For anyone who is a newbie to exercise and fitness, low impact workouts are one of the best ways to gently ease yourself into a regular exercise routine. Low-impact workouts are great for gradually building up strength and muscular endurance over time without putting stress on your joints. This also makes low impact activities perfect for the elderly, those dealing with chronic illness and anyone who is recovering from an injury.
Don’t let the term “low impact” deceive you, though — there are a ton of dynamic and incredibly fun low impact exercises that suit everyone’s tastes and interests. Today, we look at our top 4 favourite low impact workouts to add to your gentle routine, so sit back and enjoy the ride!
When Life Gets Tough, Put On Boxing Gloves
Contrary to popular belief, boxing isn’t as violent or physically taxing as one may assume from watching boxing matches and televised TV fights. In fact, boxing gyms are opening all over the country, and for good reason. This fun activity is one that is not just low impact but is also well known to help improve posture, balance, upper body strength, core strength and hand-eye coordination.
Fortunately, you don’t need to head out and buy a ton of stuff to start learning how to box. All you need is a place to train (ideally a gym, sports arena or a large space in your home), boxing gloves, boxing hand wraps, and a punching bag.
Pilates – Your New Superpower
Named after its creator Joseph Pilates, Pilates is an incredibly popular method of exercise that consists of a wide variety of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. One of the major benefits of Pilates is its ability to help foster proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance.
Practising Pilates can also be incredibly beneficial for your health and can contribute to helping maintain a healthy weight. There is no shortage of pilates classes available on the market today, with most gyms and even yoga studios offering classes to people of all ages. If you’d rather exercise in the privacy of your own home, pilates can be easily done with a yoga or workout mat and online tutorials or guides that will school you through the basics and beyond.
Aquatic exercises are a low-impact activity that takes the pressure off your bones, joints and muscles. As such, it is incredibly popular with people who are overweight, recovering from injury or suffering from conditions such as arthritis, lupus or gout. Water pressure also helps to put less strain on the heart by moving blood around the body, thus offering a great cardiovascular workout that also builds strength and muscle tone.
There are a wide variety of simple pool exercises that anyone can tackle, with some of the most common being water arm lifts, leg shoots and high-knee lift extensions. Do note that non-swimmers should not participate in aqua aerobics, and it is always recommended that you bring someone along with you if you suffer from any type of impairment.
Good Ol’ Walking
Last but not least, nothing beats walking. This simple activity that we often take for granted helps to increase blood flow to cartilage, thus allowing it to get the nutrients it needs to cushion and protect the ends of bones in your joints. Walking is also the best way for anyone to begin the transition from inactivity to activity—even if you suffer from arthritis in your knee and hip.
Taking a daily walk has been proven to ease arthritis pain and improve other symptoms. It’s also fantastic for your mood, heart, brain, and every other part of the body. Experts recommend getting in about 3 hours of walking per week and starting at a pace that you feel most comfortable at. As your stamina and strength increase, you will be able to adjust your pace in accordance with your fitness goals.
Low impact doesn’t have to mean boring. In fact, some of the most fun and exciting activities just so happen to fall under the category of low impact. We hope that this article has inspired you to take up a new sport, activity or exercise that is sure to help you better your mind, body and soul. All the best!