Low-impact workouts have been around for a long time, but it is only now that the most dedicated fitness people among us are realising the importance of adding low-impact exercise into their routines.
As much as high-intensity and heavy weighted exercises are ideal for progressive and effective results, low-impact exercises are designed to support our wellness much more, as well as our cardiovascular health.
Low impact workouts are also highlighted by health professionals as essential components that should be included in our day to day lives. It was estimated that 39% of adults over the age of 18 were overweight in 2016, which are staggering numbers.
People who are struggling with their health or face anxiety related to fitness can gain immense benefits from engaging in low impact workouts.
What Are Low-Impact Exercises?
Low-impact exercises are defined by professionals as any exercise that an individual engages with that requires little stains on her muscles and joints to complete the movements.
Just as an example, swimming is a great low-impact exercise that is safe for your muscles, requires little muscle straining yet still improves cardiovascular health. Other low-impact exercises might focus less on the movement but instead, focus on breathwork and improving areas such as your strength and balance without the need for lots of resistance.
The Benefits Of Low Impact Exercise:
- Low-impact exercise is very inclusive, therefore everyone can complete some form of low-impact exercise no matter their situation.
- You can still achieve weight loss through completing low-impact exercises, it might require longer periods of engaging in the exercise however it is just as effective.
- There is Less risk of injuring yourself when doing low-impact exercises as it requires little muscle and joint tension.
- You can improve your mental health by engaging in low-impact workouts. For example, taking a walk in nature is classed as a low-impact workout, and this can significantly improve your mental health.
- You do not need a gym membership or equipment to complete some low-impact exercises, therefore they can be more cost-effective.
Types Of Low Impact Workouts
Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise. Walking is the choice of exercise for people who experience joint problems which is common in older generations. It has always been an effective method for maintaining cardiovascular health and can also lead to weight loss if it is carried out in a calorie deficit. Most people who prioritise walking as part of their weekly exercise regimes see amazing results in a matter of weeks.
You can either pair walking with your more intensive workouts or if you are a workout beginner you can make walking your daily exercise. The rule of thumb is that we should be walking 10,000 steps a day.
This may seem like a lot, but if you manipulate your usual routine to include more walking you will see great results. Adding more walking into your routine can be as simple as getting off your transport one stop before you usually would, to increase the steps you will complete in a day. You can also go on long walks on the weekends if you are looking to make a day out of your low-impact walking exercise.
Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that involves stretching, breathing, and meditation. Yoga is a very popular low-impact exercise that everyone should test out. It is proven to have beneficial effects on your flexibility and overall fitness, whilst also encouraging mindfulness through the taught breathing practices. Many studios are dedicated to teaching yoga to beginners, so put on your favourite gym leggings and step outside your comfort zone .
Additionally, swimming is a great low-impact workout that targets the whole body without the need to place pressure on your muscles and joints. Swimming is also proven to lower blood pressure and also regulate blood sugar, which are huge contributors to our health. Start your low-impact swimming workouts by simply completing a few lengths of the pool. Each visit to the pool, attempt to do another length each time. This will progressively improve your stamina and cardiovascular health.
Cycling is an effective aerobic exercise that is designed to get your heart rate going, whilst also removing the necessity of placing weight onto your hips and knees. The best thing about cycling is that it can be an alternate option for your commute to work, therefore if your place of work is within a reasonable distance, riding your bike to work ticks off your commute and exercise for the day in one sitting. A 2017 study suggests that cycling as your form of commuting is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer significantly.
Pilates is a very versatile exercise genre that can be both low-impact and also high-impact. Pilates aims to improve your balance, strength, and also flexibility. Pilates has gained popularity in recent years due to the amazing results people are seeing from maintaining a regular Pilates routine. You can seek pilates group lessons that are designed to be gentler and low impact, reducing any tension and restriction on the muscles and joints.
6. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a form of martial arts that involves slow, gentle movements and deep breathing. It’s low-impact, making it a great option for people with joint pain or mobility issues. Tai Chi has been shown to improve balance, flexibility, and overall physical function while reducing stress and anxiety.
Overall, low-impact exercises are something that everyone should incorporate into their workout schedules. Individuals who have minimal fitness experience, as well as experienced fitness gurus should be implementing low-impact exercise into their routines to promote the health of their muscles and joints.
It is still possible to achieve fitness goals such as weight loss and improved stamina using low-impact exercises, so do not neglect them and make a conscious effort to do some form of this once a day.