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Slow And Steady Exercise Has Its Benefits

Sometimes it seems that all I hear about is the magic of high-intensity interval training (HITT). This protocol alternates short periods of intense exercise with longer periods of moderate recovery periods, and promises results in as little time as possible.

LISS exercise is any repetitive motion for 30 to 45 minutes at 50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate, according to sports medicine specialist and physical therapist Kevin McGuinness. Typically, this refers to such activities as walking, swimming, or even jogging or biking at an easy pace.

“LISS is any activity that gets your heart rate up just a little bit and for a longer period of time,” McGuinness says. If it sounds familiar, that’s not surprising: Before the recent popularity of HIIT, McGuinness says, low intensity exercise was simply called “cardio.”

LISS isn’t helpful for only neophyte and recovering fitness buffs, however, McGuinness says. It has a place in the exercise program of nearly everyone, including higher-level athletes, who may use a LISS day, or “recovery day,” to tone down the intensity and take pressure off the joints.

Varying intensity in any exercise program can help you avoid burnout and offer adequate time to recover while still being active, McGuinness says. But in any exercise program, it’s also important to vary the stimulus. One of the physiological adaptations of exercise is that the body becomes more energy efficient and may not burn as many calories to do the same volume of exercise.

Herald Tribune