Thursday 21 September 2017

The thing is - your thirty second guide to everything: Slow exercise

Counter-intuitive: Slow exercise
Counter-intuitive: Slow exercise

Emily Hourican

What: Slow exercise. This counterintuitive novelty is more formally known as LISS - low-intensity steady state - and is essentially the exact opposite of the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that we have all been so obsessed with over the last couple of years; LISS is a marathon as opposed to a sprint. Literally.

Why: Because we obviously couldn't be let continue for much longer without a 'new' and 'better' exercise trend. Because it taps into the trend for all things 'holistic', and is a far more enjoyable way to exercise than a series of short, vomit-inducing, flat-out sprints.

Why now: In the early 1960s and 1970s, slow workouts were popular with bodybuilders. They fell out of favour as we all went speed-mad, but they are now back, thanks, in part, to the number of injuries caused by HIIT. LISS activities carry far less risk of sprains and strains. Also, because they are enjoyable, which means sustainable, and they're less intimidating than HIIT.

How: Any cardio and aerobic-based activity that's performed at a low intensity but for a prolonged period (typically 30 to 60 minutes). Hiking, a spot of gentle mountain climbing, swimming or cycling all qualify. Ideally, this would be combined with HIIT, in a kind of on-day, off-day scenario, because LISS alone won't build muscle, although it can be as effective as HIIT for weight loss.

Who: Australian trainer and Instagram star Kayla Itsines (she of the Sweat With Kayla app fame); or any ambitious personal trainer keen to latch onto the Next Big Thing and keep us coming back for more.

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