Low Impact Exercises

swimming-924895_1920The impact of jumping jacks, running, basketball, and many other sports is difficult to take when you get to a certain age. Jumping might be impractical or uncomfortable due to injury or perhaps a condition that makes your joints and bones vulnerable. Obese individuals often struggle with high-impact moves too, especially at first. Numerous types of exercise, however, require no impact at all and still help a person lose weight and feel stronger.

Low Impact Guidelines

Just because you aren’t jumping doesn’t mean you don’t get out of breath. It’s critical to still move, but the best moves for low impact weight loss and fitness incorporate the biggest muscles in your body: the ones in your bum and thighs. When you activate the largest muscles, this requires more work from your heart in order to supply enough blood to the area, delivering oxygen to muscles. In other words, you start to feel out of breath and your heart is working pretty hard.

When you aren’t jumping, an optimal exercise is one which combines two moves in one. An example would be side-to-side movements, very easy and gentle, but enhanced by taking a free weight in either hand and doing bicep curls the whole time. If you don’t feel out of breath, increase the weight, move faster, or dip deep into a side lunge with every sideways movement.

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The same rules apply to low impact fitness as they do to high impact workouts. Stay hydrated by drinking just water before, during, and after a session. Don’t drink juice or milk, and sports drinks aren’t needed unless the workout session is really long — say, 90 minutes. Then you can justify ingesting that additional sugar.

Warm up first by moving your whole body gently for a couple of minutes; perhaps marching on the spot. Cool down by stretching the muscles you worked so they don’t succumb to injury later on and to prevent discomfort.

Low Impact Workouts

Walking can be a great exercise if you make it work for you. Those new to exercise should start here with 20 or more minutes daily. Walk as briskly as you can, keep your posture straight, and pull your stomach muscles in. This is a good time to practice core strength moves so they come naturally when you do more complicated exercises.

Yoga

Holding Warrior Stance doesn’t look like much of an exercise, but you’re using those big leg muscles and also holding your arms out for a long time in this pose. It’s harder than you think. Move gracefully through yoga poses and stretches with control and that control will ensure you are working harder than you think. Again, focus on the core and breathing. Many fitness programs blend yoga with Pilates and free weights to really get your heart pumping.

Swimming

This is perhaps the best all-around exercise for people with any back or joint problems. It works your entire body while the water supports those tender muscles. Swimming can be adapted if you are suffering from pain in certain muscles. Swim slowly at first, concentrating on comfort and on reaching a 20-minute minimum. Later, add time, do more lengths in the same time, or both.

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