Top 5 low impact exercises
by Tobias • 5 minutes read
Last updated: 12 Aug, 2022
Health and fitness is a constantly developing area, today we look at the growing interest in low impact exercises.
Low impact exercises are perfect for anyone that is returning to exercise after a long period of inactivity, perhaps after child birth or when recovering from an injury.
What are low impact exercises?
Low impact exercise is essentially any physical activity that doesn't create a large amount of force on a person's muscles and joints. There are many types of exercise that can fit this description, but today we go through some of the most well-known and effective forms of low impact exercise that you can utilise today.
Examples of low impact exercises
When people think of low impact exercise swimming is often the first one that comes to mind, and for good reason. When swimming the water supports your body whilst also providing resistance, this combined effect means that you can have a great workout whilst making your joints stronger.
For these reasons swimming is a great go to for "active recovery", a way of keeping the body moving and the blood pumping but at a low intensity so you get the benefits of accelerating the healing process without causing any additional stress to your body.
Whether it is done outside on a bicycle or indoors in a spinning class. Pedalling on a bike is a great example of a low impact exercise. Now this form of low impact definitely only refers to the joints, as anyone that has ever tried spinning will attest to, your muscles can really take a hammering.
That is why cycling is second on this list, not only is it low exercise, it can be very high intensity, so you can build strength in your muscles, improve your cardiovascular health whilst also reducing the strain on your joints and your risk of injury. For these reasons, cycling is often recommended as an alternative for injured runners or perhaps aging runners.
Whilst walking is an often touted form of exercise it can be rather vague exactly the best way to benefit from it. There is a great difference between walking along a pavement in a built up area or a hike on a Welsh mountain. Studies time and time again have shown a myriad of benefits for clean air and exercise in nature. In another article I explored the virtues of"Rucking", essentially, walking with heavy stuff in a bag.
Rucking can provide a full body workout whilst also providing a low level of impact to the joints and actually building strength in the muscles around the joints to help stabilise them. Due to the intensity level of hiking, the average man can burn 450 calories an hour or even 650 calories per hour in particularly hilly area, as an exercise, it is something that can be undertaken for hours on end and as such could burn thousands of calories in a single day.
Exercise for the sake of exercise can grow boring and tedious, this is why I have chosen to include one of the least impactful forms of exercise, Golf. There is a saying, commonly attributed to Mark Twain, "golf is a good walk spoiled" now there is some debate who said those famous words but there is no denying there is a significant amount of walking involved in the average round of golf. Even more so if you slice your ball as much as I do.
Whilst golf does demand a certain amount of mobility and strength the health benefits associated with spending the day outside walking from hole to hole can not be diminished. Our recommendation, try a few lessons, see if you catch the bug, your heart will thank you.
Something a bit more unusual is skating or rollerblading, this isn't something for everybody but it certainly falls into the realm of low impact. Of course when you start to include things like ramps and jumps then the impact definitely increases and if you're unsuccessful it's not just your joints that can take a battering. But as long as you're sensible and careful then there is no reason to avoid this "radical" exercise.
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