Monthly Archives: September 2011

Low-Impact Exercises for Health and Fun

Whether you want to lose weight or improve your overall fitness, sometimes starting with low-impact exercises eases your muscles, joints and even your mind into fitness routines and reduces stress and pain. Instead of pounding the pavement in a five-mile run, try a few of these low-impact exercises that are good short-term introductions or long-term favorites.

First, let’s understand what a low-impact exercise is. In a nutshell, it’s an exercise that eases stress on joints, ligaments, bones, tendons and muscles, including your heart. Low-impact exercises provide muscle toning and development while avoiding the main causes of injury—strain and impact forces.

Some low-impact exercises include

1: Aqua Running. Yes, that’s running or jogging in enough water to help keep you buoyant. Don’t try in a wading pool or a jacuzzi. The water is usually waist-high when you start your routine, and as your muscles, bones, joints and other body parts become stronger, you simply use a shallower part of the pool until you can comfortably exercise on a solid surface.

2: Swimming: You don’t have to aspire to Olympic competition preparation to get fit and healthy by swimming. Even leisurely laps swum regularly can vastly improve your fitness level, flexibility and stamina. Using flotation devices can enhance water safety will little detriment to an exercise routine. Styrofoam “boogy boards” that are like a half-surf board can support the upper body while using just leg kicks to propel you can tone and strengthen every muscle from your upper back down to your toes. Using it to support your torso as you let your legs drag behind you and use your arms to propel yourself aids your hands, arms, shoulders and neck. Swimming also helps your cardiovascular system.

3: Walking: Even when done at a leisurely pace to start and over short distances, walking is one of the healthiest low-impact exercises you can enjoy. As you build your strength and stamina, alternate between faster speeds and longer distances for a full work-out for your skeletal muscles and your heart muscle. It also improves circulation. Take your pet along for company, though allow the animal ample time for relieving itself before you start your “speed” walks.

4: Bike Riding: Make sure your bicycle seat is properly positioned for both safety and comfort. If it’s too high, you will stress your knees joints unduly. If it’s too high, you could overstretch the backs of your knees—a painful injury that can take weeks to fully heal. Slow rides lead to faster speeds, but you don’t have to race to get a good work-out. As with walking, intersperse speed and distance for best results. Be sure to wear proper safety equipment, however. Never sacrifice safety for fitness.

5: Stretching: Yes, stretching is good exercise. You isolate muscle groups and individual muscles in a thorough stretching routine, and holding the tension in those muscles aid in toning. Just relax the muscles when you complete the stretch; occasionally “shaking” the muscle out can prevent inadvertent cramping as well.

Combining any or all of these exercises into a varied and regular routine promote fitness while reducing chances of injury. The key is to strengthen while avoiding injury. Adapt your normal, day-to-day routine motions into your own low-impact exercises to expand your repertoire.

This post was written by Sara Woods, who writes for Coupon Croc. Grab at discount code at and save on health products, fitness essentials and more.

Can Kettlebell Training Help You Meet Your Fitness Goals?

Kettlebell training has a lot of positive benefits, if you learn how to use them correctly. Kettlebells are perfect for a wide range of people, from “elite” fitness pros to the sedentary individual wanting to safely improve their health. They do not take a lot of space, and a set of them are not expensive.  This makes kettlebell training accessible for everyone. Unlike other forms of training the Kettlebell works on a total body fitness and works out all the major muscle groups at the same time. Spend some time with an expert, learning how to select the correct weight for you and how to properly do the moves and then enjoy the following benefits to your workout.

One compact, portable, item is all you need to get a combination of benefits on every workout.  This includes cardiovascular, functional strength, and flexibility. The workouts are fun and varied and never need to be boring in the least. As implied the kettlebell is one of the few items that marries cardiovascular workouts with strength training. This will provide you with real life benefits and the ability to preform well in real situations where you need both strength and endurance. Because it combines the two forms of exercise it works great for those with limited time to devote to exercise.

Another benefit to this is that while you can do the workouts anywhere, even in your bedroom, you will still see increased metabolic action and burn more fat off. Fat loss requires removal and burning of fat deposits over your entire body.  Kettlebell provides a full body workout. Plus a kettlebell is not your typical dumbbell or barbell. The way a kettlebell moves and works actually makes more muscles come into play thus making the workout even more intense.

The full body nature of the movements combined with how the kettlebell acts as you go through them strengthens the entire body.  The movements themselves are designed to work like real life chore type movements and this creates superior muscle tone and overall strength, not just of the muscles but also the tendons and ligaments.  It actually makes one less prone to injuries of the joints.  It is not body building or isolated muscle groups that are being targeted, rather the workout is about the movements themselves. The type of muscle created is lean and sleek, the kind of muscle that looks great no matter what gender you are.

Not only is a kettlebell a cheap alternative to a gym membership, many people find that the wide range of movements possible with a single kettlebell to be extremely fun to do. As one becomes more proficient different types of exercise moves can be included to create new routines. Plus the kettlebell goes with you, to the park, on your trips, where ever and when ever, you can do the exercises and know it won’t take you a long time to do the entire thing.  The moves can be as simple or as complex as your skill allows, and are easy to learn.

Please visit The Personal Development Company To learn more about Enter the Kettlebell: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen by Pavel Tsatsouline