Every time you get ready to tie up your Nikes to hit the gym, it seems there’s a newer, better, must-try workout you should be doing. It can be inspiring – but also really confusing. So when we read about low-intensity steady state cardio (LISS), we had to get the skinny.

So, what is it?
Turns out, it’s a fancy name for low-impact cardio such as walking, light jogging, cycling and swimming. How do you know if you’ve got the correct pace? A typical LISS workout lasts from 30 to 45 minutes and should be performed at 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Why is it good for you? 1. It’s exercise, duh. 2. It burns fat. “By keeping the heart rate in this range, the preferred source of energy the body uses is fat,” says personal trainer Adrian Frai. (At higher intensities, the body burns carbs instead.) Before you start jogging 24/7, here’s the catch. “It will take you a longer amount of time to burn the same amount of calories at lower intensities than at higher intensity activities such as interval training,” says personal trainer Brent Bishop.

Who can benefit? Anyone, really! Bishop recommends incorporating up to two LISS workouts into your weekly routine in between strength and HIIT training. “It can be good complement to your strength and conditioning routine as it allows active rest from other, more intense forms of exercise.” LISS is also recommended for beginner or people recovering from injuries. “It’s non-intimidating…and it can be performed more frequently and without the risk of injury,” adds Frai.

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