Monday, June 20, 2011

Importance of Low-Impact Workouts

Many people with medical conditions such as joint pain, muscle injury, or chronic diseases find exercising very straining and uncomfortable. It’s important to remember that proper exercise can alleviate many of the problems and pains that come with these medical conditions. While high-impact exercises like running, jumping, or jogging may not be an option, low-impact exercises are a great way to get in shape and stay healthy for people of all ages and medical conditions.

What are Low-Impact Exercises?

Low impact exercises are those exercises that don’t significantly strain the legs, knees, or feet. At least one foot being on the ground at any time is implied with low-impact exercises. While high-Impact exercises increase the heart rate, build endurance, and get blood flowing, it also puts a lot of pressure and stress on the body.

Low-impact exercises are particularly helpful for those that are recovering from an injury, just beginning to workout, suffering from joint pains or chronic diseases, women that are pregnant, or overweight individuals. If you already have a medical issue as mentioned above, high impact exercises may cause injury or negative effects to your body.

Common Low-Impact Exercises

There are a number of low-impact exercises you may find helpful. Some of these workouts include walking, hiking, and step aerobics. Some exercises are no impact like biking, swimming, or rowing. You can do low-impact exercises at home, in the gym, or outdoors. Exercise machines like the elliptical, bike, or Stairmaster can give you a great, low-impact workout and track the work you’ve done as well as your heart rate. If you prefer a class, there are various group or individual classes you can sign up for like step aerobics, that will give you a good workout in an encouraging and instructional environment. Just because exercises are low or no-impact doesn’t mean they won’t get your heart racing and your muscles toned.

Maximizing Low-Impact Exercises

If you are accustomed to doing high-impact exercises, are becoming stronger, or just not getting the results you desire, there are a number of ways to intensify your low-impact workout.

You can always add ankle weights, wrist weights, or a backpack to increase your heart rate. For activities like hiking, biking, or walking, you can try going up-hill or going at a faster speed. You can also trying using parts of the body you are not already using. For example, when walking, swing your arms or hold them over your head.

Preparing for & Ending Your Exercise

It is crucial that you stretch and hydrate prior to low-impact exercising. Just like any other workout, low-impact exercises can result in injury. If you have a focalized medical issue, you should protect this part of your body. For example if you have knee problems, you should wear an orthopedic knee brace when exercising. Or if you are diabetic, it may be useful to get specialized diabetic athletic footwear. If you are not sure your body can handle the exercise, you should consult your doctor beforehand.

Once you complete your exercise, it’s important that you stretch properly again and note any unusual pain you have. It’s normal for your body to be sore the subsequent days of a challenging exercise. You can always use hot and cold therapy such as heating pads when recovering from workout.

Remember, no matter your age of physical condition, it is always important that you keep your body healthy through exercise.

No comments:

Post a Comment