Pros And Cons Of Steady State Cardio
Looking for motivation to give steady state cardio a try?
Here are some pros and cons of LISS.
1) Faster Recovery
Far too many people forget one essential part of their workout: the recovery process.
If you are going hard, you might be able to get your cardio done in less time thanks to interval training, but if you aren’t giving yourself enough time to recover following your hard workout, you may actually be impeding your progress.
Steady state cardio, on the other hand, allows you to recover more quickly, which helps your body build muscle, get stronger, and ultimately get healthier.
2) Keep Your Muscles
You’re risking muscle mass loss if you are eating a low calorie diet and depriving your body of nutrients, and then going to the gym and dosing out bursts of energy.
When your body isn’t getting enough nutrients from your diet and you’re putting this strain on it to perform, it will automatically go to your muscles for that nourishment.
With steady state cardio, its moderate intensity and doesn’t take as much toll on your body.
Of course, you still need to be getting plenty of nutrients!
3) Burn More Calories
Steady state cardio allows you to go for long periods of time at a steady yet challenging pace.
That means you’ll probably end up burning more calories when you consider just how long you can go cycling, swimming, walking, jogging, or doing whatever activity you have decided on.
The steady state of exercise will also help you burn calories more efficiently.
While the calorie burn following your workout won’t be the same as that which follows high intensity workouts, the fact that you’ll recover faster will help you continue to be more active throughout the day, also aiding with your calorie burning process.
4) Build Up Your Aerobic Fitness
In addition to helping you burn calories and lose weight, steady state cardio is also particularly good at helping you build up your aerobic fitness.
In other words, you’ll find your endurance greatly increasing once you begin practicing steady state cardio on a regular basis.
That’s great news for anyone who likes hiking, walking, or in general just knowing that they can be active for longer at a moderate intensity.
This is compared to high intensity workouts where you leave endurance out of the picture all together, usually doing high intensity moves for 2 minutes or less with a break in between.
Steady state helps you build up the endurance you need.
Drawbacks of Steady State Cardio
If you are considering giving steady state cardio a try, keep these things in mind before you commit to it full force.
1) Faster Recovery
While faster recovery can be spun as a pro, because it may be for some, it’s important to realize that your body will most certainly recover faster from any steady state workout you do compared to something like a HIIT workout.
This means your body won’t burn as many calories in the time following your workout like it would if you were doing HIIT or some other high intensity workout.
2) It Takes Longer
Steady state cardio is all about choosing a moderate pace that you can sustain for a long period of time. This looks different for each person.
For one person, it may be an hour long bike ride at 15 mph. For someone else, it may be a half hour long bike ride at 10 miles per hour.
The great thing about steady state is that you can find your own speed and then push yourself harder as you progress.
The bad part?
Steady state requires you to go for a longer period of time than a high intensity workout would simply because it is lower intensity and you aren’t burning as many calories per minute.
Of course, for many people, that makes them more likely to stick to their routine each day, so it’s all about weighing the pros and cons.
3) Risk of Injury
The risk of injury comes along with any kind of workout, but with steady state cardio, your body will be especially prone to overuse injuries that can occur from prolonged periods of working out especially on a regular basis, which is what is suggested (and really required) when using steady state cardio to get healthier and lose weight.
Some activities, like jogging or running, can also be hard on your joints when performed on a daily basis.
Of course, you could get around that by trying cycling or swimming instead but overuse injuries can still occur.
Stretching and cooling down at each workout session are of special importance with a steady state cardio routine no matter how used you think you are to doing your routine each day.
In fact, that’s really what puts you at risk for injuries.
3 Myths About Steady State Cardio
If you’re looking to get your fitness routine into check, you may be considering steady state cardio.
Here’s some information that can help you make the right decision while avoiding these common myths and misconceptions.
1) It’s Useless
For some reason, many people on the internet like to shout that steady state cardio is just plain useless for weight loss.
In reality, it’s quite an effective option.
Steady state cardio means performing an activity at a moderate intensity for as long as you can muster.
This usually results in longer but more achievable workouts. You’ll definitely burn calories during your workouts too.
Following the workout, you will recover more quickly.
Over time, you’ll also see your endurance increasing and you’ll be able to go for longer and longer bouts of time.
2) It Eats Muscle
This misconception is spread across all types of cardio, but it’s probably the least true for steady state.
The idea is that, when your body isn’t getting enough nutrients from your diet, it will steal it from your muscle fibers to fuel your workouts.
This is especially true with high intensity interval training, which puts a lot of strain on your body both during and after your routine is up.
With steady state, however, your body won’t need as much fuel for the moderate intensity.
That means you can go for longer on less, but it doesn’t mean you can get away with not fueling up your body.
That’s why pre and post workout drinks are a must no matter what you’re doing.
3) You’ll Adapt To It Quickly
This is a myth that says your body will simply “adapt” to your steady state routine and it will not have any affect after so many days, weeks, or months.
While it is good to keep mixing things up so that you can challenge yourself, the only “adapting” your body will be doing is through the building of muscle and endurance, and isn’t that what you want?
Your steady state cardio routine will make you a healthier individual.
Once running a mile a day becomes your “norm” you might want to push yourself by going uphill, faster, or for longer and your body will eventually get strong enough to handle that with ease too.
But, the workout still counts because you still need calories and nutrients to perform it.