There are conflicting opinions about the impact of low-impact aerobic exercises. Truthfully, it doesn’t get much love because, well, doing high-intensity plyometric exercises look cooler-- until the back and joints complain and injuries come.
If you have body pains or mobility problems, high-impact cardio exercises can be jarring. But don’t let those stop you from working out! You can choose from a variety of modified workouts so you can still stay active and loosen any body stiffness.
Sweat it out
Remember it’s just low impact but not less-intensity! You can still get an intense workout that is kinder to your aching body. Here are some examples that you can do at home or your garden if you are still afraid to go to the gym because of the virus:
- Do brisk walking -- If you don’t want to go out, you can always do brisk walking around the house of your garden. Time your walking to 10 minutes non-stop, take a break, and start again. Use ankle weights for more challenge.
- Swimming -- This is optional, but a great workout that is friendly to the joints. If you do not have a pool at home -- you can inquire if your community pool is open and make sure that they follow protocols. This BBC article explains why swimming is safe during the pandemic.
- Hop on your stationary bicycle -- You can go spinning all by yourself or through a Zoom session. An indoor bike is great because it provides back support in different positions. Now if you are a multitasker-- we have good news for you! Some newer models allow you to pedal while working! This ergonomic product can be used while you type or participate in a Zoom meeting. It has eight resistance levels so you can choose the setting that you feel most comfortable in.
- Turn the intensity on the elliptical machine -- Can’t run or jog? An elliptical machine or stepper is a great alternative. Since you don’t hit a hard surface while doing the motions, you can be sure that it won’t hurt your back or knees.
Here are reasons why you should do more low impact cardio:
- It builds strength and flexibility -- According to the American Sports and Fitness Association, you can still develop muscle strength flexibility while doing low-impact cardio movements. The best part is that it protects your joints. Exercises like yoga can also help improve imposture and core strength.
- Improves spine mobility -- Low-impact aerobics is perfect for those with limited mobility because the movements are gentler on the spine. Doing stretches are also great to incorporate into your routine.
- It aids in maintaining a healthy weight -- Shedding pounds can be tough but the hard work will pay off. According to this research, obesity can lead to myriad problems from back and joint pains to diabetics to increased cardiovascular mortality.
- Increases endorphins -- If you have been in a dark mood lately, doing exercises can help improve your mood. It can even relieve symptoms of depression. You can start with low-impact aerobics and work your way up to a more extensive routine.
It’s important to sustain physical activity. Choose a low-impact workout routine that works best for you and do that two to three times a week. If you have severe pain, you can start with shorter intervals.
The road to a healthy you
There is no easy way to get rid of your body pains or limitations. The only thing that we can do is to stay out of the couch or bed and get moving. Starting or ending your day with low-impact aerobic exercises can be one of the first steps to jumpstart healthy changes in your life.