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HIIT or LISS: What's best for reaching your fitness goal – TODAY – Today.com

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If you had to pick the better runner — a sprinter or a marathoner — the answer would depend on the type of race. In a 200-meter race, the sprinter will have an edge over the marathoner, but if it calls for, say, 18 miles, the marathoner will outrun the sprinter.

That’s how you should think about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio. One type of workout isn’t necessarily better than the other, but one might be better suited for you, depending on your fitness goals.

What exactly is the difference between HIIT and LISS cardio? HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of intense effort with periods of rest or active recovery. There are many ways to do HIIT, but some of the most popular work-to-rest ratios are 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest, 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest, or four minutes of alternating between 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest (also known as a Tabata).

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LISS cardio is low-intensity exercise, such as walking, jogging and cycling, at a relatively easy pace.

“If you’re looking to do a marathon, mud run or endurance-based activity, put some energy into LISS. But if you’re looking to be more explosive, athletic or build muscle, HIIT workouts are best suited to help you do that,” said Rafique “Flex” Cabral, a NASM-certified personal trainer and Isopure athlete.

To help you decide which type of exercise is best for you, here are different scenarios where HIIT or LISS could be more beneficial.

Aug. 4, 202110:18

If you’re new to exercise and just want to get moving

Whether you’re a gym newbie or are getting back into working out after a hiatus, LISS is a good way to ease into exercise. Because you’re working at a low intensity, you may be able to work out for a longer period of time and exercise more consistently. HIIT workouts — although shorter — require more effort from your muscles and can be stressful on the joints.

“Older adults experience great results with LISS cardio as it improves their bone density and musculoskeletal health, in turn promoting healthier aging. These benefits also allow for a cost-effective means in promoting positive improvements in the ability to carry out activities of daily living,” said Lisa Reed, MS, CSCS, a performance coach and owner of Lisa Reed Fitness, LLC.

If you want to lose weight and rev up your metabolism

Doing any type of LISS cardio will burn calories, helping you achieve the calorie deficit you need to lose weight. But turning up the intensity of your workout is ultimately going to help you burn more calories, giving HIIT an edge.

“LISS is great for improving endurance activities and cardiovascular work capacity, and aids in recovery and weight loss. But if you’re trying to gain muscle, which helps burn fat, LISS may not be the best thing to add into your routine frequently,” explained Cabral.

HIIT helps you build and maintain moderate amounts of lean muscle mass. It also produces an afterburn effect called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), said Cabral. EPOC is the amount of calories you burn long after your workout is over, and HIIT is the most effective workout for stimulating EPOC, according to the American Council on Exercise.

The after-burn effect of EPOC can last anywhere from 12 to 48 hours, according to the ACE. “[With HIIT] you will produce an after-burn effect with 25 percent more calories burned post-workout compared to going for a run or walk,” said Reed, and your metabolism can be boosted by up to 10 percent for three days after a HIIT workout. “Maintaining a routine that involves HIIT training three to four times a week will help compound that post-workout effect on your metabolism,” Cabral explained.

If you want to boost your athletic performance

“Incorporating resistance training into your HIIT workouts can help build and maintain muscle, particularly your type II fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are necessary for athletic movement,” Cabral said.

You have two different muscle fibers: type I (slow-twitch muscle fibers) and type II (fast-twitch muscle fibers). Your type I muscle fibers are built for endurance activities, such as running a marathon and biking long distances, while type II muscle fibers are made for quick, explosive movements. Think: sprints, jumps and heavy lifts.

So if you have your sights set on improving the height of your jumps or increasing the load of your deadlifts, then HIIT is the way to go.

That said, HIIT is extremely taxing on the body, so you shouldn’t do it every day. Doing HIIT two to three times a week is more than enough, and you should aim to recover at least 48 hours between your workouts, per the ACE.

LISS cardio is a great way to add variety to your workouts and prevent over training. Mixing in some low-intensity work, like walking or doing a leisurely bike ride or swim, allows you to get some movement as your muscles repair.

If you don’t have a lot of time to exercise

What’s great about HIIT is that you don’t have to work nearly as long as LISS cardio to get an effective workout, and you can customize your workout with different exercises and pieces of equipment.

“HIIT workouts are an excellent way to increase your workout intensity in a short amount of time — 20 minutes or less. You can also keep things interesting by switching up the sequence or swapping out different exercises from strength to high-intensity movement,” Reed said.

For example, doing a HIIT workout that involves doing squats followed by jumping rope will blast fat, burn calories, and activate muscle strength, Reed said.

In fact, a small study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared the calorie expenditure of nine healthy men doing 30 minutes of strength training, endurance cycling, endurance running on a treadmill, and HIIT training. The results showed that HIIT burned more calories than the other three workouts, suggesting that you can burn more calories with a 30-minute HIIT workout than doing steady-state cardio in the same amount of time.

That’s not to say that you can’t get a great workout with LISS cardio, too. LISS cardio can help you get more movement into your day while reaping the benefits of exercise. But HIIT can be helpful if you want to get more out of your workout in less time.

How can you make your HIIT and LISS workouts more challenging?

To level up your LISS cardio workouts, Cabral recommended adding different types of activities into your routine, like running, biking, swimming and rowing.

When it comes to HIIT, Cabral said experimenting with different variables can spice things up. Some ideas: “Decreasing the rest time while increasing the work time or increasing both the work and rest periods, adding more rounds, and increasing the weights for strength-based movements,” Cabral said. “HIIT workouts

How many times a week should you do HIIT and LISS training?

Reed recommended incorporating both LISS cardio and HIIT into your workout routine to reap their health benefits. “My philosophy has always been that every little bit counts. Walk for at least 30 minutes, five times a week and perform a HIIT workout two to three times per week [for] 10 to 20 minutes per workout,” Reed suggested.

Another great way to add both LISS cardio and HIIT into your routine: Perform a 15-minute HIIT workout followed by 30 minutes of LISS cardio. “You will be burning more calories from fat when you follow HIIT with any LISS activity,” Reed said.

Cabral recommended following a 2:1 HIIT to LISS ratio for building muscle, and if your goal is more endurance-based, reverse that ratio.

For beginners, Cabral suggested working out two to three times a week, working your way up to three to five times per week.

“Your fitness goals will determine the balance of what you need to be able to look and perform the way you want. Everyone is different, so finding that balance might take a little trial and error, which is ultimately worth it when you find what works best for you,” Cabral said.

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Giant mantle plume suggests Mars is more active than previously believed

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Although most volcanic and tectonic activity on Mars occurred during the first 1.5 billion years of its geologic history, recent volcanism, tectonism, and active seismicity in Elysium Planitia reveal ongoing activity. However, this recent pulse in volcanism and tectonics is unexpected on a cooling Mars.

A new study by scientists from the University of Arizona presents multiple lines of evidence that reveal the presence of a giant active mantle plume on present-day Mars. The study challenges current views of Martian geodynamic evolution with a report on discovering an active mantle plume pushing the surface upward and causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Jeff Andrews-Hanna, an associate professor of planetary science at the LPL, said, “We have strong evidence for mantle plumes being active on Earth and Venus, but this isn’t expected on a small and supposedly cold world like Mars. Mars was most active 3 to 4 billion years ago, and the prevailing view is that the planet is essentially dead today.”

Adrien Broquet, a postdoctoral research associate at the UArizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, said, “A tremendous amount of volcanic activity early in the planet’s history built the tallest volcanoes in the solar system and blanketed most of the northern hemisphere in volcanic deposits. What little activity has occurred in recent history is typically attributed to passive processes on a cooling planet.”

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The Elysium Planitia plain, located in the northern lowlands of Mars near the equator, caught the attention of scientists due to a startling level of activity. Elysium Planitia has undergone significant eruptions over the past 200 million years, in contrast to other volcanic zones on Mars that haven’t experienced significant activity in billions of years.

Andrews-Hanna said, “Previous work by our group found evidence in Elysium Planitia for the youngest volcanic eruption known on Mars. It created a small explosion of volcanic ash around 53,000 years ago, which in geologic time is essentially yesterday.”

The Cerberus Fossae, a series of young fissures that span more than 800 miles over the Martian surface, is the source of the volcanism in Elysium Planitia. Recently, the InSight team at NASA discovered that almost all marsquakes originate from this area. Although the young age of this volcanic and tectonic activity had been established, its root cause was still unknown.

Broquet said, “We know that Mars does not have plate tectonics, so we investigated whether the activity we see in the Cerberus Fossae region could be the result of a mantle plume.”

Artist’s impression of an active mantle plume – a large blob of warm and buoyant rock – rising from deep inside Mars and pushing up Elysium Planitia, a plain within the planet’s northern lowlands.Adrien Broquet & Audrey Lasbordes

The scientists discovered evidence of a similar series of events on Mars when they examined the features of Elysium Planitia. One of the highest places in Mars’ vast northern lowlands, the surface has been raised by more than a mile. The existence of a mantle plume is compatible with the uplift being supported from deep within the globe, according to analyses of minor fluctuations in the gravitational field.

Additional measurements supported the theory that something pushed the surface up after the craters formed by revealing that the floor of impact craters is inclined in the direction of the plume. Finally, when scientists used a tectonic model to the region, they discovered that the only explanation for the extension that created the Cerberus Fossae was the existence of a massive plume 2,500 miles wide.

Broquet said, “In terms of what you expect to see with an active mantle plume, Elysium Planitia is checking all the right boxes. The finding poses a challenge for models used by planetary scientists to study the thermal evolution of planets. This mantle plume has affected an area of Mars roughly equivalent to that of the continental United States. Future studies will have to find a way to account for a huge mantle plume that wasn’t expected to be there.”

“We used to think InSight landed in one of the most geologically boring regions on Mars – a nice flat surface that should roughly represent the planet’s lowlands. Instead, our study demonstrates that InSight landed right on top of an active plume head.”

“Having an active mantle plume on Mars today is a paradigm shift for our understanding of the planet’s geologic evolution, similar to when analyses of seismic measurements recorded during the Apollo era demonstrated the moon’s core to be molten.”

Scientists noted, “Their findings could also have implications for life on Mars. The studied region experienced floods of liquid water in its recent geologic past, though the cause has remained a mystery. The same heat from the plume fueling ongoing volcanic and seismic activity could also melt ice to make the floods – and drive chemical reactions that could sustain life deep underground.”

Andrews-Hanna said“Microbes on Earth flourish in environments like this, and that could be true on Mars, as well. The discovery goes beyond explaining the enigmatic seismic activity and resurgence in volcanic activity. Knowing that there is an active giant mantle plume underneath the Martian surface raises important questions regarding how the planet has evolved. We’re convinced that the future has more surprises in store.”

Journal Reference:

  1. Broquet, A., Andrews-Hanna, J.C. Geophysical evidence for an active mantle plume underneath Elysium Planitia on Mars. Nat Astron (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41550-022-01836-3

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NASA capsule flies over Apollo landing sites, heads home

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. –

NASA’s Orion capsule and its test dummies swooped one last time around the moon Monday, flying over a couple Apollo landing sites before heading home.

Orion will aim for a Pacific splashdown Sunday off San Diego, setting the stage for astronauts on the next flight in a couple years.

The capsule passed within 80 miles (130 kilometres) of the far side of the moon, using the lunar gravity as a slingshot for the 237,000-mile (380,000-kilometre) ride back to Earth. It spent a week in a wide, sweeping lunar orbit.

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Once emerging from behind the moon and regaining communication with flight controllers in Houston, Orion beamed back photos of a close-up moon and a crescent Earth — Earthrise — in the distance.

“Orion now has its sights set on home,” said Mission Control commentator Sandra Jones.

The capsule also passed over the landing sites of Apollo 12 and 14. But at 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometres) up, it was too high to make out the descent stages of the lunar landers or anything else left behind by astronauts more than a half-century ago. During a similar flyover two weeks ago, it was too dark for pictures. This time, it was daylight.

Deputy chief flight director Zebulon Scoville said nearby craters and other geologic features would be visible in any pictures, but little else.

“It will be more of a tip of the hat and a historical nod to the past,” Scoville told reporters last week.

The three-week test flight has exceeded expectations so far, according to officials. But the biggest challenge still lies ahead: hitting the atmosphere at more than 30 times the speed of sound and surviving the fiery reentry.

Orion blasted off Nov. 16 on the debut flight of NASA’s most powerful rocket ever, the Space Launch System or SLS.

The next flight — as early as 2024 — will attempt to carry four astronauts around the moon. The third mission, targeted for 2025, will feature the first lunar landing by astronauts since the Apollo moon program ended 50 years ago this month.

Apollo 17 rocketed away Dec. 7, 1972, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, carrying Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt and Ron Evans. Cernan and Schmitt spent three days on the lunar surface, the longest stay of the Apollo era, while Evans orbited the moon. Only Schmitt is still alive.

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Using atomic clocks in space to solve dark matter mystery

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A team of international scientists is proposing to send atomic clocks into space to detect and understand enigmatic dark matter.

Dark matter is a mystery that has plagued researchers for decades. This unknown essence represents 85% of all matter in the Universe, and although its effects can be observed, it has not been directly detected. Experts from the University of Delaware, the University of California, and the University of Tokyo are collaborating to solve this longstanding mystery by sending atomic clocks into space.

The research, ‘Direct detection of ultralight dark matter bound to the Sun with space quantum sensors,’ which is published in Nature Astronomy, plans to send two atomic clocks into the inner reaches of the solar system to search for ultralight dark matter that has wavelike properties that may affect the operation of the clocks.

What are atomic clocks?

Atomic clocks tell time by measuring the rapid oscillations of atoms and are already utilised in space to enable the Global Positioning System (GPS). In the future, space clocks could help navigate spacecraft and provide links to Earth-based cocks.

All clocks mark time by using some form of a repetitive process, such as a swinging pendulum. However, atomic clocks use laser technology to manipulate and measure the oscillations of atoms which are extremely fast. For example, a clock based on strontium atoms ticks 430 trillion times per second, and atomic clocks are exceedingly more precise than any mechanical devices.

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Historically, atomic clocks can cover the size of a couple of tables, but recent advances in precision and portability mean that some atomic clocks can now fit into a van, with NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock being even smaller, at around the size of a toaster.

Nevertheless, different types of clocks, based on much higher frequencies, have been developed over the last 15 years, such as optical clocks that are orders of magnitude more precise and will not lose even a second of time over billions of years.

Marianna Safronova, a physicist at the University of Delaware, said: “We now have portable clocks, and it’s fun to think about how you would go about sending such high-precision clocks to space and establish what great things we can do.

“It is a beautiful synergy between a quantum expert and particle theorists, and we are working on new ideas at the intersection of these two fields.”

Unravelling the mysterious properties of dark matter

The proposed research would send space clocks closer to the Sun than Mercury – an area they believe there is more dark matter to detect. These include atomic, nuclear, and molecular clocks that are currently being developed and are otherwise known as quantum sensors.

Safronova explained: “This was inspired by the Parker Solar Probe, the ongoing NASA mission that sent a spacecraft closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft has gone before. It has nothing to do with quantum sensors or clocks, but it showed that you could send a satellite very close to the Sun, sensing new conditions and making discoveries. That is much closer to the Sun than what we are proposing here.”

The aim of the study is to investigate ultralight dark matter, which the researchers believe could make a huge halo-like region that is bound to the Sun. Ultralight dark matter could cause the energies of atoms to oscillate, which will change how the clock ticks, although this effect depends on the atoms the clock uses. The researchers then monitor the differences in the clocks to look for dark matter.

“It has very specific properties and is a very specific dark matter that is detectable by clocks. What is observable is the ratio of those two clock frequencies. That ratio should oscillate if such dark matter exists,” Safronova said.

She explained that nuclear clocks, which are based on nuclear energy levels rather than atomic energy levels, may be the best clock for this research. She is currently involved in a project to build a prototype funded by the European Research Council.

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