Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) is an acronym for a method of training/exercise. As the name suggests, your objective would be to keep your heart rate at a comfortable/maintainable level and to work for a longer period of time.
What are the benefits of LISS?
Lower intensity exercise allows you to build your base fitness. This would be a foundational attribute which is highly recommended before high intensity exercise. It is much safer and develops your ability to control breathing, strengthens your heart and improves your overall fitness.
For people that are highly stressed this method of training may actually be more valuable as it could reduce stress.
We must always remember that stress presents itself in 3 key forms; emotional, mental and physical! So it isn’t always sensible to work hard after a mentally stressful day. You could be adding to the problem – instead of reducing or dealing with the real issue.
How do the benefits differ from HIIT?
For a beginner/somebody returning from a long period without exercise, there actually wouldn’t be much different. Apart from a reduced amount of delayed onset muscle soreness which (depending on the type of exercise) could be attributed to HiiT.
As mentioned before, foundational fitness levels should always be established before even considering a HiiT workout.
LISS is less demanding upon your muscles and joints. Therefore, recovery time may also be reduced. Allowing you to exercise again in a shorter space of times.
What would a typical LISS workout look like?
Try walking, cycling or using a cross-trainer, if you have access to one. All at a maintainable speed and intensity for more than 20 minutes. Stretching and mobility-based exercises could also be considered LISS!