Activities such as running, jumping, jogging or playing a sport may be extremely difficult for some people. If you are pregnant, have just given birth, are elderly or recovering from illness or injury, you may have to resort to low-impact exercise to keep fit. Your doctor may have even cautioned you about doing anything strenuous. The good news is there are low-impact exercises you can perform that will raise your heart rate, tone your body and help you achieve your fitness goals.
This is the most basic and easiest form of low-impact exercise that almost anyone can do. You can start slowly doing 15 minutes 3 times a week and increasing gradually until you are doing 30-45 minutes 5 days a week. To raise your heart rate, you should walk fast enough but still be able to speak without feeling short of breath. Later, as you become stronger, you can add arm workouts to increase the intensity of your exercise. If you have a heart condition, clear this with your doctor first.
This has been hailed as one of the best forms of low-impact exercise as it puts no stress on the joints. Like walking, you can begin with few short workouts a week, then build up to 45-60 minute workouts five times a week.
In addition to swimming, you can perform exercises in the water that will give you a good cardio workout as the buoyancy of the water allows you to move easily and with little effort. Walking or jogging the length of the pool, jumping up and down in the water are all low-impact forms of exercise. Some pools may offer aqua aerobics classes.
Use light weights and a high number of repetitions. You can sit or lie down while performing upper body movements and stand, sit or lie for those involving the lower body.
This can be done on regular stairs or the stair-climber at the gym and you can work at your own pace.
In addition to the above, you can cycle on a road or exercise bike or use some of the low-impact machines at the gym. For a more intense workout, involve the upper body when you can, or increase the time or the frequency.
Speak with us about low-impact exercises that would be suited to you to help you get fitter and feel better.