What is LISS Cardio?

Have you ever heard of LISS cardio? I had not for a long time, but this year I have seen more and more people posting about LISS cardio. So I thought, what is that?

It turns out that LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State. It’s all about doing at least 45 minutes of low intensity cardio, 65-75% of your max effort. Yes, this is the long, steady, and sometimes boring, type of cardio that is typically hated. To perform LISS, you can walk, run (at your own comfortable pace), hop on the elliptical, or hike! It may be boring at times, which is why I like to run or walk outside for my LISS. Unfortunately, I have something going on with my ankle so I am out of running commission right now, so I walk or do the elliptical. 

It’s so easy to take yourself outside and walk for 1 hour. And it’s summer! This is the time to get outside. Fall is right around the corner — which I am PUMPED about — so now is the time to enjoy the heat before it starts creeping away. I think Summer and Fall are the best times to be outside, so I like to get out verse staying inside. It doesn’t always happen and plans can change due to weather, but it is so worth it. 

How does LISS cardio help with weight loss?

It’s important to mix up your routine. I’m a big fan of running, swimming, walking, hiking, HIIT (high intensity interval training), strength training, LISS cardio and doing other fun active things like kayaking, bike riding, and playing tennis. It’s important to mix it up so that your body doesn’t get too used to your preferred type of exercise. 

Think about it. We exercise to work our bodies, exercise certain muscles, improve our health, improve our strength, and for several other reasons, but our bodies are brilliant. They adapt. They get stronger. If you are working your body the same way over and over, your body will adapt, get stronger and that work won’t really be much work anymore. We need to change it up.

How do I do that? Easy! Mix up your favorite exercises and activities throughout the week to make up your weekly plan. Do different things on different days, change the time or the intensity (by taking it up or down) or try something completely new! If you have something you love, like running, you can change up the distance, your intensity, your course, or do intervals. There are so many ways you can do this. The options are seriously limitless. Change it up any way you can.

You don’t have to go crazy with it, but aim to do it differently 1 day a week if you typically perform the same exercise 3 times per week. So for running, if you have your course that you love and always do it the same way — maybe you just try to run your best each day (that’s what I typically do) — stick to that 2 days out of the week and do 1 “change up” run. It can be a day of speed work or a day of longer distance where you work a little harder to kick it up at the end. Make it work for you. 

How does LISS work into this? Like I said before, it’s part of mixing it up. But it’s also how our bodies perform during LISS cardio. When you get too fatigued or are working really hard, your body stops using fat for fuel and looks for other sources of immediate energy like blood sugar and muscle glycogen (think immediate sources of energy, like the ones you get from carbs and sugar). When you perform 45-60 minutes of LISS cardio, your body is mostly using fat for fuel. 

How do you control this? Target heart rate. At 120 beats per minute or less, your body will most likely be using fat as it’s main fuel source. Looking to lose fat? Then LISS is for you. Incorporate LISS cardio into your workout routine and see how your body changes. Ready? Let’s make a plan. 

The plan…

A good game plan is to workout or get significant exercise 5-6 days a week. I’m all for get up and move as much as you can, but I also believe in having a rest day. Relax and recharge.

So if you are exercising regularly 5-6 days a week and prefer to “go hard,” you can perform LISS 2-3 days a week and go harder on the other days. 3-4 hard days a week is really good. By incorporating LISS and a rest day, you are allowing your body to recover and still stay active. You are still elevating your heart rate and working your body, just not so intensely. You’re up and you’re moving — you’re doing your body good. 

Want to do more LISS or primarily LISS? No problem! You can be a LISS cardio queen or king and still transform your body. For those who prefer exercising primarily through LISS cardio (think walkers and steady runners), you can do your thing 5, 6 or 7 days a week! The great thing about LISS is that it is low intensity and should typically be less stress on your body.

Walking is the picture perfect way to perform LISS. You can walk your heart out every morning, afternoon or evening and then sprinkle in other forms of exercise throughout the week. Maybe 2 days a week you take a kickboxing or boot camp class, maybe you do yoga, pilates or do some strength training. It’s up to you. My suggestion is to do something that requires strength. Yoga and pilates are fantastic and gentle ways to improve your strength and work your muscles. Need to bump it up or tailor the workout specifically to your capabilities? Strength train in a way that works for you. You can get help from a personal trainer, watch videos online, take a class — whatever, just make sure you are doing the exercises properly so you don’t hurt yourself.

By mixing and matching your exercises and workouts and incorporating LISS to your routine, you can and will transform your body. Of course it is also best to pair your routine with healthy eating habits and to make this routine a habit. Consistency is the biggest key. Stay consistent, and you are on the road to reaching your goals.

Til next time! 🙂

Good food. Good moves. Good tips. Good for you.

xo Kim, Running on Good

Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10k

I am all signed up for my Fall race, the Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10k! I am so excited for this race. It is about a week and a half before Halloween and all about the spirit of the holiday. The last 10k I ran was in March, on St. Patrick’s Day, and it was 20 degrees outside! Fall is my absolute favorite season, so I am thrilled to be running in the heart of the season with the cool, crisp air and beautiful leaves! I am also running with my best friend from elementary school and one of my sisters. Lots of fun on the way! Anyone else running a fall race? I’d love to hear about them!

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The Magic of Hula Hooping

Wow! I knew hula hooping was a fun way to squeeze in some exercise, but I had no idea it burned 300 calories in 30 minutes! What a fun way to get in a workout, especially if there are little ones around! Thanks to Health Magazine on Instagram. You can follow Health magazine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay connected and receive great info.

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Friday Fitness Motivation

Tomorrow morning is Friday, woo! It seems the big motivational day is Monday, but not so much for me. I’m usually very motivated at the beginning of the week to set myself up for a great week. But when Friday rolls around, I’m so happy it’s the weekend and tired from the week,  that’s when I need my motivation. I’m actually very excited for my run tomorrow, which I wasn’t planning to do but I feel really good and the weather is going to be great, so I’m doing it! But just incase anyone out there is feeling tired from their week and ready to throw in the towel, here’s some fitness motivation for your Friday!

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This is my main motto: DO SOMETHING! Doing anything is better than doing nothing! So get out there and move!

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2. You’re doing more than the person at home sitting on the couch, no matter how you move.

3. Exercise releases more than just sweat. Let your frustrations out!

4. Run. Walk. Hike. Dance. Move!

It’s finally Friday and spring is really getting to be in the air. Get outside, enjoy yourself, move around, and then go have fun! Your mood will be lifted and you’ll feel great. What better way to enjoy the weekend? 🙂

Strength Training Tips and The Move to Look Good All Over!

After my 10k, I switched up my training plan to get fit and ready for summer. I now do running 4 days a week (Tues. Thurs. Sat. & Sun.), strength training 3 days a week (Mon. Wed. Fri.), and HIIT training 2 days a week (Mon. Wed. or Fri.-pick 2 for HIIT and 1 for walking).

I was reading on SELF, thanks to the Drop 10 Challenge, about strength training tips and here are 2 that I noted:

  1. To make your workout effective and burn the most calories at rest, it is best to eat carbs AND protein 20 minutes BEFORE your workout. Your pre-workout snack should be about 75% carbs and 25% protein. This can lead you to burn 9% more calories at rest. 
  2. Practice balancing moves, like Warrior II and Warrior III, twice a week in addition to toning for more effective results. I do balancing moves every single day in my stretching and include balancing moves in my strength training routine.

Strength training is really important because you need to strengthen your muscles in addition to burning fat. This enables you to build strength in strong muscles and a leaner physique. When your cardio burns fat and you start shedding pounds, you’ll have strong, toned muscle to show off! The two (cardio and strength training) balance each other out to give you a healthy, beautiful, and strong body.

I also like to do HIIT workouts on my strength training days because I’m a cardio junkie. I need cardio to feel good. My heart needs to be pumping for me to feel good about my workout, but I can’t run every single day because of my knees. HIIT workouts are great because they get your heart pumping, burn fat, and activate your muscles. HIIT workouts can be done outside or on the treadmill by alternating your speeds (jogging and sprinting) or you can probably find one online. I do the HIIT the Beach workout from my Beach Babe DVD by Tone It Up! (Here’s a Booty Bonus from Tone It Up!). Often times, I make up my own HIIT sequence.

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I love these girls and this workout so much. This DVD has 7 workouts on it, including a Long and Lean stretching routine that I do every day. The workouts sculpt, blast calories, and stretch you out. It is really an all-in-one DVD. And it’s only $30. The girls also have tons of Youtube videos and print outs (like the one above), so you can do their workouts for free! Check ’em out 🙂 You’ll also learn some great moves that you can incorporate into a sequence of your own. It’s fun to get creative and mix things up.

But just incase you ever find yourself standing around aimlessly at the gym wondering what to do, this one move will certainly put an end to that! From SELF…the move that makes you look good all over!

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This move is pretty much an ultra burpee. And burpees are serious. They’re also known as squat-thrusts. No matter what you call it, this move is serious! This is a move that gets your heart rate up, blasts calories, and activates various muscle groups. So if you’re ever in a bind, tight for time, or don’t know what move to do, this move or your standard burpee is a great go-to!

*Runners — incorporate strength training into your weekly workouts and see your running improve!

Just get up and get movin’ 🙂

Good food. Good tips. Good moves. Good for you.

xo Kim, Running on Good

Ladies, want to learn more about the specific strength training benefits for women? Check out this article by my blogging friend, Lindsay Dahl, to learn more!

10k Training

I’m currently in my 2nd week of training for a 10k in March. I looked through different training plans online and settled on one I found on About.com. I chose a beginners plans because I have never raced a 10k distance before. I have ran 6 miles before but on my own terms, so I figured this was the safer route.

Here’s the training plan if any of you want to give it a try: 10k_PDF

The spring is a great time to get some races in, and races help with exercise plans (in my opinion). When I’m training for a particular race, each day is an obstacle. Therefore, I feel accomplished each and every day by sticking to the plan. So get out and train for some races! Plus, races are fun and give you such a sense of accomplishment, which is always good 🙂

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Fitness Tip: Walking to Burn Fat

Interesting fitness tip: If you have 10 or more pound to lose, “walking 3.1 miles per hour is the pace at which you will burn the most fat.”

Walking workout: Health.com

Don’t psyche yourself out by thinking walking won’t help you achieve your goals, it will! Start here and work yourself up to a harder walk or running. Thanks to Health.com for this fitness tip.