The benefits of exercise are well-known to most people. It can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, help you manage blood sugar, improve your cognitive function, and elevate your mood and mental state. But high impact exercise can have a negative impact on your joints. Many adults today are choosing low impact exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What Exactly Is Low-Impact Exercise?
Low-impact exercise is any type of exercise that places minimal stress on the joints, particularly the hips, knees, and ankles. In many low-impact exercise routines, such as walking or step aerobics, one foot is always in contact with the ground. It takes a little longer to increase your heart rate with low-impact activities, but it is much easier on your joints.
What Are Some Popular Forms Of Low-Impact Exercise?
If you have decided on low-impact exercise for healthy living, you have a variety of activities to choose from, including:
- Walking: This is one of the most popular forms of low-impact exercise. It is easy to fit into your schedule and requires no equipment except for a good pair of walking shoes.
- Swimming: Exercise while supported by water has little to no impact on the joints. Swimming strengthens the shoulders and muscles, increases flexibility, and improves lung function.
- Bicycling: Cycling is an economical, eco-friendly way to get around. It is also a great way to work out your lower body and improve cardiovascular health with very little strain on the joints, provided you ride a properly fitted bike.
- Yoga: Breathing and posture exercises in yoga improve body awareness, physical fitness, and overall well-being. Yoga can help you develop strength, balance, and flexibility without putting pressure on the joints.
- Dancing: Take some salsa, tango, or ballroom dance lessons for a good low-impact workout. In addition to the exercise you are getting, dancing is fun and a great way to meet new people.
What Are The Benefits Of Low-Impact Exercise?
Low-impact exercise has many health benefits. It can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer
- Build stronger bones and muscles
- Increase strength, flexibility, and endurance
- Elevate mood and improve mental health
Who Can Benefit From A Low-Impact Exercise Program?
Nearly anyone can benefit from low-impact exercise. It can be particularly helpful for those who need to avoid higher impact exercise, including:
- Pregnant women: Low-impact exercise helps relieve discomfort during pregnancy and prepares the body for labor and delivery.
- Older adults: Older men and women are more likely to lose muscle mass and develop stiff joints. Long-term, low-impact exercise can help slow down the process.
- Obese men and women: Excess weight can put added stress on the joints, and extra body fat can lead to inflammation. This makes low-impact exercise a better choice for obese and overweight individuals.
- People with joint problems: Low-impact exercise is beneficial for joint discomfort. Working the muscles and tendons helps create strength and stability around the joints.
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