There are a lot of ways that you can divide workouts. You can divide them based on what they do (cardio vs resistance training), you can divide them based on intensity (high-intensity workouts vs low-intensity workouts), or you can divide them based on their impact on your body (low impact versus high impact). In this short article, you will see what a low impact workout is and why it might be right for you.
What Are Low Impact Workouts?:
Low impact workouts, simply put, are workouts that have a very low impact on your body; more specifically, your muscles and joints. A typical workout will put a lot of strain on your muscles. Sprinting and other similar exercises do actual damage to your muscles. This is why so many people feel intense pain after a tough workout session. While high impact workouts are good, they do carry a risk of injury.
Not everyone is able to do high impact workouts and not everyone likes the idea of potentially injuring themselves while working out. This is where low impact workouts come into play. Low impact workouts are things like swimming, ellipticals, Pilates, exercise bikes, and similar workouts. As the name suggests, these put less strain on your body than traditional workout routines.
Are Low Impact Workouts Less Effective?:
One of the first questions that may spring to mind is whether low impact workouts are “less effective.” The answer is no, low impact does not mean low effectiveness. For example, swimming is considered one of the best methods for burning calories. On average, swimming will end up burning more calories than running (assuming you’re doing them for the same amount of time). However, unlike running, swimming doesn’t carry significant risks of breaking bones or tearing muscles.
Who Should Do Low Impact Workouts?:
Low impact workouts can be done by anybody and indeed, plenty of regular people do things like swimming and yoga. However, their main appeal will be to people who are out of shape, who have suffered a serious injury, and the elderly. The main reason being that for these groups, traditional workouts carry a higher risk of injury. Low impact workouts allow these groups to easily get into shape without accidentally injuring themselves. If you, or someone you know, fall into one of these groups then you should give low impact workouts a try.
A Guide to Low Impact Workouts for Beginners:
If you’re just getting started with a workout routine, don’t get discouraged. There are so many routines out there that you can try, but many are best reserved for the advanced who have worked up the strength and endurance to be able to complete them. There’s no shame in starting with a “beginner” level workout–in fact, that’s the very best thing you can decide to do! After all, you’ll be setting yourself up for success by choosing a routine that matches your ability levels.
With this in mind, you might have a bit of an issue navigating through all of the different types of workouts as you just dive into the fitness world. Low intensity, high intensity, low impact, high impact–what should you be doing to get the best results? The fact is, you could choose any combination and get results if you take the right approach. However, low impact workouts remain the best choice for people of all ages and skill levels.
This is because low impact workouts will help preserve your joints while also decreasing the risk of injury and strain. Plus, low impact activities don’t equate to low intensity. Your low impact workout can be any range of intensity so long as you design it correctly. That means it’s super flexible, allowing you to start with a low intensity routine and work your way up to moderate intensity and then high intensity down the road.
In other words, low impact workouts are really one of the absolute best ways to get your sweat on! If you’re a beginner looking to kick things off, look for a routine that accommodates your abilities, equipment, and skill level. If you do not have any equipment, opt for a body weight workout that will use the resistance of your own limbs in order to help you tone up and burn calories. If you are very new to exercise, opt for a low intensity beginner workout, which might center around walking or stepping in place.
Finally, when looking at a workout routine, be sure that you aren’t setting yourself up for failure. The routine should be easy to do for the first few days so that you can get into the swing of things. With time, you can begin making it harder for yourself by extending its length or intensity further.
4 Low Impact Exercises You Can Do At Home:
Tired of the same old, same old? Can’t make it to the gym? Weather not good outside? There are plenty of reasons why you might want to workout from home, and there are plenty of ways to do it. Here are five great low-impact exercises that you can do anywhere, with no equipment required.
Marching in place is like the perfect hybrid of walking and running. It’s low impact, like walking, but can be moderate or high intensity, just like a jog or run. Plus, you can do it from home without anything required other than willpower. As a quiet, low impact activity, you can march in place as you watch TV or you can take it mobile as you move around the house. The trick is to get your knees high and go at a pace that’s sustainable but still challenging for yourself.
Tai chi or yoga are popular low-impact workouts because they engage your entire body and accomplish multiple things at once. In addition to being very flowing and helping you relieve any stress you may be feeling, yoga and tai chi alike both have you focus on your breathing and your balance. Plus, you will find yourself toning your muscles as you stretch out your body. You can even get your heart rate up with certain yoga routines.
Whether or not you have a partner, dancing is one of the best things you can do to get moving without putting too much strain on your body. It’s very fun and allows you to learn a new skill with nothing other than a video to teach you. There are plenty of free courses online and videos on YouTube that will teach you basic steps and routines. So, push the sofa back and make room for your very own dance floor. Before you know it, you could spend hours working on your moves.
There are plenty of low impact workout routines dedicated to helping you tone up and slim down. Think squats, lunges, crunches, and other classic moves that can be done standing still or lying on the floor. There is no shortage of low impact moves out there–you just have to find the ones that work for you!
4 Low Impact Exercises You Can Do At the Gym:
Got a gym membership and no clue what to do with it? Don’t let joint pain or lack of a routine discourage you. Here are four low impact workout ideas that you can take with you.
Find the rowing machine at your gym and hop on it. You’ll be surprised how this seemingly simple motion works your entire body. Plus, once you find your rhythm, you’ll notice that it ends up being quite high intensity. Before you know it, you’ll be imagining yourself cruising through riverbanks and, in no time at all, your workout will be finished as the sweat trickles down your face.
The elliptical is definitely superior to the treadmill, and the fitness industry is finally starting to acknowledge it. With a wider range of motion that works more muscles, the elliptical machines should become your new best friend if you’re seeking out low impact activities to do at the gym. If there is more than one type of elliptical, try to switch up which one you use. Doing so will help you work more muscles and avoid an overuse injury. Stretching out before and after will also be very beneficial.
If your gym has a kickboxing class, definitely join it and see what it’s like! This cardio workout will have you keep one foot on the ground at all times, but you’ll definitely feel your heart race as you learn the moves against a boxing bag. Make sure to join a beginner’s class and, if you’re nervous, consider watching one before jumping in for yourself. This is one of those workouts that hardly feels like work at all once you get the hang of it.
TRX is a type of suspension training and it’s very likely that your gym has the equipment. Look around for handles hanging from the ceiling or mounted to the wall somewhere. These are what you’ll use to get into a TRX routine. This low impact workout helps you use your body weight as a resistance tool for toning up and getting your heart pumping. If you don’t know how, just lookup a video or ask a trainer for some guidance and you’ll surely be hooked on it.