What is LISS Cardio?

These types of low intensity workouts help us to burn calories in a continuous and progressive way, without making a big effort or risking injuries. Therefore, they're ideal for certain age groups and are a pleasant and fun way to work out.
What is LISS Cardio?

Last update: 01 October, 2018

Cardio is essential to burn fat, slim down and achieve endurance. Cardio exercises, tend to be intense and exhausting sessions where you will sweat a lot. What would you think if someone told you that there’s a low intensity workout–that’s highly effective for burning fat? It’s called LISS Cardio.

LISS stands for: low intensity sustained state. This refers to a low intensity workout that you perform for an extended amount of time. This workout is ideal for those who want to burn calories without having to complete demanding exercises.

It’s not a new workout method, but it’s trending, and this is thanks to personal trainer, Kayla Itsines. The sessions last between 30 and 60 minutes, so it’s a perfect alternative for people who want to lose weight and shape their body, without spending too much time doing it.

LISS cardio

If you want to start a new fitness regime or discover something new, you must try LISS cardio! The wonderful thing about this training method is that it’s very flexible, you can add it to your training routine or you can program activities that are easy to include in your daily life.

Woman riding a bike.

With that being said, what is LISS cardio exactly? Do you need special equipment? Do you need a professional trainer? No! You don’t need any of this. LISS cardio isn’t something that’s specially designed, it just encapsulates all exercises that involve low impact cardio, such as:

  • Fast paced walking
  • Swimming
  • Riding a bicycle
  • Rowing
  • Hiking
  • Outdoor activities (such as, playing with a frisbee or a ball, surfing, etc.)

You must perform these activities for 30 to 60 minutes, and unlike HIT, you can do LISS twice a week or more. You can also mix the exercises, so that it doesn’t become a boring a routine, and this way, you’ll have fun. It’s also a great way to leave stress behind.

Build your body

To be in a good physical shape you must follow certain habits, such as a good diet, maintaining mental well-being and exercising constantly– to ensure your muscles function properly.

LISS cardio burns calories, prevents cellulite and reduces water retention. Besides, it’s based on exercises that are easy to perform and follow.

These exercises are great for people who are recovering from an injury or those who suffer from respiratory problems, since LISS isn’t a demanding workout. So, you don’t have to worry about injuries or ligament ruptures.

Girl swimming.

Relaxes your muscles

LISS cardio isn’t the same as or even similar to HIIT. Because HIT workouts involve high intensity cardio intervals, you can’t perform them too often or you’d be at risk of over-training your muscles.

Because of this, doing LISS cardio after exposing your muscles to high impact training sessions, is great. Since LISS exercises increase the blood flow, prevent muscle stiffness and help in the muscle recovery process.


The key to burning fat properly is directly related to the amount of oxygen that your body receives during the training session. This means that the more oxygen your body gets, the more fat it can burn. This way, although LISS exercises seem simple and undemanding, they’re actually highly effective for weight loss!

LISS cardio has many benefits for your health. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight and boosts your metabolism. Besides, they’re exercises that you can easily add to your routine. But remember, even though they’re low intensity exercises, they must be sustained. This means that you have to keep a constant pace.

There’s no specific time for you to train, you can choose whatever time and exercise you want, the one that adapts the most to your lifestyle. Likewise, remember to stretch and to hydrate yourself after training. Even if the exercises are undemanding, your muscles still have to work, and therefore they need proper hydration and a recovery process. If you still haven’t tried LISS cardio, why not give it a go? You’ll burn fat without much effort, go on!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Lee D, Son JY, Ju HM, Won JH, Park SB, Yang WH. Effects of Individualized Low-Intensity Exercise and Its Duration on Recovery Ability in Adults. Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Mar 1;9(3):249.
  • Steele J, Plotkin D, Van Every D, Rosa A, Zambrano H, Mendelovits B, Carrasquillo-Mercado M, Grgic J, Schoenfeld BJ. Slow and Steady, or Hard and Fast? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Comparing Body Composition Changes between Interval Training and Moderate Intensity Continuous Training. Sports (Basel). 2021 Nov 18;9(11):155.
  • Tse AC, Wong TW, Lee PH. Effect of Low-intensity Exercise on Physical and Cognitive Health in Older Adults: a Systematic Review. Sports Med Open. 2015;1(1):37.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.