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Best Low-Impact Workouts for a Healthier, Fitter You

by Dr Prem Community Writer
yoga

People have different preferences when it comes to exercise. Some prefer cardio to weight training, while others opt for yoga and Pilates. If you’re the type of person looking for a new exercise routine, but want one that is low-impact, this article is for you.

Here are six of the best, low-impact workouts available that will help get you moving, without fear of injury.

Water Exercises

Water-Exercises

The beauty of water exercises is that you’re working in a low-impact, weightless environment. Any type of aquatic workout is gentle on your knees, back, hips and feet. Water exercises are not limited to just swimming, though swimming is an amazing, low-impact workout option.

Even though swimming is considered low-impact, the resistance of the water against your body is what makes it such a great calorie burn. It’s also a total body workout, utilizing the muscles in your arms, back, legs, and core. People of varying skill levels can swim. Beginners can start with the basic movements and advance their moves with time.

But swimming isn’t the only activity you can do in water. Aqua Zumba allows participants to dance in the water, exploring their fun side while also burning major calories and working every muscle in your body. Water aerobics is also common, alongside pool planks and balance exercises.

Yoga

Yoga is extremely beneficial for overall health and wellness, both physical and mental. If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise that offers increased upper body and core strength, as well as flexibility, then yoga is likely for you. There are countless forms of yoga that you can participate in from basic yoga, to power flow and hot yoga. Each form has its own benefits and most are low-impact.

Equipment needed for yoga is limited. Yoga studios encourage visitors to take off their shoes and socks before entering the studio. You’ll need a quality yoga mat as well, which provides cushion for your hands, feet, and body while performing various moves. Other equipment includes straps and blocks. Straps are used to help yogis get deeper into the stretches, especially if flexibility is lacking. Blocks offer additional support during standing moves that require you to touch the floor. Yoga blocks are usually made of foam and measure 4”x6”x9”. These blocks can be placed on their top, side, or base and used for support. It’s important not to push yourself or your body past your comfort level. Blocks and straps allow you to improve flexibility without injury.

Walking

Walking

Walking offers so many health benefits from increased bone and muscle strength, to heart health and improved mood. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done both outdoors and indoors. If you live where the climate is not conducive to outdoor activity, purchasing a treadmill or joining a gym is a great way to stay active inside. When the weather allows, going for a nice brisk walk is enough to get your blood pumping, expose your lungs to fresh air, and help loosen and strengthen muscles in your legs, back, and core.

The beauty of walking is that it can be done at a slow or fast pace, depending on your fitness ability and current condition. It’s important to walk with correct posture to prevent injury. Here are some posture tips to help  avoid injury, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep a relaxed back, neck, and shoulders
  • Look straight ahead, not down
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles slightly to protect your lower back
  • Keep your arms loose and swinging
  • Roll your foot heel to toe

Other important components to safe, low-impact walking is purchasing the right shoes, stretching both before and after, warming up, and cooling down.

Barre

Barre workouts are gaining in popularity and it’s no wonder why. This low-impact exercise offers a total body workout in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Barre offers both cardio and muscle toning benefits. Barre workouts often use light-weights, the barre, resistance bands, and small balls. These sculpting exercises are often done at a cardio pace, which aids in calorie burn.

Dressing properly for barre workouts will also help you stay safe and get the most out of the workout. Similar to yoga studios, barre workouts are done barefoot or with socks. If you opt for socks, be sure to purchase ones with sticky bottoms or grips. This will prevent you from slipping or falling during the course of the workout. It’s also recommended for you to wear fitted clothing. Loose fitting clothing can get in the way and prevent you from getting the most out of your workout.

Cycling/Rowing

Cycling

Cycling and rowing are two more low-impact exercises that can be done both inside or out. Most gyms are equipped with stationary bikes and rowing machines. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, you can purchase a mountain bike, cycling bike, or take it to the water in a kayak, canoe, or rowboat. Paddle boarding offers a low impact upper body and core workout as well.

Cycling is one of the best low-impact cardio workouts available. That’s because you can move at a very high rate of speed without placing any pressure or strain on your joints. To ensure that you’re not placing unnecessary pressure on your body, be sure to ride with the proper amount of resistance. You can use interval training on a bike to take your workout to the next level. This includes increasing and decreasing speeds and intensity throughout the workout or take spin classes.

Rowing is another total body workout that burns calories and helps strengthen your arms, core, and lower body without strain on your joints. This low-impact exercise helps tone the thighs and glutes while also helping define the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and back. If you can’t perform any type of weight bearing exercise, even walking or yoga, rowing is an excellent alternative because it’s done from a sitting position. Using correct form while rowing will help reduce the risk of back injury. Posture has a lot to do with this. It’s important to keep your back straight, your feet securely strapped in place, legs at a 90 degree angle, and chin up. Keeping your core tight will also help with posture and work your core simultaneously.

Everyone Can Exercise

Just because you’re either recovering from an injury, new to exercise, battling obesity, or have other physical restrictions, it doesn’t mean that you can’t workout. With so many low-impact exercises available, there is an option for everyone. So whether you start with taking a yoga class, buying a treadmill for your home, or signing up for barre classes, the most important thing is that you start!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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