When you want to get in shape or lose weight working out is, of course, one of the best ways to do it. Working out burns calories, builds strength and helps trim, tone, and tighten your body. It’s great to get out and exercise more but there is more you need to consider when it comes to choosing a workout routine.
Many people make the mistake of thinking “any workout is a good workout” and in some senses that is true. 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 and can help you lose weight more quickly, however, your joints can take a major beating when it comes to these types of 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 may occur.
This doesn’t mean that you can never run – running can be a great workout! It’s just important to remember that you need to start slowly when you are getting back into exercising and that there are lower impact exercises that still burn calories, are 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
You also ensure that your joints will stay healthier longer and you can increase your strength and flexibility with low impact workouts. 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 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. With cycling, you can also 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 can 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 positions 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 encouraging you to sweat and get your heart rate up, while practicing traditional yoga postures.
Yoga is a great option, regardless of which type you choose. By consistently practicing it you will strengthen muscles all over your entire body and gain flexibility and balance, all while minimizing the impact on your joints.
When it comes to low impact workouts, swimming is one of the best! The impact on your body during swimming is practically zero, but swimming can still be an intense workout that helps you really burn calories and get your heart rate up. Additionally, swimming uses muscles all over your body and can also focus on particular muscle areas when you change 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. Water aerobics are also an excellent way to burn calories, glean aerobic benefits, and build strength while sparing your joints from the pounding of higher impact activities.
So, if you are starting a new exercise routine, try to incorporate lower impact activities that will be easier on your body and allow you to build up to higher impact routines. With lower impact exercise, you will avoid injury and be able to work out consistently. This of course, will ultimately help you achieve those weight and fitness goals!