Exercising is a great way to loose weight, build muscle and increase your overall energy levels. People who work out on a regular basis have a lower risk of a host of chronic diseases like diabetes and depression than sedentary people. Active folks also enjoy improved cognitive functioning, a longer life expectancy and a greater sense of well-being when compared to couch potatoes.
Unfortunately, many people are sidelined by injuries, illnesses and painful conditions like arthritis that make it uncomfortable to do some traditional workouts, especially ones involving high-impact activities like running and jumping, however, this doesn’t mean that exercising is off-limits. Low-impact workouts are a great alternative to bone-jarring exercises like jogging and aerobics, offering the same great benefits without the uncomfortable side effects.
Here are five great low impact workouts that are designed to prevent stress on your joints while offering all the perks of exercising:
- Walking – Going for a brisk walk is the ultimate low-impact workout. It’s easy, cheap and accessible to everyone. Try to enlist a walking buddy to help pass the time and keep you company, or if you prefer solitude, consider investing in a portable music player and a set of open-air earphones (so you can hear what’s going on around you). During foul weather, walk at your local mall, an indoor track or on a treadmill.
- Use an Elliptical Machine – For the ultimate low-impact, high-efficiency workout hop on an elliptical machine. The best ellipticals offer users a whole-body workout, integrating all the major muscle groups body to provide a challenging, impact-free way to exercise. An elliptical workout combines the heart-healthy fat-burning benefits of cardio exercise with the muscle-building perks of resistance training.
- Deep-Water Aerobics – Working out in the water is a great way to burn calories and build strength without worrying about damaging your joints. Also known as aquacize, water aerobics can be done solo or as a group in the deep end of a pool. Most water exercisers use a flotation belt to help keep them upright, allowing them to ‘run’ while suspended in the water.
- Yoga – Yoga has enjoyed a renewed popularity in recent years and with good reason – most forms of yoga are low to no impact, using one’s own body weight as resistance to build muscle. Depending on which type of yoga you practice, this type of exercise can provide numerous benefits including greater flexibility and muscle mass along with improved mental focus and stress reduction.
- Skating – Whether you prefer blades or wheels, skating can be a fun, social way to get a great low-impact workout. When done correctly, ice, inline and roller skating involve virtually no impact on your joints unless you fall! Consider wearing protective gear like knee pads, wrist guards and a helmet to reduce your risk of injury.
Low impact workouts are a great way to protect your body from the wear and tear of excessive pounding and jarring. These exercises allow you to enjoy all the benefits of exercising while cutting your risk of injury or pain, increasing the chances that you’ll stick with your workout routine.
- Image from Microsoft Office
+Roxxy Sonnich writes about many health and fitness topics, some of which focus on how to help disabled or elderly people engage in low-impact workouts, such as by using the best ellipticals.