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Fitness and motivation / April 20, 2016

Cardio Challenge: HIIT vs LISS

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Is it time to mix up your cardio workouts? HIIT and LISS are 2 very different forms of cardio - here's the lowdown.

Cardiovascular exercise is a staple part of any well rounded exercise routine and is classified as any movement that increases your heart rate and blood circulation. Cardio has many benefits; it can improve heart health, increase calorie expenditure and can also increase your metabolism. 

So, we know cardio is good, but how should we do it? There's 2 very popular forms of cardio you can try, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Low Impact Steady State (LISS), here we check out the benefits of both: 

HIIT

HIIT is a form of interval training, alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. Think sprinting on the treadmill at top speed and then recovering for a short amount of time with a slow walk. 

Pros

You can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time

- HIIT can boost muscle mass which can help increase your resting metabolism (so you're body will be burning calories after your workout, even when you're just chilling out!)

There's so many options! You can do HIIT in dedicated workout classes to more standard circuits, or on the treadmill, outside, cross trainer, exercise bike or even bodyweight exercises at home.

- It's great if you're short of time - HIIT workouts are quick

Cons

HIIT workouts are very intense so may not be suitable for everyone or those with existing injuries

- The risk for injury can be higher than usual so be careful at all times and ensure you warm up properly!

LISS

LISS workouts are anything that keeps your heart beating at a steady rate, think jogging, cycling, walking or using the cross trainer. 

Pros

Can be a good way to switch off and zone out

- As LISS is slow and steady, it's suitable for all levels of fitness

- As you can perform LISS for longer, you'll still burn a similar amount of calories as to what you would during HIIT training

Cons

- Soon after you finish your LISS session, your calorie burn will also stop 

- Your body can adapt to the steady state nature of the exercise which may mean you stop seeing results

- For those who get bored easily, doing the same exercise for a long period can be off-putting

Still not sure which ones for you? Check out our quickfire flow chart below!

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Whether you're more into HIIT or LISS, it's important to remember that the most succesful routines are those that include variety - so mix it up and include both in your workouts to get the most benefit from your training!

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Lisa

Written by Lisa

Coming from being a professional dancer, I transitioned into fitness because I couldn't stay still! In addition to partner management at MoveUSA, I teach fitness classes throughout NYC and spend my time eating, sleeping and breathing fitness! When not thinking about fitness, I'm taking a business course at FIT NYC. What keeps me motivated? Wanting to live the healthiest life possible and de-stress the natural way ;)

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