Everyone should be striving to keep their health and fitness in check throughout their lives. Unfortunately with the act of vigorous exercise comes the risk of injury, or the potential to worsen existing medical problems. Low-impact exercises have been a common theme in recent fitness news, and there is a reason for it.
This type of exercise does not only aim to do what generic exercise does, support weight loss and improve your cardiovascular health, but low-impact exercise also takes into consideration the health and support of your joints and muscles.
As much as there is an urgent need for everyone to focus on exercise, there are a lot of people who are limited in their fitness ability and general muscle functioning due to hereditary and medical complications. Low-impact workouts are ideal for individuals who are suffering from complications such as these, but this is not to say that this form of exercise should be left for beginners.
The most experienced gym attendees and fitness gurus should also be adding low-impact workouts into their daily routines.
The meaning of low-impact workouts
Low-impact workouts are largely defined by their ability to encourage low-intensity movements that still challenge and improve cardiovascular health, all while avoiding heavy pressure on the muscle and joints. Everyone should be moving every single day, no matter how much or little exercise you decide to do, low impact workouts are a key component of an all-round fitness regime.
The benefits of these exercises
Some of the benefits are associated with low-impact workouts. Although they have been a prominent form of exercise for people who have restricted movement, fitness fanatics are now recognizing the value of integrating low-impact workouts into their weekly schedules. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Accessible for all fitness levels – people who come from all different levels of fitness experience can implement low-impact workouts into their daily routines.
- Reduces risk of injury – part of the reason why low-impact workouts are so popular is their ability to avoid too much strain on the muscles and joints, further reducing the risk of injury.
- No equipment required – if you are under the impression that you need an expensive gym membership or high-tech equipment to perform low-impact workouts, you are very wrong. A low-impact workout can be as simple as going for a walk, effective, and cost-free.
- Cardiovascular health is improved – Low-impact workouts still strengthen your cardiovascular health, whilst avoiding strenuous movement that can cause lots of tension in the body.
- Improves mental health – Often, fitness beginners who are also struggling with their mental health dig themselves into a hole due to the pressures of attending gyms or professional fitness settings. Low-impact workouts can be completed by anyone, therefore there is less pressure and anxiety prominent in completing the exercise.
Workouts for you to try
In terms of what workouts are classified as low impact, there are some different genres and variations. The most complex workouts can be simplified into low-impact workouts to support the health and well-being of your muscles and joints. Here are some of the most popular workouts:
Walking, sounds simple enough, right? Walking is one of the best and most accessible workouts that we should all be taking part in every single day. The rule of thumb is that 10,000 steps should be taken daily on average to support our health. Whilst this may sound like a lot, some hacks can be done to get the number of our steps up. First of all, you might consider having a walk in the morning before you get to work. To pass the time you can listen to your favourite podcast or music to pass the time. If you are struggling to find the motivation, you might invest in a new gym set that makes you feel confident. On the other hand, adding in more steps can be as easy as getting off a stop earlier than you usually would on your commute if you use public transport. Consider investing in a fitness watch that sounds your steps daily.
If you are eager to spend more time and energy on walking, you can also try walking long distances in the countryside to receive equal benefits from both the exercise and the fresh air. No matter how you decide to integrate walking as your low-impact form of exercise, make sure you perform it with intention and consistency.
Additionally, swimming is a valuable low-impact exercise that many people perform to challenge their fitness whilst strengthening their muscles and joints. If you are looking to improve your strength without facing the risk of joint problems, swimming might be for you. Swimming is proven to improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and also boost your stamina each session.
Yoga is another amazing form of low-impact exercise that is adept at improving your strength and flexibility whilst reducing the risk of injury. Yoga is not what you think it is, and beginners are welcome to start yoga at any stage of their life. Yoga is less of a challenge for your cardiovascular health, however, yoga goes hand and hand with any challenging fitness regime that requires a built-up level of strength and flexibility. Yoga also promotes mindfulness and encourages people to focus on their inner self and wellness, making it an all-around beneficial habit to implement into your daily fitness regime.
Cycling is ideal for people looking to challenge their stamina and fitness, without putting any strain on the hips and knees. Cycling is not for everyone, but for those people who start it becomes a part of their overall lifestyle. Individuals who find their love for cycling realise its value for commuting also. Cyclers often use their bikes as a mode of transport, which ultimately encourages exercise throughout the day.
Contrary to popular belief, weight training can be a low-impact form of exercise. Whilst many people might engage in extreme weight lifting and challenge themselves, others find just as much value in lifting lower weights with lower-range movements. Strength training as a beginner should always be done with the support of someone who is experienced, or with the recommendation of your doctor if you are facing medical complications. Start simple with some low-weight dumbbells. Gradually build your weight and range of motion the more comfortable and stronger you get!
Regardless of what low-impact workout you decide to do, make sure that you are engaging in at least one regularly. As mentioned walking can be well paired with your daily routine, or any exciting fitness regime you are currently doing. For anyone that is restricted in their exercise capability due to medical problems, a doctor should always advise on what exercise is safest for each patient. We should all be taking part in some form of exercise. Low-impact workouts are the safest and easiest way to improve your cardiovascular health and improve your overall health and well-being.