Irresponsible and dangerous advertising has promoted extreme, hard core workouts as the only way to get healthy or lose weight. Examples of these include HIIT, CrossFit, Insanity and other such workouts. While some of these workouts have shown benefits for the already physically fit population, they are dangerous for the deconditioned,/out of shape, or elderly person to attempt. Almost all unfit people who begin these extreme type workouts end up injured, severely injured, or in extreme cases, death.
These extreme workouts leave the unfit person injured and unable to do any exercise,. Now the unfit person cannot achieve any health benefits of exercise. And regarding weight loss, numerous studies have shown that not only does intense working out NOT help you lose weight, but it causes you to eat more, making you gain weight.
SO WHAT TO DO?
We all know how important it is to exercise regularly, but high intensity physical activity can have too many negative results. On the other hand, low impact exercises places less stress on your joints, thus minimizing injury, and can be an extremely effective way to get and stay healthy (including weight loss).
WHAT IS LOW IMPACT EXERCISE?
Low impact exercise is a type of exercise in which the amount of stress placed upon the joints of your knees, hips and ankles are relatively minimal. This type of exercise ensures that you can still participate in the cardiovascular or strength building exercises, without putting a high amount of weight on your joints.
BENEFITS OF LOW IMPACT EXERCISE:
Adding this type of exercise program can have a positive impact on your health, body and mind. If you are inactive, there is a higher chance that you can develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and be overweight, which are all attributing risk factors to joint discomfort.
Other benefits include:
Strength and endurance – low impact workouts are great for slowly building up strength and muscle endurance over time without putting stress on the joints. Yoga is a particularly great low impact exercise for this.
Fat loss – participating in low impact exercise is a great way to lose weight. For those suffering from joint discomfort or injuries, low impact exercise is a great way to still be able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, without making existing conditions worse.
Increased cardiovascular health – one of the most important reasons to exercise is to see an improvement in your cardiovascular system and prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM LOW IMPACT EXERCISE?
Anyone can participate in and enjoy low impact exercise, especially those that may struggle with higher impact exercise. Others who can benefit include:
Folks newer to exercise and/or are out of shape. If you’re not used to strenuous physical activities, or if you haven’t worked out in a while, it’s helpful to start with those which are not as demanding on the body and joints.
Folks diagnosed with arthritis or have joint pain. Low-impact exercise is actually very beneficial for those suffering from joint discomfort. Certain activities in particular help provide stability and strength to the joints, such as swimming.
Folks recovering from an injury. High-impact exercise can exacerbate an injury, especially sports injuries. When your healing, it’s important not to overly stress the body.
Pregnant women. Low-impact exercise is recommended for pregnant women, as it can relieve discomfort and prepare the body for labor and delivery. Ask your OB/GYN for recommendations for the best low-impact physical activities for you.
An older adult. Exercise is important at all ages, but as we get older, and the joints become stiffer. Even 20 minutes of low-impact exercise per day is highly recommended to slow down the process of losing muscle mass.
Significantly overweight persons. Excess weight puts stress on the weight-bearing joints. If you have 50 or more pounds to lose, you can ask your doctor for recommendations for the best low-impact exercises to start a fitness routine.
Adding low-impact exercise to your lifestyle can positively affect your health, body, and mind. You can effectively improve your strength, build up muscular endurance, and lose weight without putting excessive strain on your joints, or making joint pain worse.
Here is more research and a study on the benefits of low impact training:
Living healthier through low-impact exercise http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/48/7/16
Effect of Low-intensity Exercise on Physical and Cognitive Health... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4612316/
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Until next time, Stay Fit!
Author, The Short Fight