The Trendy Workout That's Easy, But Still Good For You

Photographed by Winnie Au.
If you're um, well, kinda lazy, you've maybe been turned off by the ever-growing popularity of HIIT, or high-intensity interval workouts (think CrossFit and treadmill sprints for days). And for all of the buckets of sweat HIIT yields, it’s no surprise there’s been a backlash: It’s all too easy to feel guilty about not working out at 10,000% all the time. Because everyone gets lazy sometimes.

Recently, a gentler type of workout with its very own acronym — LISS — has gained steam. It provides an effective, kinder alternative to those back-breaking routines. LISS, which stands for “low-intensity, steady state,” was once only used by bodybuilders as a way to supplement their harder workouts with cardio, but it's since become trendy again among certain trainers.

So, what exactly is it? “LISS is basically a type of cardio workout that’s done at a relaxed, cruising pace,” says Phoenyx Austin, MD and certified sports medicine specialist based in Washington, D.C. “Think walking, cycling, swimming, and even slowly jumping rope,” she says, “with the overall number-one criteria being that you keep the intensity low.”

Yes, you read that right: The number-one thing to keep in mind is to take it easy. The even better news? If you do your slow-and-steady sessions right, you really can reap a slew of health benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about getting the most out of your easy workouts.