Recent high-impact fitness trends have captured active enthusiasts’ attention and monopolized gym spaces. Many people found their way to a workout routine through invigorating functional fitness grinds and enjoy feeling more physically capable. Those same high-impact exercises can place a huge strain on vital joints. The potential pitfalls of prioritizing high-impact exercises can emerge over years or decades. Get ahead of future damage and nip it in the bud. Transition your fitness plan to include low-impact exercises. Low-impact fitness options are more sustainable for aging populations or those people with underlying conditions. Try the following low-impact alternatives.
An active yoga asana practice can improve strength, flexibility, and conditioning. People who approach a yoga practice as a physical workout should gravitate towards vinyasa flow yoga, power yoga, slow flow yoga, and hatha yoga. Be mindful of bendy bodies that are prone to sudden subluxation or dislocation. Yoga students can talk to their instructors about finding safe alignment and using isometric muscle contractions to help stabilize joints. Regular yoga practice can foster optimal breathing habits and spinal posture.
Similar to an active yoga practice, pilates exercises can be achieved on a mat or in a studio environment. Other pilates machines such as the reformer can be incorporated over time. Pilates exercises were developed as a form of rehabilitative physical therapy and can be adapted to meet the abilities of all bodies. This form of exercise uses low resistance and high repetition to improve muscle tone from head to toe. The core muscles are of utmost importance in all pilates studios.
Swimming laps in a pool causes no significant stress to the joints or spine. Try pacing yourself for an hour of swimming freestyle or join a water aerobics class at your local recreation center. You may enjoy the community of a Masters swim program and participate in competitions. Common accessories to a regular swim workout include a swim cap, a kickboard, a pool buoy, and pool finds.
- Resistance Bands
A set of rubber resistance bands can be used in a myriad of ways. Long bands or various resistance levels can be pulled from secure anchor points, such as door jams, to mimic the effect of weight machines at home. Looped bands can be used to strengthen the upper and lower body without the need for an anchor.
- Kettlebell Workouts
Kettlebell workouts use one medium or large weight to strengthen the body through fluid movements. You may be able to create explosive lifting sequences without the strain of jumping or catching. Look for free workout videos online or take a class at your gym.
Classical ballet conditioning inspired barre workout instructors to create low-impact classes all across the country. This style of workout includes very light dumbbells or relies entirely on body weight and isometric movements. You will perform various ballet positions in high repetitions and learn a sequence of glute bridge and abdominal crunch variations on the floor.
Ride your bicycle to work or watch your favorite television show to pass the time on a stationary bike. Cycling allows you to access every zone of aerobic fitness, from fat burning in moderate Zone 2 to the intensity of an all-out effort. Consider joining a cycling travel group to see the countryside at a different pace.
For all the excitement and novelty of new workouts, there is nothing quite like walking. Going for a long walk outdoors is awesome for your physical and mental health. Enjoy soaking up the sunlight and experience the sleep cycle benefits of daily movement.
Try rowing on a gym machine or jump into a real-life rowing clinic at your local boathouse. Rowing is a total body workout and can raise your heart rate quickly.
- Bodyweight Circuits
Incorporate bodyweight circuits as a way of mixing up an established routine and staying fit on the road.
Taking care of your joints and spine today can help you to stay active for years to come.