When it comes to losing body fat, particularly from the troublesome and stubborn areas such as your belly, cardio sessions along with a calorie controlled diet are the most effective way of doing this, and more importantly stopping the fat from coming back! HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) are the two main cardio styles that individuals may adopt when trying to blast the fat.
The question is though, what sort of cardio should I be doing to burn this body fat quickly and effectively? Well, the answer to this will have to consider a few different factors:

• Your current fitness level
• The amount of time in a day you have to exercise
• How enjoyable you find cardio

So let’s look at each of these cardio styles in more detail and what they can do for you.

HIIT

High intensity interval training is a cardio training technique where you give all-out 100 percent effort over short period of time (20-30 seconds) followed by an interval of rest or active rest (this could be the same amount of time as the all-out effort or up to 1-1.5 minutes depending on your fitness level). This would be repeated over a period of time, say 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week.

fitness-photos-exercise-bike

So why HIIT?

1. (The science stuff)
Due to the fact you are completing high intensity exercise in intervals this will create an oxygen deficit in the body which during the periods of rest and recovery your body will be trying to compensate for this, this is known as Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. As a result of this the body burns fat and expends calories. Also due to the same process the body will keep burning fat and expending calories hours after you have finished this type of cardio. So if this can be done at least 3 times a week you would burn a serious amount of fat and calories!

2. (Quick, efficient and convenient)
Due to the fact that HIIT training only really needs to last between 15-20 minutes everyone can find some time during their busy day to complete a HIIT session. No excuses needed. Another advantage is that if you are the type of person that finds cardio boring HIIT training can be designed to be a lot of fun.

3. (No equipment needed)
Although HIIT can be done using any cardio apparatus such as bike, running machine, rowing machine etc. HITT can be completed just by using your body. Due to the purpose of HIIT being to raise heart rate and keep it elevated, it can be completed by doing any form of exercise that does this.

LISS

Low Intensity Steady State Exercise is exactly what the name suggests, performing cardiovascular exercise at a regular steady pace of a period of time usually 30 minutes or more.

fitness-photos-running

So why LISS?

1. (The science stuff)

Due to the fact LISS is low intensity exercise, oxygen will be more readily available than compared to HIIT, and therefore you will be getting your energy from fat which is obviously a good thing as this means fat is being broken down over a long period of time. At low intensities your body is specifically using fat as an energy source.

2. (Can be done at any fitness level)

Due to its low intensity LISS is an easy cardio style to perform therefore you can have a lower fitness level and ability and still benefit from this type of cardio.

3. (No equipment needed)

Again with LISS no equipment is needed, performing LISS could be as simple as going for a walk, or for bike ride.

Comparison

Although both forms of cardio can be effective in the fight against fat they both carry excellent fitness benefits. However if you are looking to lose fat quickly HIIT takes first place, due to its intensity and its ability to keep burning calories for hours after you have completed it is super effective. However HIIT is tough… The average individual would struggle to complete a HIIT session more than twice a week due to how intense it is especially if you are really giving it your all. So if you are serious about losing body fat through cardio, try and complete two sessions a week and then incorporate 1-2 LISS sessions in to your plan.
Compared to LISS, HIIT is time efficient and therefore may be the first choice for most individuals with a busy schedule, However not everyone will have the fitness ability to perform a HIIT session for 20 minutes straight away so it may be a good idea to improve your fitness through LISS first and then move on to HIIT. If you choose to use LISS for fat loss this is fine initially but be aware that your fat loss may plateau after a period of time because our bodies are very clever at conserving energy, therefore the more LISS you do, over time, the less calories you may burn through this type of cardio so you might want to think about incorporating a HIIT session in to your plan to aid further fat loss.

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