7 Low-Impact Ways to Stay Fit
Limited mobility, excess weight and illness can make exercise seem like a chore. But if your goal is staying healthy, easy workouts might be what you need. Depending on your personality and physical ability, many low-impact exercises can be increased to higher intensities to help you lose weight or get in shape without jarring your body or joints.
Interestingly, low-impact exercises do not have one single accepted definition. Your abilities and physical health will determine what is low-impact for you. Generally, jogging and running may be considered high-impact because of the impact on the feet, ankles and knees when your feet hit the ground.
Any form of jumping or moves like burpees and squat thrusts are considered high-impact because in many cases, both feet leave the ground at the same time, increasing the impact when one or both feet make contact with the ground.
Low-impact ways to stay fit can be as easy or as intense as you want your workout to be. Staying fit depends on healthy habits, which rely on motivation to get you started. Easy workouts can improve your motivation, even when you don’t feel like exercising. And many low-impact exercises can be adapted to become limited mobility exercises.
The following are 7 low-impact ways to stay fit to help you stay healthy.
Is one of the most universal exercises used to help people of all ages stay fit. It’s a great exercise for when you just don’t feel like exercising, and you might be surprised by an energy burst midway through your walk. Walking fast while focusing on taking longer strides will help tone your legs, hips, buttocks and even your abdomen and can improve flexibility at the same time. Walking while listening to music or enjoying activities on the Yes.Fit fitness app can be a great way to relieve stress and enjoy exercise.
Can be done on a stationary bike or a regular bicycle. There is no impact on any of your joints and it can be a great way to improve cardio fitness. Adding music can make your exercise fly by and using a fitness app like Yes.Fit to join a race can improve your motivation and self-esteem as you complete the races. You could also do biking at a slower pace and that can feel almost like relaxing while you still increase your circulation and oxygen intake!
Is an ideal low mobility exercise because it can increase your heart rate providing health benefits without putting any stress on the joints. It is often recommended for rehabilitation for some injuries and conditions to help improve flexibility, maintain a healthy weight and tone your entire body. If you can swim, there are many places to enjoy the activity including a community pool, gym, beach, lake or your own backyard if you have a pool.
Is considered by many to be the only exercise machine in a gym that can provide a full body workout. This is a high intensity, yet a low-impact activity that most anyone can enjoy. Rowing activates muscles with concentric muscle movements, which is opposite of most other exercises, which means less muscle soreness, improved form and increased power over time.
Is an exercise normally performed on a machine called a reformer. Today's Pilates has become so popular that some trainers have adapted the movements to floor workouts that are performed on a mat. Pilates is a series of controlled movements used to strengthen and stabilize all of your muscles with a focus on your core. It can improve posture and help you restore or gain flexibility safely and strategically.
However, form is important for the best results so that muscles are engaged correctly. You may not get a great cardio workout with this one, but you will definitely improve muscle quality and fitness level!
Is considered a mind and body discipline with a spiritual spin that happens to also act as a great low-impact activity to get in shape. As you slowly move into various poses, a focus on breathing and correct movement helps relieve stress as aches and pains seem to melt away.
The poses are also said to improve blood flow throughout the body, including opening up normally constricted areas like certain organs and the abdomen, which may have considerable health benefits. In fact, yoga has been found to encourage weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity and even benefit bone remodeling in a non-impact manner!
Keep in mind this includes yoga practices such as Vinyasa yoga hatha-style yoga. Bikram or “hot yoga” is an intense style of yoga performed in a hot room that is believed to burn more calories and loosen muscles, but may not be suitable for some.
7. Tai Chi
Was originally a self-defense practice that has been updated into a slow, graceful series of movements for fitness, often referred to as meditation in motion. With minimal stress on the muscles, this low-impact exercise is safe for people with limited mobility or issues such as osteoporosis, back pain and joint problems.
These low-impact activities can be a fun way to keep yourself motivated and maintain healthy habits. Remember that exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety and can improve your mood and outlook on life.
If you feel unmotivated or have limited mobility, include fun activities that make exercise feel easy so you can enjoy all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.