Choosing the right exercise for you can mean all the difference between committing to a life of fitness or not. However, unless you understand the two types of exercise and the effect they have on the body, it can be hard to choose the one for you, which will enable you to enjoy it and stick to it. Low-impact exercise is one type of exercise, and it differs from the other type of exercise, which is high-impact exercise, in that it doesn't require you to bounce around so much to see results. In fact, there are at least 10 reasons to try low-impact exercise, which include:
Anyone Can Do It
With low-impact exercise, at least one foot remains on the floor at all times, which means anyone, no matter their build or mobility, can do it. Low-impact cardio can also be low, moderate, or high intensity, which enables people of all fitness levels to work out at their own pace. There is also low-impact strength training, which utilizes your body weight as opposed to heavy weights for resistance, thus again, anyone can incorporate it to help strengthen their muscles and bones for improved balance, posture, and more, especially as you age.
It Provides the Same Benefits as Traditional Exercise But Easier on the Joints
Research shows that low-impact exercise provides many of the same health benefits as high-impact exercise but without exerting much pressure on the frame and joints, which makes it especially beneficial for those with pain issues. Some of these benefits include increased breathing, which helps strengthen the heart and lungs and builds endurance for increased physical activity levels, and it also increases the body's oxygen intake, thus encouraging cell rejuvenation and healthy blood and lymph flow for greater protection against infections and illnesses. It also increases the heart rate, which boosts the metabolism, thus helping you burn more fat and calories, even at rest, and it also helps protect against diabetes, low blood pressure, depression, and more. However, though it is a gentler form of fitness, if you suffer from a health condition, mobility issues, or are currently nursing an injury, it is advised that you speak with your doctor before participating in exercise to ensure it will not cause additional damage or discomfort. They can also recommend the best fitness routine based on your condition for more favorable results.
It Burns More Body Fat Than High-Impact Exercise
According to one certified personal trainer, low-impact workouts are more efficient at burning fat per session than high-impact exercise that increases your heart rate but is more likely to burn carbohydrates than fat as fuel. This is because your body is simply more efficient at burning fat for fuel at a lower heart rate. In the meantime, another study published by the US National Library of Medicine showed that low-impact exercise also helps improve memory and motor skills, further suggesting that you don't need to work out until exhaustion to achieve the results you want.
It Requires no Expensive Equipment to Participate
Many low-impact exercises require simply your body to conduct the moves; therefore, you don't have to join a gym or purchase fancy machinery to work out. Thus, it not only provides a more convenient way to exercise, which makes you more likely to do it, but it's also a low-cost solution to exercising as another advantage. However, should your chosen activity require the use of equipment, and you want to work out at home, there are many gym-quality, low-impact exercise machines designed for residential use, including stationary bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and more, that will enable you to. There are also recumbent models specifically designed to provide joint and back support for a more comfortable workout.
It Can be Done Anywhere
The absence of equipment during low-impact exercise also means it can be done anywhere, including home, vacation, on your work break, and more, so you remain consistent and can reap the benefits when you need it. Many of the exercises can also be modified and done right from your chair or couch for even more convenience.
It's a Great Way to Get Introduced to Exercise and Its Benefits
If you have never really engaged in or committed to regular physical fitness, low-impact exercise makes it easy to get a feel for working out and the rewards it provides, so you want to continue to do it and reap the benefits. Then, as you progress, you can even switch to more high-impact exercise if you want to really challenge yourself. And, since anyone can do it, it's also a good way to bond with family, friends, or co-workers, so you can enjoy the benefits of improved health together.
It's a Great Way to Relax and Rewind
Low impact workouts put less pressure on the body as well as the heart; therefore, they provide a more relaxing form of exercise that also enables you to easily relax afterward as opposed to high impact exercise that puts more strain on the body and causes your heart rate to increase, which can make it difficult to wind down once you're done. A study published by John Hopkins Medicine shows that low impact exercises, such as yoga, in particular, are especially relaxing on the body and the mind; hence, it can also be used right before bedtime or at the end of a stressful day to relax and unwind while still receiving cardio and/or muscle-strengthening benefits. Hence, to destress with low impact exercise, consider leisurely exercises, such as a low to moderate intensity walk in the park or on the treadmill, a low to moderate intensity swim, or gentle stretching exercises, such as yoga and Pilates for instant calming.
It Helps With Pain Management
According to several reports, low-impact exercise is also effective for pain management in those who suffer from chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, lower back pain, IBS, and more. It does so by strengthening the tissues and tendons around the joints, strengthening the bones, and aligning the muscles, thus helping to alleviate undue pressure on the skeletal system, which can lead to swelling, inflammation, and other discomforts throughout the body. Some low impact exercises especially useful for soothing chronic pain include; -Recumbent exercises -Elliptical exercises -Walking -Range of motion exercises -Water exercises -Cycling -Gentle stretching exercises -Strength training exercises However, it is advised that you take your time doing the exercise and stop if you feel more pain than normal in the affected area or areas, which is a clear sign that they are taking on more than they can handle, in which case, they are prone to further injury if you continue. It also helps to prepare your muscles and joints with a quick warm-up before your exercise to help avoid discomfort. In the meantime, if you are new to exercise, it is common to experience some pain following your workout, but it should only last a short time. For pain that lasts longer than a few hours, consult your doctor to see if it is normal for your condition.
It Can Help Keep You Independent As You Age
As we age, the muscles and joints begin to break down and stiffen, which can lead to various issues with muscle strength, stability, and movement, all the main causes of falls and decreased mobility in the elderly. Low impact exercise has been proven to help address many issues of immobility, including helps strengthen the ankles and hips for better walking, jumping, running, and more to help keep you moving and independent in your golden years. Many of the exercises also require you to take your time with the movement, which really helps establish balance in the body. They also often utilize a full range of motion, which helps enhance the length and strength of the muscles for greater flexibility and stability, putting you at less risk of injuries. Thus, if you are part of the mature population, you don't have to live with the threat of losing your independence due to stiff joints, muscle loss, bone loss, and even obesity from an immobile lifestyle. Simply adopt a lifestyle of low impact exercise to help keep your joints, bones, muscles, and mind strong for a greater quality of life and overall well-being as your body ages.
It Fosters Proper Alignment and Technique for Everyday Activities and Sports
Because low-impact exercises are typically performed at a slow pace; hence, they cause you to focus on your body positioning as well as the technique, so you get a feel for proper body alignment and movement, which, over time, can also be used to help improve your sports performance and your workouts.
As you can see, there are many reasons to try low-impact exercise, so simply pick the best reason for you and get started! For more tips like these, check out Non-Athlete Fitness.