Despite your best efforts, not everyone is in the right shape or at the right life stage for an intense workout every day. But thanks to a wealth of options, you can still get in your regular exercise without engaging in high-intensity, high-impact routines.
Here are four low-impact, effective exercises that you should consider.
No, you don't have to hop in the next kayak or canoe to get your rowing in. A great low-impact exercise you can do at home or in the gym is making use of the rowing machine. It's a phenomenal way to work out your full body without putting undue pressure on your knees, ankles and other joints. Take it at your own speed, and work up to more intense workouts. As an added bonus, it can work wonders for your back alignment and posture when done properly. Make sure to consult a certified trainer to ensure you're using correct form so that you maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and decrease risk of injury.
There are plenty of benefits to making yoga a part of your daily life—flexibility, focus and balance, just to name a few. It also happens to be a low-impact exercise that can still offer up noticeable results in your fitness routine. There is a spectrum of options from which to choose, including relaxation yoga and sculpting yoga—you choose your comfort level, and instructor-led classes can get you started. When it comes to trying something new, safety in numbers can help. Gather some friends for a trial run of a local yoga course.
It's an action you likely have to do on a semi-regular basis—why not make it part of your exercise routine? Step climbing, whether it's the staircases in your home, a stair machine or platform you'd use for a step aerobics class, burns ample calories without putting too much stress on your joints. If lunges or squats are out of your wheelhouse, step climbing can be a good replacement exercise with lower impact. And Prevention magazine estimates 45 minutes could clock in at as much as 429 calories burned, on average.
If running is too high-impact for your tastes and walking isn't quite exciting enough to keep your attention, why not introduce a nature element to the mix? Pick a favorite nearby state park or nature trail, and engage in some hiking. Sometimes adding things such as bird-watching or exploring can make exercise seem like less of a chore. And as long as you wear proper footwear and protect yourself with bug repellent, it's a great way to get a low-impact walk in without feeling like time is crawling by.
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