If you want a safer workout that will keep you fit, low-impact exercises are a good option. They’re excellent for people with injuries, joint issues, back problems, or those who are older, out of shape, or pregnant. Low impact means you aren’t jumping or pounding your feet on the ground. They’re exercises where at least one foot is always on the ground. You won’t be jumping so you reduce the risk of joint injury, disc compression, or other musculoskeletal problems.
Low impact cardio will still get your heart beating fast.
When you run, the less time your feet touch the ground, the better. That causes you to become airborne, so you land hard. It’s hard on joints and takes a toll on the rest of the body. You don’t have to run to get a cardio workout, swim, row, or ride a bike. Use a stationary bike if you’re pregnant to avoid the potential of falling.
You need to include a cardio workout as part of a complete fitness program.
Running is just one way to get your cardio, but your feet slapping against the ground every mile can take a toll on your joints. Try jumping jacks without the jump, just stepping side to side, or something as simple as walking. Ride a stationary bike. If you have knee problems, put the setting on a lower resistance level. You can help lubricate the joints without increasing stress. Improving circulation provides maximum benefits without additional joint stress.
Low-impact exercises can improve strength.
Not only does the movement help lubricate the joints, but it also improves muscle and ligament strength to protect the joints. Strength-building workouts do that and most are low-impact. You can use bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, or weights to build muscle. For instance, lunges are beneficial if you do them correctly and have hip strength so your knees don’t push out too far. Do a clamshell to help with that problem. Until you build more hip strength, do a modified lunge. Start with one foot forward and just lower and raise your body, without moving your feet.
Get relief from the heat while you build your muscles with aquatic exercises.
Exercising in a pool provides extra resistance while preventing stress on the joints. Even ordinary walking is more taxing on the body. There’s 12 times more strength-building resistance doing an exercise in water than doing the same exercises on dry land. Almost any high-impact exercise becomes a low-impact one when you do them in a pool. For instance, traditional jumping jacks switch from high-impact to low-impact when you do them with your body in water.
- Do jumping jacks but omit the jump. Just step to the side as you raise your arms and clap your hands above your head and as you lower your hands, step back into starting position. Alternate the leg that steps outward.
- Squats are another low-impact exercise you can modify to work different muscle groups. Widen your stance when you squat or narrow it to work muscles on several planes and other muscle groups.
- Stretching is low-impact, plus a good way for everyone to warm up and loosen muscles. Some forms of exercise, like tai chi, are a low-impact way to build strength, cardio, and flexibility.
- Always check with your health care professional before doing any type of exercise, especially if you’re pregnant or have a health condition. You may have to modify some exercises or avoid them entirely.
For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching