Low impact fitness basically refers to exercise programs that help you improve your strength, stamina, flexibility and agility without causing stress to your joints. High-impact exercises like running or jogging, weight lifting or jump rope are all beneficial but can prove to be challenging to people who are pregnant, aging or suffering from chronic pain and other medical conditions. Here are some low impact fitness exercises that you can choose from if you are looking for a good workout without the strain.
Perhaps no exercise can be simpler or easier than walking. To enjoy some scenery and some fresh air, do your walking in a nearby park or any safe area outdoors. You can also do some walking indoors if you have a treadmill. Before you start on a walking program, it's also important that you wear a pair of thick-soled sports shoes for protection and support. If you've never engaged in a walking program before, do not forget to warm up and start slow. Once you get the hang of this exercise, you can gradually increase your rate to as much as 10,000 steps for each day. To get the most benefits from walking, experts also recommend picking up the pace since walking faster makes your workout more intense. Try to add other challenges to your program, such as walking up a steep hill, so you can burn more calories.
2. Pilates and Yoga
Stretching exercises like Pilates and yoga are also popular low impact workout programs. The gentle and slow movements that these regimens require allow you to boost your flexibility and strength without putting much stress to your joints. These exercises also strengthen your muscles and boost inner circulation. Pilates, in particular, helps you develop strength in certain areas in your body such as the abdomen, back and other core muscles. Yoga, on the other hand, improves balance. Aside from being good low impact fitness workouts, Pilates and yoga can help you achieve relaxation and mental peace.
3. Water Aerobics
Water aerobics is another popular low impact exercise that many people enjoy. Water aerobics programs and classes are often joined by pregnant women and individuals who are overweight or suffering from an injury. Since the exercises are done in the water, the movements are virtually painless and cause no strain to the joints. To increase the benefits of water aerobics, other types of equipment are frequently added such as kickboards, weights and pool noodles.
Swimming is a refreshing exercise that is also considered a low impact workout. Swimming is particularly ideal for overweight people who experience joint pain when doing high impact exercises. Swimming also helps you burn plenty of calories so it can help you lose weight over time. If you're not a habitual swimmer, you may want to start with swimming for fifteen minutes a day before gradually increasing your rate.
5. Step Aerobics
Step aerobics is a type of aerobics that involves the use of an elevated platform to step on during the choreographed exercise. If you prefer to work out with a group, you can join step aerobics classes. If you prefer to exercise alone, there are plenty of videotapes that you can purchase to guide you.