Exercise is an essential part of staying physically fit. However, what if you are not fit at all, be it because you are getting older or you have a health condition? If that’s the case, low-impact exercises may be what you need.
Low-impact exercises are physical movements that increase your heart rate to get your blood flowing. They are easy exercises that won’t hurt your body but reduce the risk of an injury. Low-impact exercises also don’t require special equipment.
They also bring several health benefits, such as improved stability and balance, stronger muscles, enhanced brain function, better flexibility, and weight control. Here are some low-impact exercises you can do.
Walking or Stair Climbing
Walking is perhaps the easiest and most common low-impact exercise. It is an excellent exercise for your overall body condition. It is gentle on the back and suitable for people who have had back injuries.
You can step up your pace to suit you too, so try brisk walking or inclined walking, but don’t overwork yourself. Remember to wear supportive shoes and try and avoid excessively hard surfaces.
You can climb stairs and get your dose of a low-impact walking workout for the day. Stair climbing is one of the exercises that have the most impact on your metabolism. As you climb, you are working against gravity. Just remember to walk upstairs rather than run, and start slow and increase gradually as your endurance improves.
You can also use elliptical machines which are stationary machines that you can use to walk, run, or climb stairs. They may be less impactful on your joints.
You can do a full-body workout with ellipticals and choose from various incline and resistance settings. Elliptical exercises can strengthen the muscles around your knees, help improve blood flow and help you burn more calories.
Cycling is a low-impact workout that uses your major muscle groups as you pedal, increasing your stamina and strength. It also helps increase joint mobility, decreases fat levels, and improves posture and coordination. You can ride your bicycle or use a stationary bicycle that mimics the pedaling motion minus the uneven ground or risk of losing balance.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Swimming and water aerobics are great low-impact workouts because of the water’s buoyancy that counteracts gravity and natural resistance. These activities are very popular among seniors because of their benefits in easing back and joint pain and other symptoms of arthritis. Swimming and water aerobics can help enhance your balance, strength, and flexibility.
Yoga may seem intimidating, especially if you have seen some of the complicated poses that get shown in magazines or on social media by supple young men and women. However, some poses are easy on the body, such as chair yoga’s overhead stretch, seated twist, seated cow stretch, and seated mountain pose.
Choose the ones that suit your own physical health and fitness level. Yoga is a good exercise that can help strengthen your core muscles, flexibility, coordination, and balance.
Low-Impact Jumping Jacks
Low-impact jumping jacks don’t require you to jump. These are low-impact, not high-impact jumping jacks. Instead, you bring your arms above your head as you step your feet left then right alternatively, and repeat the movement several times.
It’s a modified jumping jack and also called a side jack. Low-impact jumping jacks can elevate your heart rate and help you burn calories without exerting too much force on your knees.
Resistance Band Workouts
You can use a resistance band when you work out to strengthen your core and improve your balance, posture, and mobility. Resistance band workouts are user-friendly and beginner-friendly, so they are becoming more popular all the time, especially with seniors. They are a cost-effective and great alternative to gym equipment and ideal for home workouts to burn fat and build muscle.
Dumbbell Strength Training
Dumbbell strength training is another easy exercise you can do without hurting your body. You can isolate muscle groups that you want to strengthen, helping you improve flexibility and balance. Strength training helps build bone and muscle, which provides many health benefits to the whole body.
Exercise doesn’t have to be tiring and painful to the body. There are low-impact workouts that you can do to improve your physical fitness regardless of your age. Try some of the ones mentioned above and as your physical fitness improves you will be able to tackle other aerobic and strength exercises more easily.