Low Impact Exercise for Improving Health
Guest Post by Shawn TremaineWhile vigorous exercise is a great thing, it is not the only thing that you can do to improve your health and fitness level. Many people are not able to do vigorous activity right away, or even at all, depending on their health and fitness level. The good news is that there are so many low impact exercises that you can start today that are gentle on your body while packing a major punch for your health and fitness.
Low Impact Exercise – Walking
You surely know about the benefits of walking right now and almost anyone can do it. Walking will build your fitness and it can be the gateway to more intense forms of exercise, such as jogging and cycling. Walking is also free and you can head to a local park or right out your front door and go for a nice long walk. The following benefits come with regular walking:
- Lower bad cholesterol
- Higher good cholesterol
- Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Improved mood
- Lower blood pressure
- Weight management and/or loss
- Improving strength and overall fitness
Low Impact Exercise – Swimming
Swimming scorches calories, but it puts little to no stress on your joints. If you swim regularly, you will strengthen your shoulders, legs, arms and core, improve your cardiovascular endurance, improve your lung function and strengthen your heart. This is just a short list because swimming really has dozens of health benefits. Swimming is great for beginners, advanced fitness people and those recovering from injuries.
Low Impact Exercise – Yoga
This is a form of exercise that even the toughest of NFL players are doing regularly. If you have not done yoga before, you should take a few classes to learn some of the poses and learn to use proper form when getting into the poses. Yoga is most known for its ability to release stress and tension. However, this low-impact exercise benefits you in many other ways too, such as lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your muscles and bones, promoting healthy joints and improving lung function, just to name a few.
Low Impact Exercise – Elliptical
If you hit the gym regularly, you probably hit the treadmill for a nice walk. However, the elliptical is even better if you have the choice. This machine will work your legs, core and buttocks very well, while also providing you with the cardiovascular benefits.
Low Impact Exercise – Ride a Bike
When the weather is nice, taking your bike out of the garage and for a ride is a way to enjoy the benefits of this low-impact exercise. You can also turn this into a family activity so it is a win-win. You can ride at the pace that is comfortable for you, and on the terrain that is comfortable for you. For example, beginners will find mountain biking paths and places with a lot of hills a bit to challenging. However, the streets in your neighborhood are usually a good place to start. The streets are smooth, hills are small or do not exist and you do not have to worry about mud or anything else that add a major challenge to your ride. Doing this a few times a week for just 30 minutes each time will add up and you will notice things like your endurance building, lung function improving and your core and legs getting much stronger.
Low Impact Exercise – Tai Chi
Like yoga, Tai Chi is known for its stress-busting benefits. While Tai Chi does help immensely with stress, it also has a variety of physical health benefits. Just to name a few, this type of exercise helps with improving balance, increasing your flexibility and helping to prevent headaches.
Low Impact Exercise Article Author:
Shawn Tremaine is a personal trainer and health and fitness writer, and has reviewed yoga classes in the Chicago area. When he’s not working on helping others increase their health, he likes to spend it coaching his little boys soccer team.