Quality exercise comes in many forms and not all of them require running and jumping. Low impact exercise, that in which at least one foot is always on the ground, can be just as heart-pounding (if not more so) than other jarring workouts that can be rough on your joints and bones.
If you’re looking for some calorie-burning, invigorating workout ideas, check out these low impact exercise options:
When it comes to low impact exercise you can skip running on the treadmill and go for a slightly lower power-walking speed. Kick up the incline to really get your blood pumping. Or try other low impact cardio gym equipment such as the stair master, stationary bike, elliptical or rowing machine.
The weightlessness of being in the water is about as low impact as you can get. Swimming laps, water aerobics and treading water offer cardio and strength as you use water resistance to move your body.
Using free weights, nautical equipment or resistance bands helps build muscles and can give you a cardio boost if you build up the stamina for a hard-core routine. With less pounding and more repetitive toning movements, you can see a positive change in your shape.
Mind Body Exercise
Yoga and pilates combine strength, stretch and spiritual connection to work your body and mind. The fluid movements and poses required for both are much harder than they look and can give you a terrific low impact exercise workout.
Walking is the original low impact exercise and one of the easiest to do anywhere at any time. Amp it up on the weekends by hiking in a hilly area where you have to dig deeper into your muscles to move your body. Other low impact exercise in the great outdoors includes kayaking, cycling and rocking climbing.
Snow skiing and snowshoeing are both terrific ways to pump up your heart rate with a change of scenery. Depending on where you live, this may not be a viable option all the time but take advantage of this low impact exercise opportunity when you can.
Strap on a pair of skates – either roller skates, roller blades or ice skates – and push and glide your way into a terrific cardio and lower body workout. You may even gain better balance as you perfect the sport of skating.
Don’t let bad joints and fear of jarring workouts hold you back from improving your health. Low impact exercise is a great option to help you reach your fitness and body shaping goals.
Sources: Greatist, Prevention Magazine and Livestrong