Low Impact Exercises: Should You Do Them?
Low impact exercises do not mean a reduced amount of work or burning of calories. In fact, low impact exercises can provide a powerful, calorie-burning workout. Plus, high intensity exercise is not made for everyone. You have to listen to your body. In certain situations, low impact exercises are best.
In this article, we cover the benefits of low impact exercises and look at whether you should perform low impact exercises or not. We also provide examples for these types of exercises. Let’s dive in!
What Are Low Impact Exercises?
Low impact exercises are defined as any exercise that does not place a high amount of stress on your joints or tissues. It’s great for individuals who are new to working out and for individuals with health conditions.
The Benefits of Low Impact Exercises
Now that we have defined what low impact exercises are, let’s look at the many health benefits this workout option offers.
Reduces Risk of Injury
Because it is low impact, there is less pressure placed on the joints, muscles and other tissues. This leads to a decreased risk of injury, helping you avoid pain or lengthy recovery times.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
You can get a great workout by doing low impact activities. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because it is low impact, you are not working as hard. Low impact activities, such as swimming and biking, are excellent for your heart health. They get your heart rate up and make it work. In turn, this can help reduce your risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event.
Great for Weight Loss
High intensity exercises can be tough on the body, especially with excess weight. Excess weight places additional pressure on the joints and structures. Thus, low impact exercises are perfect to start your weight loss journey. They can help you ease into exercise, without fearing injury. They can also burn serious calories. For instance, a 150-pound individual can burn over 300 calories in one hour of cycling.
Improves Mobility and Flexibility
Low impact movements, such as yoga, help to increase your mobility and flexibility. In contrast, high intensity exercise may leave you with decreased range of motion.
Improves Mental Health
Low impact exercises, especially cardio options, release endorphins. These chemicals help to improve your mood and lower pain levels. Consequently, you feel better. Exercise also has the ability to improve your confidence, allowing you to gain even more mental health benefits.
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What to Consider
In truth, low impact exercises are for anyone. Maybe you hate high intensity training, or you need a new exercise routine. Low impact exercises might be right for you.
Further, these types of exercises are appropriate for beginners. New to fitness? Start with low impact varieties. Ease into the world of regular exercise. It can help you enjoy it, as well as help you gain initial strength. It’s also great for individuals with conditions, such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia. Low impact provides an excellent workout, without compromising the joints or tissues, and without causing more pain. In addition to this, low impact exercises may be suitable for others bouncing back after an injury. Until you have fully healed, you can use low impact movement to continue to participate in regular physical activity.
Low Impact Exercises for Beginners
Here are a few low impact exercises to get you started. The best part? You can do these types of exercises within the comfort of your own home.
Low Impact Kickboxing
Kickboxing can be modified for low impact versions. The rule of thumb is to always make sure you keep one foot on the ground, as well as ensure you softly land on each foot. Perform slow and controlled jabs and kicks into the air. For instance, perform 30 seconds of forward jabs, alternating arms, followed by 30 seconds of forward kicks, alternating legs. Then, perform one minute of uppercuts and then one minute of back kicks. Do this for four to five rounds.
Use Stationary Cardio Machines
Try your hand (or feet) on a stationary bike or elliptical. These two machines are very low impact but offer an excellent workout that gets your heart pumping. Many of these machines also come with preset programs. This means you do not even have to think about your workout. You simply select the program you wish to do and go for it.
Alter Existing Exercises
High impact exercises can be made into low impact exercises. You can perform slow and controlled movements as opposed to fast ones. Whenever there is a jump required, step instead. If you cannot go down that far into a squat, only go as far as it is comfortable. There are always options when it comes to exercise.
Yoga is another great low impact option. It’s slow, forcing you to make very mindful movements. It further can help elongate your muscles and strengthen your core, contributing to better posture and improved flexibility and mobility. You can perform yoga on your own or you can follow along with a YouTube video at home. Again, there are endless options here.
Start Your Low Impact Exercise Routine Today
Are you just getting into exercise? Do you want to lose weight? Try a low impact exercise routine to get started. It’ll be easier on your joints and you will not get discouraged as easily, nor will you likely face injury or pain.