High intensity sports are great but you need to take regular breaks from highly intense exercises such as running which can put a lot of strain on your joints. Recovery time is essential to maximizing your fitness.
Luckily there are many different low-impact exercises you can do to stay moving without stressing yourself out—and many can be done within your own home or neighborhood.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by how easy it is: walking is one of the best exercises for building strength and bone density. To get the most out of your walking make sure you change your routine regularly (at least once a month) by incorporating some hills, attaching weights to your ankles or carrying a pair of dumbbells.
- Strength Training
Most strength training exercises are low impact. A single set of adjustable dumbbells makes it possible for you to do a huge variety of low impact exercises from home, but you can do plenty of strength training exercises such as squats, dips using a seat or bench, lunges, calf raises, push ups and abdominal exercises with no equipment at all.
Cycling isn’t just a good way to get around, it’s one of the best cardio exercises and it can give your legs an incredible strength boost. If you can start cycling to and from work once in awhile you’ll notice a dramatic impact on your fitness over time. Like walking, change your routine regularly to keep it interesting and maximise its effectiveness.
All right, so you’re really only going to do this one when you have a lot of time on your hands but a good hike is one of the most pleasurable and effective low impact workouts you can do. You can also adjust your walking route to incorporate some more traditional hiking terrain if you live near a large park. Try to stick with flatter areas when starting out but gradually increase the trail difficulty as you become more advanced.
Want to get a total body workout that is a lot of fun? Go to your local pool and do some laps. Swimming has a huge range of benefits including strengthening your heart and improving lung function. You’ll also work out most of the major muscle groups in your body, primarily your upper body.
- Hit the Dance Floor!
You can get a great workout out of pretty much any type of dance but ballroom dancing has the added bonus of being extremely sexy and one of the lowest impact forms of dancing—not to mention awesome for both genders. If you’re looking to have a great time while you get your workout this is definitely the option for you. But even just hitting the D floor on a Saturday night out with friends is a great way to burn some calories and have fun at the same time!
Golf might not seem like a great workout but if you’re looking for something that’s low impact and will work out a variety of muscles, it’s one of the best sports. For an extra fitness boost you can choose to walk the course instead of using a golf cart (which we of course recommend!).
Exercise doesn’t have to be high impact and it certainly isn’t an exclusive club. Whether you need to do low impact exercises to protect your joints or you just need something to do in between high intensity sports, these low impact exercises will actually have a high impact on your overall fitness level.