There is no dearth of information and well-meaning advice available on the internet and other media regarding the best ways of exercising to maintain good health. There is a constant addition to the understanding of how the body functions and this has led to finding newer ways to train it and improve body functions.
One fad, for lack of a better word, at present is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that has been found to be beneficial and has the added advantage of requiring lesser time from a busy day, for working out.
While HIIT has been known to be effective it is definitely more tasking on the body and its muscles, it may not be suitable for everybody.
Long Duration Cardio: A Great Alternative to HIIT Workouts
According to research, low-intensity steady state cardio workouts are a kinder alternative, especially when you are coming back from an injury that HIIT can often induce.
It is also the best way of starting to exercise for a person who has never carried out such routines earlier and allows the body to get gradually used to working out. Long duration cardio is an aerobic exercise that burns energy from fat storage and allows the body to build up its capillarization.
An increase in capillaries leads to larger blood flow to the muscles of the body. The blood and the nutrients in it give the body increased energy, and the body can work for longer times without getting tired.
As a person’s body ages, especially, after the age of 30, the walls of the capillaries thicken and reduce the capacity of the body to absorb the nutrients and oxygen that it needs.
Long duration cardio performed at a slow intensity can help to build up these capillary beds and enhance the body functions. Aerobic exercise has to be part of any workout routine, even if it something as easy going as walking.
A slow and long duration cardio causes the body to undergo less trauma. As you age, the chances of injury during exercising are higher.
Wear and tear of the tissues is less likely in long duration cardio and there are reduced chances of injury.
How to Do a LISS Workout
Low-intensity cardio is typically for periods of between 30 minutes and an hour, where the heart rate does not go to more than 60 percent of the maximum safe heart rate. Calculate your maximum heart rate by using the formula (200 – your age).
Experts in physical education believe that when you work out for such long periods at a steady pace, it does not tax the muscles too much, increase in blood flow, oxygen delivery, and absorption and can kick start the loss of weight.
There is less strain placed on knees and joints and this greatly reduces the chances of getting injured. It acts like a slow simmer that does not make you come out in sweat. The best forms of long duration cardio can come from walking, cycling jogging and even swimming. All these forms of exercise do not have a great need for equipment and do not need you to join a gym.
Even if you do use a gym use treadmills, stair-stepping machines and rowing machines and ellipticals that maintain a steady pace that does not increase your heart rate too drastically or leave you breathless.
One great advantage that quite often is a part of long duration cardio, is that it is an exercise routine that people are more than likely to sustain and maintain in the long run, mainly because while it is less taxing while being more enjoyable.
You can burn calories during this exercise and this can help you to lose weight. It is also a very effective way to build up muscular endurance, as there are a higher number of repetitions and a low resistance that does not task the muscle tissues greatly.
You may not build raw strength but you will have muscles that can give you a sustained endurance that makes it continually easy to exercise, without having to worry about fatigue.
Long duration cardio which is of low intensity can also help in the control of the appetite, as you are less tired. HIIT, on the other hand, can leave a person ravenously hungry and this can at times lead to overeating.
The hormonal activity is kept controlled and this can blunt hunger. 60 minutes of cardio performed at a sedate pace releases a hormone that blunts hunger and reduces the release of hormones that can lead to promoting hunger.
During this long period the body gets conditioned to using fat to supply you with the required energy, and in the long run, this helps you to lose weight steadily.
A steady loss of weight is always to be preferred to one that does so rapidly, as then it gives more time for the tissues of the body and the skin to adjust to the loss of fat.
Low-intensity steady state exercising is kinder to the muscles, joints, and ligaments and allows your body to be prepared for any HIIT that you may occasionally want to put it through. It is the right exercise routine for those who have developed a need for exercising in order to lose weight or tone up the body. The body requires less time to recover after these exercises and this can lead to a constant exercising lifestyle that is easy to sustain.
Combine long duration cardio with weight training as one of the best exercise routines, alternating the two if possible. This form of cardio is not only a fat burner and an exercise that conditions the cardiovascular system, but its steady and unhurried pace can also act as a stress buster.
It is a gentler approach to fitness that can greatly increase the chances of it developing into an exercise program that you can sustain over long periods of time. It is also a form of exercise that you can perform with others and this makes it a pleasant social exercise.
You can often spend times with friends and family, including pets, while you are getting your daily quota of exercise.