Fat Burning No Pain No Gain! Maybe Not.

Exercise is big business and a common train of thought is the harder we exercise the more weight we will lose.

Shrewd gym bunnies and active types often get swamped with a lot of targeted media geared towards intense workouts that promise big outcomes.  Regardless of your aims whether they are weight loss, improved fitness or peak sport performance, simple, moderate and difficult workouts all have a part to play.

According to the University of Bath “gentler exercise is just as good in helping people get healthier while losing weight as a tougher workout” the new research was conducted by scientists from the University’s Department for Health, they stated that this was the case “providing the number of calories burned overall is the same.”

Why Lighter Workouts Matter

Easier exercise also referred to as LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) creates a rise in your heart rate but not causing you to breathe heavily.  During this type of exercise, you should feel able to hold a conversation without being out of breath too much.

This type of exercise is approximately 60% of your maximum heart rate, which means you will be able to endure more of this type of activity and even hold a conversation without feeling really tired or getting too out of breath.

Activities that fall in to this category are:

  • Swimming
  • Walking (e.g. dog walking or walking to the shops or work)
  • Bike ride
  • Yoga
  • Some household chores

To get in to the fat burning zone your heart rate needs to be at this rate for between 30-60 minutes – a heart rate monitor will help with this.

Benefits of low intensity workouts

  • Rise in blood flow
  • Encourage oxygen supply to your cells
  • Weight loss
  • Less injury due to less stress and strain on your joints
  • More of this type of exercise can be performed
  • Enhanced range of motion
  • Assist with recovery from higher intensity workouts
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Likelihood of sticking to the workout
  • Increase your daily calories burnt
  • Social exercising interactions (e.g. Power walking and talking)

This may seem hard to believe but look at it this way HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) blasts calories to smithereens, whereas LISS is more of a slow burner expending energy by plodding on at a steady rate over a longer period of time.

HIIT does have a big place in our world of exercise however it is worth noting although it will take longer you can reach similar outcomes from LISS, which casts some shade on the old adage no pain no gain!

If you want to increase your fitness levels, had a break from exercise for a while or simply want to start from scratch LISS is a great place to start.