SiSU Health Challenge
Week 3: A guide to exercise and varying intensity workouts.
Welcome to week three of the SiSU Health Challenge. Today we will be discussing exercise and how different intensity levels can influence the results you see. Don’t forget to explore this week’s e-book, SiSU Move to receive your 28-day plan!
The importance of exercise to maintain a healthy heart.
Our cardiovascular system is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and by strengthening through physical activity, our CVS can be more efficient at doing this. A study conducted by Lavie et al (2019) showcased the impact sedentary lifestyles play on heart health, dubbing a lack of physical exercise the leading modifiable risk factors worldwide for cardiovascular disease and mortality. According to the Heart Foundation, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, if not all, days can play a significant role in reducing the risk of heart disease or chronic illnesses associated with the CVS.
Aerobic exercise, also known as “cardio”, uses repetitive contraction of large muscle groups to get your heart beating faster. Research suggests that aerobic exercise is the most beneficial type of exercise to keep your cardiovascular system (CVS) which comprises of you – your heart and blood vessels – healthy.
High Intensity and Low-Intensity workouts – What’s the difference?
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a combination of brief, very-high intensity bursts of cardio exercise followed by equal or longer periods of rest. An example of a HIIT workout could be 30 seconds to a minute of sprinting, followed by a minute or two of walking or slow jogging. Repeat this cycle for just 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a HIIT workout.
LISS is a completely different form of cardio workout compared to HIIT. LISS stands for Low-Intensity Steady State cardio. As its name suggests, it is any form of cardio exercise where you maintain the same low-intensity cardio pace (that is, a steady-state) for a set period of time. An example of LISS exercise would be a steady paced walk.
HIIT cardio raises your heart rate fast because of the high intensity of the exercises. This can cause an “after-burn effect”, where your body can continue to burn fat even after you have stopped exercising. Generally speaking, HIIT and LISS workouts complement each other and help you to have a more balanced approach to your cardio workouts.
Examples of High-Intensity Interval Training
- Jumping Squats
Examples of Low-Intensity Interval Training
Try alternating between High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) if you can, and Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio to add some variation into your daily aerobic regimen.
Get your SiSU Move E-Book – Your guide to simple exercises for everyone.
Explore our Move Ebook for a 28-day activity plan. Filled with inspirational ways for you to increase your daily activity and much more, this resource will help you stay on track in improving your health.
Lavie, C., Ozemek, C., Carbone, S., Katzmarzyk, P, and Blair, S., 2019. Sedentary Behavior, Exercise, and Cardiovascular Health. Circulation Research, 124(5) 799–815.
The Heart Foundation, 2019. Active Living, Get Active.
Accessed online via https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/active-living/get-active