For the past few years, short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been all the rage. Now there’s reason to believe slow and steady cardio is the way to go for weight loss and fat burning.
Known as low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, this method focuses on consistent effort and low intensity for longer periods of time. The idea is to keep your heart rate steady, at 60 to 80 percent of your maximum rate, for the entire workout.
You will clearly burn calories with either kind of workout. Yet the science behind LISS shows that if your heart rate goes too high, you’re mostly burning glucose (sugar). Slower, lower-capacity workouts are better for burning body fat.
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Typical LISS workouts can last anywhere from 15 minutes for beginners to 90 minutes for more experienced exercisers.
Experts recommend working out two or more times a week, doing any of the following:
- Using an elliptical machine
- Swimming at a moderate pace
- Taking a dance class
- Going for a hike
- Walking fast
- Steady rowing indoors or on the water
- Riding a stationary bike or cycling at a moderate pace
Because the workouts tend to be lower impact, almost anyone can do them. So if burpees or power jumps aren’t your thing, you (and your knees) can still get an effective and safe, fat-burning cardiovascular workout. Just remember that “low-intensity” and “low-impact” don’t mean chilling on the elliptical for an hour. A good rule of thumb is this: If you can easily chat with your workout bestie on the next treadmill, it’s time to step up your game.
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