Three Low Risk Exercises that will minimize injury while keeping you toned and in shape
If you recently underwent surgery, suffered an injury or feel unusual tension or muscle tenderness, it may be time to take a break from your usual workout routine. Putting additional stress on inflamed areas can exacerbate current issues or even cause new problems in body parts that are forced to overcompensate.
Even if you feel completely fine and haven’t undergone any serious injuries, taking a break from high-intensity workouts can still benefit you. In fact, you don’t even need to consider these kinds of exercises a “break” — you can make them a part of your regular routine.
What Exactly IS a Low-Impact Exercise?
A low-risk, or low-impact exercise classifies as a more gentle form of exercise that applies less force to your joints and muscles. With that said, just because these exercises don’t put extra stress on your body, doesn’t mean they can’t still be intense. You can alter these movements to suit any level of fitness so that you get exactly what you want from your workout.
Read on to learn about three exercises that get your heart pumping and muscles moving without causing extraneous pressure on your body.
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If you haven’t tried yoga — you should. If you have and you didn’t like it — give it another shot. While you may consider this solo sport overrated, it gets its hype for a reason. Not only will yoga give your body a well-deserved rest from exercise-induced aches and pains, but it can actually help prevent injuries from developing. Research shows that people who practice yoga regularly develop greater muscle strength, endurance, flexibility and cardio-respiratory fitness.
Yoga can also provide positive mental effects. By incorporating meditation and breathing into exercise, studies have shown that yoga significantly reduces stress by incorporating meditation and breathing into exercise. This can sharpen your concentration, create clarity and relax your mind. This will not only help you feel
better mentally, but it will help reduce the physical effects of chronic stress. So even if you don’t currently have a reason to lay off the heavy weights, you might want to consider making this exercise a part of your routine.
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Many doctors and physical therapists suggest walking over running — for good reason. It puts way less pressure on your heart, lungs and joints. While it may be a less intense workout, it may be more beneficial in the long-term. Walking is one of the main low-impact exercises that not only works your body, but provides mental benefits as well. The best part? You can set the pace. Whether you take a relaxing stroll or a rigorous speed walk, it’s up to you. Walking can burn just as many calories as running — it will just take a bit longer.
While walking may require more time in order to reach noticeable physical results, it can lead to the same effects as other exercises. In fact, some people seeking to lose weight prefer to walk rather than run because it creates a leaner look than running, which tends to build more muscle. One study found that taking 15-minute walks after each meal lowers blood sugar levels. Another one found that 30-minutes of walking five days a week improves cardiovascular health.
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Swimming is often recommended as one of the top low-impact exercises. Not only does it give your joints and muscles a rest, but it offers a host of physical benefits that will put you in great shape. In fact, swimming can help you maintain a healthy weight and tone your body. It can also improve coordination, posture and balance.
Swimming also offers therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that swimming leads to elevated moods and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Plus, you can turn this solo sport into a social one. Nothing quite tops sitting by the pool with your friends – especially when you can fit in a workout at the same time..
While high-impact exercise shouldn’t be feared or avoided at all costs, it’s important to recognize when you should switch over to something lighter. Whether you need to focus on low-impact exercise for a brief moment or a more extensive period, this style of workout can still benefit your body and mind the same way high-impact exercise does. Plus, you may find these movements more enjoyable and easy to maintain in the long term.
As mentioned under each specific exercise, low-impact workouts tend to provide unmatched benefits for mental health While some athletes report a runner’s high after an intense workout, studies have similarly shown that mindful exercises can be just as beneficial for mood and mental state. Low-impact exercises often result in a relaxed and refreshed mindset and can be accommodated for any level of athlete.