There are many reasons to incorporate low-impact exercise into your physical regimen. Some athletes use them to help recover from injuries. Low-impact programs can serve as introductory activities when starting a fitness routine. Other athletes use them to offset the damaging effects high-impact exercises have on their bodies. No matter your reason for going low-impact, here is a list of activities to get you started.
Compared to racquetball or tennis, pickleball is a young sport. Invented in 1965, this sport has steadily gained popularity as indoor and outdoor courts are built. It is a low-impact sport, frequently played as teams, using carbon fiber Gearbox pickleball paddles
and a slow-moving ball. Due to the size of the court, the weight of the paddle, and the design of the ball, there is little impact on your joints. This ideal sport keeps you moving and improves your hand-eye coordination.
Swimming is the classic low-impact sport recommended by doctors. If you do not have a pool, accessing a gym with a swimming pool can be costly. In addition, if you are not comfortable around large bodies of water, you may need to work with a private instructor to learn the basics. As your swimming skills improve, you can learn new swimming techniques, from the breaststroke to the butterfly. In addition, you can take water aerobics lessons that use water to limit the stress on your joints.
Pilates and yoga
are similar low-impact exercises but have different long-term benefits. Pilates focuses on core strength. With yoga, you build cardiovascular health, flexibility, and balance as you hold positions or gradually transition to new ones. Both will serve you well if you are recovering from injury or trying to prevent joint damage. With a yoga mat and towel, you are ready to go. A quick online search can help you find free yoga or Pilates videos.
Tai chi is a low-impact exercise that reduces stress and improves circulation and digestion. Developed as a form of martial arts, participants focus on relaxing and coordination. As you progress, you will learn to use your body as leverage to lengthen and strengthen your muscles.
Rowing is a great way to exercise outdoors. You will likely need to invest in a kayak, canoe, or scull. You can purchase single-passenger boats, or you and a friend can invest in a larger boat. Bird watchers enjoy using boats to get up close pictures of waterfowl.
Get out and enjoy nature by hiking or walking. The best part of walking is that you likely already have the equipment a pair of walking or hiking shoes. You can start as close as your front door. Trails are available at many local and national parks
. Be sure you are prepared for your hike with a backpack containing water, snacks, and emergency supplies.
Cross-country skiing is a demanding exercise in which you propel yourself through the terrain. It uses your bodys natural movements, minimizing the stress on your joints compared to other types of skiing. In addition, you can ski with a group of friends or family and explore wooded areas that are not accessible with downhill skiing. Cross-country ski equipment is also less expensive and doesnt require intensive lessons.
From formal dance classes to rocking out in your living room, dancing is a lively low-impact exercise. Most athletes prefer the structure of organized classes. Ask a friend to join you or seek out an active dance group. You can provide lessons in dance styles, such as:
Try out several of these activities to see which ones you enjoy. Finding an exercise routine that you like helps you remain motivated to keep doing the activity. In addition to maintaining these exercises in your regimen, as you improve and get stronger, you can modify them to maintain a level of peak physical fitness.