A leaner, trimmer body can be yours with just a slow walk on a treadmill for two hours each week. Sounds tempting, right? You’ll need to pay special attention to nutrition, and you’ll find that you won’t lose weight quickly. But you can see great results with Low-Intensity Sustained State training. LISS is low intensity cardio- and aerobic-based activity performed typically for 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Think about taking a brisk walk or raising the incline on a treadmill. Biking, swimming or surfing are good examples, and so are using the gym’s stair machine, rowing machine or elliptical.

LISS is growing in popularity not just because you can see a leaner shape and lose weight with low effort. It’s perfect for beginners who are just starting out in exercise and fitness. The risk of injury is significantly lower. Newcomers can use LISS to increase strength and endurance before they move on to higher intensity workouts.

Those who are already working at higher intensity levels can use LISS for a day of recovery or active rest. Mixing sprints into your runs can be hard on your joints while it’s burning up calories. You may need more recovery after a high-intensity session. LISS helps regenerate and condition muscles, so it’s excellent to help wind down from high-intensity workouts.

Trainers say using a combination of LISS and HIIT is the most effective way to lose fat. HIIT training effectively breaks up more stubborn, hard-to-burn fat, but is not very good at metabolizing it out. Low-Intensity Sustained State training is great at metabolizing fat but very bad at breaking down stored fat.

What does that mean for someone who prefers to stick with LISS alone? Your body will start to break down its own muscles as a source of fuel instead of going after the triglyceride bonds within more stubborn fat. The result: you get thinner, but you lose strength.

Good nutrition is much more important when you train daily in the LISS style. Make sure you’re eating the right foods, and get enough of them.

Here are some ideas for a Low-Intensity Sustained State workout:

  • Walk fast and try some hills — your pace may slow on the incline, but your effort should remain steady.
  • Bike either on mostly flat terrain or a stationary bike at a manageable pace.
  • Test out the elliptical, and work your upper and lower body at the same time. Go both forward and backward.
  • Run at a moderate pace.
  • Dance! Take a Zumba class, try some cardio hip-hop, or experiment with belly dancing.
  • Test out the elliptical, and work your upper and lower body at the same time. Go both forward and backward.
  • Sit down and work out with a rowing machine.