High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage these days, but is it really any better than traditional cardio?
While it may churn through body fat at a faster rate, research also shows it’s less enjoyable, with poor adherence rates for those trying to lose weight.
The best exercise is the one you do consistently and stick to long term. Enter Lower Intensity Steady State cardio, or LISS for short. This is basically the opposite of HIIT and is defined as exercise that elevates your heart rate to 40 to 50 percent of your estimated max (calculated by 220 minus your age), or exercise at a level where you can talk and sing comfortably.
Belting out your favorite tunes while you exercise is definitely a bonus, but there are many circumstances where LISS is actually better for you.
Here are four reasons why you should opt for a lower intensity workout:
You're just starting out
If you’re new to fitness, it’s important to gradually build up your exercise regimen to let your body adjust. Going too hard too soon can increase your risk of injury, such as stress fractures, muscle strains, inflamed tendons, and plantar fasciitis.
Bypass the bootcamps for now and focus on building a base of fitness instead by accumulating at least 30 minutes of cardio a day such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming and doing plenty of stretches after to stay injury free.
You don't enjoy high intensity training
It’s a complete myth that you need to run or get your heart rate ridiculously high to reap the benefits of exercise. According to a study in the Journal of Sports Science Medicine, moderate intensity steady state cardio, like brisk walking, provides the same heart health benefits as HIIT, but is much more enjoyable.