It isn't always necessary to run mile after mile, lift heavy weights and go all out during your exercise regimen. Sometimes, giving your body a break from intense workouts provides more benefits. Low-impact workouts reduce stress on joints and tendons. However, this does not mean skimping on workouts. Low impact workouts can provide an equally effective non-pounding routine to gain similar outcomes.
What makes fitness important to your health is being able to increase your heart rate, gain strength, maintain flexibility, and do this all without adverse effects. Even when pursuing low impact training, multidirectional movement of the body is crucial for building the best core stability, balance, and strength.
Here is a list of activities that are great for total body fitness:
A new craze in low impact training has been created by reinventing a product that’s been around for decades, the slideboard. The 3ACT Slide provides one of the best low-impact workouts around. This portable exercise unit allows multidirectional movement for an array of exercises across a 6-foot diameter circle. Lose weight, gain strength, improve flexibility and balance, and develop a strong core. The exercises can be customized and varied for all ages and abilities. Using a 3ACT Slide allows high intensity workouts while still working in a low impact environment.
Tai Chi is growing in popularity as time progresses. This is one of those low-impact workouts that doesn't put an egregious amount of stress on the body or force you to push yourself to the limit. Rather, Tai Chi involves fluid movements that enhance flexibility and even help prevent headaches. You won't need much for this low impact exercise.
Get Moving With a Long Walk
People are walking less and less with the expansion of public transportation and the ubiquity of automobiles. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air with a long walk. To up the intensity, take on walking paths at considerable inclines to give your lower body muscles that much more of a challenge.
Pilates and Yoga are excellent ways to boost flexibility while strengthening the core. They teach effective strength and balance building motion. Both movement based activities can be performed on any flat surface.
Golf is a sport everyone can play, regardless of their skill level or age. This is another activity that encourages great motion for increasing flexibility and balance. Each swing burns calories and if you walk the course you will get in an average of 5-7 miles for 18 holes.
Some of the world's best athletes swear by swimming. Exercising in the water is much better for the body than pounding the pavement, knocking out one mile after another. Be sure to do some laps while in the pool rather than chilling out on the inner tube. Swimming works just about every muscle in the body yet it doesn't tax the joints. Swimming builds muscle and endurance.
If you grow tired of swimming back and forth in the pool, give water aerobics a try. You can use an underwater treadmill, weights or floating devices to make water exercises more challenging and interesting. Water aerobics workouts are often offered at gyms in group classes led by an instructor. This is one of those low-impact workouts that will keep you fit while helping you form friendships.
Biking is one of the best low-impact workouts. Riding a bike puts minimal stress on the joints compared to running. You can ride a stationary bike at the gym. Or, if the weather is nice, head on outside for a nice long bike ride.
Step on Up
If you feel fatigued after going up a set of stairs, it is time to get in shape. You can participate in a step aerobics class or make use of stairs in your home or any other facility. So don't take the elevator on up to your office. Opt for the stairs and it will gradually help you get in shape.
Rowing on a boat or on a rowing machine is a fantastic way to get some cardio without punishing the body. Ask anyone who has tried rowing and they will testify it is one of the best low impact exercises. Rowing works the arms, legs, core and even the back.
Kayaking is a severely underrated means of exercising. The beauty of kayaking is that it lets you enjoy nature while getting an excellent workout. Head out for a kayaking session and your core and arms will get plenty of work.
Walking becomes that much more challenging when it is performed in the snow. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and you can enjoy a demanding snowshoeing expedition. Walking along snow is a bit similar to walking on sand. It works the lower body and abs much better than traditional walking yet it won't wear away at your joints.
If walking around the block doesn't hold your interest or provide enough of a challenge, go for a hike. Hiking proves especially challenging if the trek covers a vast distance across varying undulations.
Rock climbing forces you to perform controlled movements. These movements are slow yet extremely precise. It is the perfect way to work your muscles without straining them.
Rollerblading might not be as popular as it was in the 90s yet it is still one of the best low impact exercises. Strap on some blades and head outdoors for a day of fun in the sun. Your body won't endure much stress as you gracefully glide along the pavement. However, you will burn plenty of calories during your rollerblading session.
This strap suspension system enables fitness enthusiasts to perform total-body resistance movements to perfection. The beauty of TRX is it doesn't strain the joints. This system challenges the entire body yet it doesn't wear the joints down like other more physically gruelling exercises.
Cross-country skiing is extremely demanding yet it does not inflict damage on the body. Cross-country skiing requires you to constantly move your arms and legs to propel across the snow. This style of skiing provides one of the best low-impact workouts as it works the arms, shoulders, legs and core.
This low impact cardio workout is a ton of fun. Ballroom dancing gives you the opportunity to perfect your dance moves while burning calories. The best part is ballroom dancing doesn't cause excessive wear and tear on the body. So turn up the music, grab a partner and start moving.