Which Form of Cardio is Best for You?

With so many different types of workouts, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and difficult to figure out where to start. Cardio is no different and there isn't a one size fits all approach to fitness. When it comes to cardio it's important to know where your body stands and what you’d like to practice. We’ve listed a few different forms of cardio that will help you make your decision next time you hit the gym or choose which classes to attend. Read through these different forms of cardio to decide what’s best for you!


HIIT sessions are the quickest of all the listed forms of cardio because it incorporates interval training. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and typically lasts between 8 - 15 minutes. While most HIIT workouts take place on the treadmill, there are workouts that use body weights, resistance, and weights instead. Click here for a sample HIIT session. A typical ratio for HIIT treadmill workouts consist of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. This is ideal if you have limited amount of time in your day to get a workout in. This workout will induce the afterburn effect which helps your body continue to burn fat and calories 24 hours after your workout. Learn more about this effect here.


LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State which consists of moving at a steady rate for anywhere from 25 - 45 minutes. This form is great on rest days or if you have more time at the gym. Some people will gravitate towards this form of cardio because it is low intensity and easy on joints and knees. If you’ve had previous knee injuries then LISS will feel much better on your body and allow you to not feel discomfort or further injure yourself. Most LISS workouts include walking on a treadmill at a steady pace, making sure to keep your heart rate at about 50%. If you feel comfortable with this, then adding an incline will help you burn more calories and fat while engaging more leg muscles. A brisk walk or hike would be perfect on rest days or as your cardio for the day. If you’re unsure about HIIT, are just starting your fitness journey, or have a previous injury then LISS would be a great way to get your cardio in for the day.


Zumba is a great form of dance cardio that makes working out seem like fun instead of an actual work out. Zumba is taught by a certified Zumba teacher in a class setting, not to be done by yourself in the gym. Following along to a teacher in class ensures that you are doing the movements safely. It is also easier to follow along and bring friends and family and dance together. Set to contemporary music, you’ll be dancing and working on your legs, glutes, and core. Zumba is great substitute for running. It gives people with joint issues a low impact form of cardio that will get you sweating while having fun!

Don’t forget that we offer free Zumba class every Tuesday from 7-8pm in partnership with Calistoga Recreation, making it free for Calistoga residents, or $10 for non-residents. Try out Zumba every Tuesday night for an hour of dance fun!


Another class that burns major calories while still being low impact is Spin. Spinning classes get you sweating and moving on a safe stationary bike with upbeat music. Don’t be scared to take a spin class! You can move at your own pace and adjust resistance to your desired level. Spinning is easier on the knees than running and can be done by anyone, no matter the age! Spinning also creates this afterburn effect that we previously mentioned, continuing to burn calories and fat 24 hours after your workout. Classes typically last anywhere from 45 - 60 minutes, with focuses on sprinting and climbing hills. Most of our instructors incorporate light weights for an arm workout while you recover from high intensity cycling. We offer spin classes every day, anytime from 6:30am to 6:15pm, so you can find a time to spin that works for you. Check out our class schedule to sign up for a spin class and see why everyone raves about it. If you only want to spin then make sure to check out our 10 class packs that give you access to 10 classes of your choice.

If you’re unsure or want more guidance on what you’d like your fitness journey to look like then contact us here to set up a session!

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