very demanding and if you are starting out, LISS is a good place to begin.

  1. Boosts your metabolism

    – Speeding up your metabolism will increase the efficiency of the chemical reactions in your body. This results in your body burning more calories and can increase your energy levels.

  1. Helps maintain muscle mass

    – An advantage of LISS over a moderate intensity cardio is that you are less likely to risk losing muscle mass that you have gained. This is why you tend to see bodybuilders out for walks in the leed up to a competition rather than pounding the treadmill. This is also because if you are on a low calorie diet you don’t want to put quite as much stress on the body as it won’t have the calories to rebuild the muscle and could result in losing the muscle mass.

  1. Improve your Aerobic fitness and cardiovascular endurance

    – Performing exercise will over time improve your body’s efficiency. This will make performing exercise easier allowing you go for longer as your body will for instance be better at taking oxygenated blood to the muscles allowing them to work.

  1. Easier to keep motivated

    – I personally find that LISS is one of my favourite workouts or active rest day exercises. It can be done anywhere and isn’t so intense that you feel completely drained at the end. If anything I often feel as though I have more energy after a morning walk which also gives you chance to think! If you aren’t enjoying your workouts chances are you will fail to stick at it for a long period of time and may find yourself feeling stressed.

Some people say that steady state cardio can be time consuming and boring, but I believe this is just down to how they apply it. If you make it enjoyable it isn’t a waste of time as it gives you a chance to escape from the day to day stresses and clear your mind.