LISS Workouts: Exercises, Benefits and Differences with HIIT

by Krissy Cela

What is LISS?

Low intensity, steady state exercise, aka, LISS. LISS is a form of cardio exercise which complements any workout plan. This type of training can be done at home or at the gym. LISS is usually completed a couple of times a week for approximately 30-60 minutes. The aim is to reach an intensity level of approximately 50-60% of your maximum heart rate.

What is the difference between LISS, HIIT and NEAT?

All of these acronyms?! Here is a brief explanation:

HIIT: high intensity interval training. HIIT workouts involve a much higher intensity level (around 70-90% of your maximum heart rate). A complete HIIT workout is usually no more than 20-30 minutes. Each interval is around 20-30 seconds with a rest that can range from 10-30 seconds. The interval sprint workouts along with some of the challenges and 15 minute workouts on the Tone & Sculpt app fall under HIIT workouts.

NEAT: non exercise activity thermogenesis. This is everything we do on a day to day basis apart from sleeping. NEAT can range from vacuuming your house to taking the stairs. The idea is to keep moving and stay active. If you can increase your NEAT you are already on your way to a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

The main difference between all three is the type of workout you do and your energy exertion. All three, along with strength training, work together to form a varied workout schedule.

What is an example of a LISS workout?

There are so many ways to fit in a LISS workout to your schedule:

Take a nice walk through the park, with a friend, with the dog or with your headphones, fresh air and a smile!
Uphill walking - great for getting that heart rate going and to activate your glute muscles too!
A steady bike ride, which can be done indoors and outdoors.
Swimming: a lovely exercise to support the health of your muscles and joints too. Plus, it is so relaxing!
A steady jog, which can be completed in the gym or outdoors too.
The elliptical trainer - this is great for a steady full body workout

The beauty of LISS is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Due to the nature of LISS, as long as you have comfortable shoes on, you’re good to go! It’s a great workout to do on a lunch break - why not suggest it to a colleague, a friend or even have a walking, talking meeting! Fresh air and a bit of steady state cardio can really get your creative juices flowing!

What are the benefits of LISS?

1. It can be just as effective if not more!
LISS workouts use fat as fuel from your body and some studies show that steady state workouts can be better than HIIT training for fat distribution. If you are planning on taking part in a marathon or endurance events, LISS is an effective method of training as it allows your muscles to ‘de-stress’ and recover and therefore are better preparation for endurance training compared to HIIT workouts.

2. It is free!
LISS is an accessible form of exercise and a walk in the park is free! It’s a great way to exercise, especially if you don’t have access to a gym or are unable to workout at home. LISS is a healthy, sustainable and perfectly effective part of any lifestyle.

3. Great for socialising
LISS can be done with friends and family. It’s a great way to catch up and bond with your loved ones. Plus, you’re modelling a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, which is great for all to see.

4. Catch up on Netflix!
If you decide to complete a LISS workout at the gym, on the treadmill or bike, it can be a great way to catch up on your favourite show or podcast. That way, you’re staying active and chilling at the same time! A whole new meaning to ‘Netflix and chill!’

5. A great way to get stuff done!
Yes, exercise is meant to be time out for you, however sometimes our schedules and life just don’t allow for exclusive time out. Instead of missing a workout and feeling disappointed, why not make your to do list, answer a few emails or do a bit of life admin as you complete your LISS workout? The majority of us have smartphones now: online banking, email and the world wide web are right there in front of you! In fact, you could complete a 30 minute power walk, listen to your podcast and bash out a few emails all at the same time...the thought of getting all that done in less than an hour is motivating in itself!

Why should I include LISS on a weekly basis?

We all love to sweat when we work out and many of us think we haven’t worked ‘hard’ enough if our hearts aren’t racing and we’re not drenched in sweat. However, our bodies need balance and LISS provides us with that. We can’t perform at 100% all the time if we don’t allow our bodies to recover. LISS allows us to stay active whilst letting our muscles, bones and joints recover too.

If you have DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) and are struggling to move around, a LISS workout is exactly what you need to stay active and relieve some of the pain. Followed by a nice stretch and recovery session (all available on the Tone & Sculpt app), you’ll be good to go, feeling happy, positive and motivated to continue with a sustainable workout plan.

Like with everything to do with your health and wellbeing, your workouts need balance and variation too. LISS complements strength and HIIT workouts with several benefits. It’s good for the mind, body and your overall wellbeing. Share your LISS workouts with us below and let us know the benefits you experience! 

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