If you are reading this and you follow my Insta-story, you will see that one of my favourite things to do is walk by the sea or take a stroll up the mountains. Well, I have great news because if this is something you enjoy as much as me, you can rejoice as it is a perfectly legitimate form of training.
I'm going to guess that you have heard of HIIT ( Hight Intensity Interval Training) and if you have heard of it, I'm going to go right ahead and say you have also tried it and if you have tried it, you are probably reading this sweating just at the thought of it - I get you!
Now I love HIIT because its fast and then it's over which suits me down to the ground. HIIT basically works by increasing your heart rate fast which causes an 'after-burn effect' where you continue to burn fat even after you are finished exercising...amazing right?! Yes, but I wouldn't recommend this as the only cardio you do because you also have LISS.
LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) like the name suggests is a much lower form of cardio where you keep a steady pace for a set period of time. LISS for me is as much about mindfulness as it is about health and fitness. Our days are full of high intensity in this hectic world, always a stream of to do lists. LISS gives you time to breathe theoretically and physically. Don't be fooled into thinking the only beneficial type of exercise has to mean you lying in your own sweat and tears while your legs cease to exist and here is why:
1) Plain and simple it is pretty easy to stick with'why? Because you can do it anywhere. Take an extra 30mins to walk to work, gym or shops. When and where you do it doesn't have to be carved in stone. Rather than a chore think of it as the rewind from a busy day at work or a loud manic gym. Listen to your favourite songs and look at the beauty all around you. We can miss this jumping into the car, screaming at traffic or scrolling through Facebook.
2) For those of you nervous about starting the gym or haven't exercised in while simply start here as it helps build your fitness. Because it is low impact it can be done several times per week. Simply by itself or as an addition to other training. This means you will gradually be able to up up the tempo and distance without even noticing.
3) Breathing helps burn fat . Training at a lower intensity means that more oxygen is available to your body. As fat needs oxygen in order to be broken down, the more oxygen you can give your body, the more fat you may burn.
4) LISS is a great form of recovery . Often we feel guilty taking a day away from the gym or missing a HIIT session. By including a walk or other form of low steady cardio we reduce the risk of overtraining sore and tired muscles and instead increase the blood flow to damaged muscles helping to reduce muscle stiffness.
5) Finally, as if you need anymore reasons, it can be used as a great day out. Invite friends, pack a picnic, pick a route and reconnect. Nothing feels better than the pinch on your skin after a long walk or hike, the pain in your tummy from all the giggles, the wow moments when you stop, see, and realise the incredible beauty of mother nature. And for me the warmth of a hot coffee on a windy day or the tasty sweetness of a 99 on those unusual Irish sunny summers!
Find your balance and include some LISS into your life