When you want to get in shape or lose weight, you tend to have one thing on the mind: working out. You want to burn calories, build strength and trim down some of the stubborn fat on your body. Even though it’s great you are wanting to get out and exercise more, there is more you need to consider when it comes to choosing a workout routine.
Most people make the mistake of thinking “any workout is a good workout” and in some senses that is true. But unfortunately, there can be some negative aspects that go along with particular forms of exercising. For people who do not work out regularly, the idea of high impact exercise may not seem all that threatening. So what if you go for a run a few times a week? That surely can’t cause enough repercussions to make running “bad” for you, right?
High impact workouts such as running, jumping rope or doing plyometrics, can yield wonderful cardiovascular benefits for you and can help you lose weight and get in shape. But unfortunately, your joints can take a major beating when it comes to those calorie burning activities. When you continuously take part in high impact exercises, your body can pay the price years later when the need for knee or hip replacements come into play.
This bit of information is in no way meant to keep you from never running again. Running can be great in so many ways! We simply are suggesting you use alternative methods to burn calories that will be much easier on your body and will keep you healthier in the long run.
Low impact workouts cannot only be a great way to lose weight, but they are a fun alternative to a boring treadmill routine. Some of the benefits of low impact workouts include:
- Keeps joints healthy
- Increases the opportunity to work out more areas of your body
- Decreases the feeling of pain after a workout
When you participate in low impact workouts, the benefits are almost endless. You won’t have to worry about getting knee replacements when you’re older and you will have the option to do more for your body, like increase your flexibility and strength while also feeling less pain after you work out.
With all those benefits, it’s difficult to refute the logic behind some of these exercise routines. So why not switch it up this week and try one of these fun exercise alternatives instead?
If you are the type of person that enjoys working out in a gym environment, there are several great options for you when it comes to low impact exercises. The elliptical is one of the best choices in this scenario as it combines the benefits of cycling and the treadmill, but completely eliminates impact on your joints. The elliptical is a great way to get your heart rate up and allows you to smoothly sail through your daily calorie burning.
Whether you prefer to work out indoors or outdoors, cycling is a great option for you. Riding your bike gives you the opportunity to get your heart rate up while really working out your leg muscles as well. A great option that comes along with biking is the ability to increase or decrease your intensity. If you are cycling indoors, you can turn up the intensity on your machine, allowing you to work out your leg muscles even more.
If you are cycling outdoors, you have the great opportunity to challenge yourself every time you go up and down a hill. Not to mention you will get to see some beautiful scenery along the way! If you prefer to workout in group settings, cycling classes are the perfect solution for you! These high intensity, fun and energizing classes allow you to burn even more calories while being pushed to your limit by your cycling instructor.
Rowing is one of those exercises that doesn’t tend to cross people’s minds, but is one of the more challenging workouts you can choose. A lot of gyms have rowing type of machines available for you to use, but the best way to execute this workout is by doing the real thing. If you live near a lake, chances are they will have rowing classes/teams available. This group setting allows you to get outside and enjoy your workout with other people. You will get your heart rate up while drastically increasing your upper body and core strength.
If you could use a bit more Zen in your life, yoga is a great low impact alternative workout. Depending on what you want to focus on the most when exercising, there are several different options when it comes to picking the right type of yoga for you. Traditional yoga takes place in a room temperature studio and guides you through postures and flows that increase your strength and flexibility.
If you want to incorporate more cardio into your yoga, Bikram or any other type of hot yoga is the perfect solution. These rooms are usually kept at temperatures around 105 degrees and allows you to sweat it out and get your heart rate up, while practicing traditional yoga postures and flows.
Yoga is a great option because regardless of which type you choose, by consistency practicing it you will strengthen muscles across your entire body while also mastering the art of flexibility, all while minimizing the impact on your joints.
When it comes to low impact workouts, swimming may just take the cake. The impact on your body during swimming is practically zero, but with how intense swimming can be, you really burn calories by getting your heart rate up. Additionally, you work muscles all across your body and can focus on particular muscle areas by changing up your stroke. Swimming is perfect year round as many gyms and fitness clubs have indoor pools, but swimming outside during the summer can be a pretty satisfying workout as well.