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

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How to Recover from Vacation the Healthy Way

Recovering from vacation the healthy way.


We often return from vacations, weekends away or long holiday weekends feeling like we need to turn up our healthy habits and recover from the weekend damage. The 4th of July is just around the corner so it’s the perfect time to be discussing this. I also just returned from vacation and implemented these methods to bounce back to my pre-vacation self.

In order to bounce back, you do not need to go to any extremes. That means no skipping meals, no 3 hour workouts, nothing like that. All you need to do is get back to your regular routine and stick to this guide: 

1. Workout hard. I don’t mean go crazy or do something you aren’t trained for. I simply mean work your hardest. Do not half-ass it. I’ve recently been working out for 1 hour, going hard for probably 45 minutes and using the remaining 15 minutes for my in-between rests and stretching at the end of my workout. Intensity is more important than duration and will give you better results faster. HIIT workouts are a great way to do this. I will provide more details about my workout below.

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2. Eat 3 meals a day. Eat a nutritious and satisfying breakfast, lunch and dinner. Shy away from snacking. I will outline what my meals are typically like below.

3. Snack with a juice. I lied a little bit. You can snack and you should snack. But only on one thing — green juice. It can be fresh or an organic cold-pressed juice like SUJA, Evolution Fresh, Blue Print or something else like that. But make it organic and cold-pressed. Also look for a juice with greens and lemon. Wheatgrass and ginger are good things to look for too. IMG_3444   IMG_3718IMG_4138

If you do this for 3 days, you can do a green juice on your first and third day and another kind of vegetable juice on your second day. Something like beet or carrot with apple is a great choice. (click images to enlarge)

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4. Drink lots and lots of water. Drink. Drink. Drink. Try to drink half your body weight in water. So if you weigh 130 pounds, I want you to drink 65 ounces of water throughout the day. It also helps do drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning upon rising, before each meal and before bed. This helps with digestion and is really good for your internal organs.

5. Add lemon and/or mint to your water. I prefer to drink plain water when I first wake up, before I eat and before bed. My other water, throughout the day, typically has some mint leaves or lemon slices and mint leaves. Both are great for cleansing the body, fighting off cravings, healthy digestion, detoxifying and work as natural diuretics.

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6. Sleep and be patient. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night and just be patient. Your body needs time to get back to its “normal.” It will take a few days, maybe 3-4. You can follow this guide for as many days as you like. You can even use it as a guide for weight loss.


In more detail…

The workout: I typically start my workouts with some form of cardio. I do this because I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. If you hate cardio, make sure you at least warm up with a brisk 5 minute walk, some jumping jacks, some squats and a side-to-side step with a punch. You want to move and target as much of your whole body as you can to lubricate the muscles.

My cardio is usually running, but I injured my heel a few weeks ago and cannot run. Therefore, I’ve been biking for cardio. I go on the spin bike and bike for 20-30 minutes depending on the day. I do intervals of moderate to high intensity. I’ve typically been doing 20 minutes because my HIIT and strength training circuits are pretty tough and I want to reserve some good energy.

My circuit or HIIT session for the day is one of the following: (I rotate and sometimes mix it up)

  1. Either the leg, arm or ab workout from Kayla Itsines’ free workout guide. You can download it from her website — go to download now.
  2. The drill pictured above from SWEAT Fitness. I do it twice through along with the following drill.
  3. A 2 move drill of squats and squat thrusts. You will do a decreasing count of the two moves in circuit form. If you workout regularly, I’d say you can start with a count of 15 and do another 5 or 10 if you complete it and feel you can do more. Better to be safe than sorry! Okay, so you do 15 squats (weighted or not) followed by 15 squat thrusts, 14 squats followed by 14 squat thrusts, 13 squats followed by 13 squat thrusts… until you get to 0. Make sense? Do it and do not stop until you get to 0.

The meals: If you have a healthy routine, get back to it. If you need some guidance, this is what I usually do for breakfast, lunch and dinner:

  • Breakfast: Superfood Protein Oats — cook oats with egg whites, 1 tsp coconut or coconut palm sugar, 1 tbs Nutribullet SuperFood SuperBoost mix (chia, goji, cacao, maca), 1 tbs organic almond butter or peanut butter, 1-2 tsp ground flaxseed or wheat germ and 1 diced banana. To make the oats with egg whites: cook your oats for close to 2 minutes, whisk in 1 egg white or 1/4 c egg whites and cook for another minute.
  • Lunch: Big Green Smoothie — spinach, fruit (usually 4-5 whole strawberries, frozen mixed berries, frozen peach slices and/or cantaloupe — just mix up what you want), 2 tbs hemp protein or 1 scoop of your favorite protein, 1 tbs Nutribullet SuperFood SuperGreens, 1 tbs Nutribullet SuperFood SuperBoost or Fat Burning Boost or Energy Boost, coconut water and unsweetened almond milk.
  • Dinner: Salad with Veggies and Chicken — I like to make a big salad loaded with organic romaine lettuce, organic carrots, organic tomato, organic cucumber and top it off with some almonds and organic raisins. This has been my favorite way of making my salad as of late. I love the tiny bit of sweetness that the raisins add. I get Earthbound Farm organic raisins and use 1/2 a box per salad. If you don’t like raisins, you can simply slice and toss in some grapes. Pineapple is also a nice addition. But choose 1 fruit, no more. I also use 1 whole heart of romaine, so this is a big salad. I then dress my salad with some organic extra virgin olive oil and organic balsamic vinegar. Yum!

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  • If you need more — Like I said above, I suggest you have a juice somewhere in your day. I typically have mine somewhere between lunch and dinner. If you need some more sustenance, that’s perfectly fine. Here are some things you can have with your juice to hold you over until dinner:

1. Raw Revolution Bar — they sell full size and minis! Perfect. I love Spirulina Dream.

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2. Two Mom’s in the Raw Granola Bar — only have 1/2

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3. Quest Bar — choose a flavor without sucralose! My favorites are chocolate peanut butter and double chocolate chunk. If you like Quest bars, have 1/2 alongside your smoothie and the other 1/2 alongside your juice.

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4. A small handful of nuts and/or seeds — whatever you like but make sure there are no added oils. You simply want the nut or seed. That’s it. These are my favorites:

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With this you should be good. Stick to your workouts, healthy eating and water drinking for 3-4 days and you should bounce back to normal pretty fast! And remember to take rest days with your workouts. After 3-4 days, take a rest day. Your body needs to recover. Rest by walking, taking a yoga class or just spending the day out and moving around gently. Recovery without any extremes… that’s the way to do it!

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

xo Kim, Running on Good

 

 

Recipes: Green Recovery Smoothies with Vega Sport

When I was at the Boston Marathon Run Expo, I got a sample packet of Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator. At the expo, I sampled a taste where the tropical accelerator was mixed with water. This past week I decided to add it to my post-run green recovery smoothies. It is soooo incredibly delicious in a green smoothie, no matter how you make it! But here are two smoothies I whipped up this past week that were just phenomenal.

Green Smoothie #1

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*I use organic ingredients and made this in my Nutribullet, so I didn’t measure my liquids.

  • 1 big handful of kale/spinach mix
  • 1 big handful of frozen peach slices
  • 3 whole strawberries(tops included)
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 packet Vega Sport Tropical Recovery Accelerator
  • 2 tsp hempseeds
  • some organic milk (maybe 1/2 cup or so)
  • plenty of coconut water (maybe 1 cup)
  • Blend til very smooth and enjoy! 🙂

Green Smoothie #2

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  • 1 big handful of kale/spinach blend
  • 1 handful of frozen mango chunks
  • a few frozen peach slices
  • a few whole strawberries (about 3 or 4)
  • 1/2 chopped zucchini
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 packet of Vega Sport Tropical Recovery
  • 2 tsp of hempseeds
  • a small handful of almonds (raw or roasted — no salt)
  • organic milk (about 1/2 cup)
  • coconut water (about 1 cup)

Mmm 🙂 These were so delicious, it was hard not to go back and make more. But there is always tomorrow. I love my green smoothies and this tropical accelerator really took it to the next level. Try them out and remember to use the hashtag, #runningongood so I can see your creations! ‘Til next time… keep running on good.

 

Good food. Good tips. Good moves,

Kim, Running on Good

At-Home Kettlebell Workout

Have a kettlebell at home? Today is a snow day on the east coast and therefore a perfect day for an at-home workout. I usually do a mix of things when I workout at home but having a detailed, mapped out workout can be more motivational and just what you need to ensure that you actually workout. This workout is from Self.com and roughly 26 minutes long. WARNING: This workout is killer. It’s meant to be done twice, but I could only do it once. I’ll get there. Eventually. Maybe…. Anyway, it’s a great workout–heart-pumping, heavy breathing, demanding, and sweaty. Everything you want and need from a workout.

I purchased my kettlebell, pictured below, at T.J. Max for under $10. It was probably one of my best purchases in the last year. I use it all the time as a way to get full-body strength training in at home. If done correctly, you really feel it in your entire body: arms, legs, and most of all–abs. Yes, your abs. If you perform the swinging motions properly, you’re actually using your core more than anything else. My kettlebell came with a little pamphlet that gives you 5 exercises and explains how to do them. But if yours does not come with such a handy tool, fear not! You can always Google or YouTube how to perform any exercise properly and safely.

My kettlebell is only 5 lbs, but I will probably get a 15 lbs one soon (apparently mine is extremely light, oops). I honestly knew nothing about kettlebells when I bought mine and probably should have researched what weight to get. But honestly, this thing still gives me a great workout, so I’ll work up to the 15 or 25 pounder. Til then, this will do.

If you’re thinking of getting a kettlebell, I highly suggest it. In the warmer months I would use my kettlebell after running outside, and now I mix it into some of my at-home workouts. It’s also a great tool for warming up. When I have an at-home workout planned and don’t really feel like doing it, I’ll grab my kettlebell and do a few double-arm and single-arm swings and within a minute I am ready to go. Seriously. It’s the best warm up because it targets major muscle groups, really “warming up” your entire body. And it makes me feel strong. So pick up one of these gems, and you will not regret it.

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At-Home Kettlebell Workout from Self 

There are cardio moves mixed into this workout, like jumping jacks and high knees, so you’re heart should be pumping! I wish there were pictures for some of the moves, but I’ll do my best. Be careful with your kettlebell and do a move slowly at first if you aren’t sure how to do it.

Enjoy! xoxo

Do you like to workout at home? Let me know in the comment section!

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10 Minute Total Body Workout

Pressed for time and can’t make it to the gym? We’ve all been there. I’ve been there a lot. I’ve seen a lot of posts on Pinterest on fast total body workouts. So I decided to put together one of my own:

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I highly suggest warming up your body for about a minute before you get started. You can do this by jogging in place, doing some side-to-side shuffles, or jumping jacks. You can do this routine once or twice through. I usually warm up, do the routine, jog in place/do high-knees/jump imaginary rope for a minute, do the routine a second time, and cool down by jogging in place slowly. This takes me roughly 20 minutes all together. It helps to have something structured like this to do at home when you don’t have a lot of time. It cuts out travel time, and you can jump right in the shower when you’re done. We can all sacrifice 10-20 minutes to fit in some exercise, and you’ll feel much better afterwards 🙂

*Disclaimer: Consult your physician before changing your physical activity or beginning a new fitness program. You should be in good physical condition before performing the exercise. Participating in this or any other exercise affiliated with Running on Good includes risk of possible injury. By engaging in this or any other affiliated exercise routine, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and assume all risk of injury to yourself.

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!

Brazil Butt Lift and Being on a Budget

While I am in training for a race on March 17th, I added another challenge to my next 4 weeks: the Brazil Butt Lift. I started today because the schedules start on Monday and wow! That guy really kicked my butt (pun intended). I hope to get the same results as the success stories from this program because they look amazing! Only time will tell… But the big point of this is that I was interested in trying a fitness program from Beachbody but had one problem: I don’t have $100+ to spend on a fitness program. Luckily, one of my good friends happened to have the Brazil Butt Lift, and since she is the wonderful person that she is, she sent it to me. So thanks to her generosity, I am giving the program a try. (Thank you, Allie!! You’re the best) After my repeated “thank you”s, she says to me, “Fitness is not a joke.” (haha!)

Anyway, this got me thinking today of how much you can do on a budget with the help of good friends. This can be sharing workout programs, magazines, books, recipes, dvds, eating plans, training plans, anything. So I thought up some ways you can create some sort of system with friends, siblings, co-workers-pretty much anyone with similar interests (in this case health and fitness).

  1. Fitness/Workout Programs & DVDsThe Problem: while these are great for at home fitness and getting you to do some moves you may not have otherwise thought to do, they are expensive. There are many that are incredibly affordable, don’t get me wrong, but the ones with the biggest expectations (P90x, Brazil Butt Lift, Insanity, etc.) are the ones that cost the big bucks. And yes, it’s because you get a lot for your money, can use it over and over again, and get amazing results. But the sad part is, not everyone has the money for these things. The Solution: Find a buddy! Share! Get in touch with a friend and work out a system. For example, there’s 2 amazing workouts you would love to try (as would your friend) or you want total body results, so one type of program may not get you what you want. Work it out with a pairing system. One of you can buy one program or DVD and the other one can buy a second. Each of you do the one you bought, then swap. Tada! You both can get greater results and do 2 fitness program or 2 different types of programs for the price of one. Maybe you want to splurge for the Insanity or P90x set-split the cost and do it together! Not only does this save you money, but it gives you someone that’s experiencing the same challenges as you. Help and motivate one another! I know if Allie ever wants to borrow my Yoga DVD or whatever I may purchase next, you can guarantee it’s got her name written all over it! I think sharing fitness DVDs is a great idea, and you should give it a try!
  2. Recipes/CookbooksThe Problem: While the internet is truly amazing and you can find almost anything on it, it doesn’t always get the job done. Or it makes the job a bit more complicated and drawn out. I love finding recipes online and saving them, but sometimes there’s nothing like an amazing cookbook. It’s all right there! And so organized and pretty. But cookbooks can be expensive, so you can’t go out and buy 3 or 4 at a time. The Solution: Use your local library! Over the past few months, I’ve been spending a lot more time at my local library over Barnes & Noble. And let me tell you, I have been amazed with what I find in there. A library card may be the most underrated card of today. If you don’t have one, go get one! First of all, you can read whatever book you want for free, and second of all, there’s so much to benefit from at the library! You can read magazines, various types of books, rent DVDs, read newspapers, and more I’m sure. See if your local library has any good cookbooks that interest you. If so, check them out, give some recipes a try, and write them down! Find one and love it? Or want to save it for another time? Fine! Take out some notecards, or better yet, go buy yourself a blank book so that you can make your own cookbook! Input recipes from library cookbooks, magazines, blogs (hint hint), websites, family members, friends, anything! Before you know it, you’ll have an abundance of recipes and your own cookbook for a very low price.
  3. MagazinesThe Problem: Magazines are great, and I love them. But let’s face it, a subscription isn’t always what you want to spend your money on and buying them off the rack is crazy expensive. The Solution: Get a subscription buddy! You can do this one of two ways: (1) Split a subscription and share the magazines or (2) Each subscribe to a magazine, read, and swap! I like the second idea better, personally-you get more for your money! Grab a friend, sibling, co-worker or anyone else who has similar interests and pick 2 of your favorite magazines to subscribe to: Women’s Health, Men’s Health, SHAPE, SELF, Cooking Light, Health, Runner’s World, Natural Health, Rodale Grow, The Herb Companion, Fitness Magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, whatever you like! However many friends you can get together, each subscribe to one magazine and organize a sharing/swapping schedule.

I think all these ideas are great and amazing ways to get so much for a little bit of money and connect with friends. Give one or all three a try!