Useful Low Impact Exercises

Exercise is one of the most important factors of living a healthy life.  Everyone, including children, adults, and older adults need physical activity every day.  For some, this may seem impossible due to joint problems, such as arthritis, muscle problems, and even those who are severely overweight.  However, options for exercise include much more than high impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.  There are many low impact exercises that can benefit your health, while not adding unnecessary, and potentially harmful physical stress to your body.

Yoga has grown and continues to grow in popularity for many reasons.  It helps to tone your body, add strength and flexibility, and helps increase stamina and energy, while going easy on your muscles and joints.  There are many different types of yoga, such as Bikram, Ashtanga, and Jivamukti.  Each of these offers different features, but comes down to the same basics: series of poses that move your body in a slow and streamlined manner, focusing on working muscles all over.  Like most physical activities, if not done correctly, doing yoga can result in injuries such as strained muscles.  As long as you follow instructions, however, yoga is perfectly safe and is very beneficial to your health.

Tai Chi is a series of martial arts training forms that are practiced at a slow rate.  Tai Chi encourages muscle control, while also reducing stress.  It is compared to meditation, as you must focus your energy into the controlled movements required.  There are different styles of Tai Chi, some of which focus on health maintenance, while others focus on martial arts training.  Performing the poses keeps your body in constant motion.  Thousands of people all over the world practice Tai Chi long into their golden years, reaping the health benefits of the exercise, but not causing injury to their bodies in the process.

Another low impact exercise that is good for your whole body is swimming.  Swimming increases your heart rate and works your muscles without causing harm to your muscular system or your bones.  Swimming a few laps is not your only option for exercise in the water.  Water aerobics is a great way to get in shape and stay in shape.  Add to this some water weights, and you will get a serious work out!  Even if you’re not a great swimmer, or if you’re an older adult who doesn’t feel comfortable with committing to one hundred laps in the morning, water aerobics is a safe, fun way to work out. As always, when having a dip in the pool, be sure there is someone who can keep an eye on you and help if you need it.  Even in just a few feet of water, a muscle cramp can result in serious injury.  But if you take the proper precautions, you can have a great work out with no worries.

Give these exercises, which don’t require expensive equipment or a costly gym membership, a try, and you won’t be sorry.

 

Stephanie Parker is a preschool teacher teaching sixteen fantastic children.  She loves to write informative fitness articles covering topics such as home exercises for women.


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