As we age, we face an interesting challenge: we know and understand that we need to exercise to maintain optimal health; however, our bones and joints have become weaker over time, and the exercises we are used to have become more painful and potentially more harmful to us now. So how can we continue to exercise without adding stress to our bodies?
Low-impact exercises mean, quite simply, that we move our bodies with little to no stress on our bones or joints while still actively engaging our muscles and increasing our heart rate. Low impact workouts provide us all the health benefits of traditional exercise while keeping us safe by reducing our risk of injury.
Here are some of our favorite low-impact exercises that you can begin to implement into your daily routine:
· Swimming/Water Aerobics: Swimming is probably the most obvious low-impact exercise. Moving in water provides buoyancy for our bodies, keeping our bodies safe while also strengthening our muscles.
· Cycling: If you aren’t comfortable biking outside on busy streets, try an indoor cycle house instead. Hopping on a bike is a fun and easy way to get your heart rate up without risking any additional damage to our joints.
· Elliptical: If you were ever a runner and prefer that form of exercise, using an elliptical is a good alternative. It puts much less stress on your knees than running on a treadmill or on the streets but is still great for endurance training.
· Pilates: If you enjoy yoga, you will likely enjoy Pilates as well. The difference, however, is that Pilates workouts tend to be better for increasing your heart rate and also for improving core strength.
· Walking: Let’s not forget about the exercise that spans the test of time! Walking is easy to do virtually anywhere and is less stressful on our bodies than jogging or running. For lowest impact to avoid walking on cement or asphalt. Just grab your shoes and go.
Our best tip is to find a low-impact workout that you love and grab a friend to do it with you. Accountability and fun are the recipe for exercise success.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan