Exercise comes in countless forms, but if you are dealing with certain injuries or trying to recover from a specific surgery, you may need to be a little more intentional in the type of exercise you pursue. One subset of exercises that is oftentimes pursued by injured or recovering individuals is low impact exercise.
As the name implies, low impact exercise helps you strengthen muscles and improve your cardiovascular health without putting a large amount of stress on your joints. These exercises protect sensitive areas while also helping your body get the health benefits that come with moderate intensity exercise. Below, we take a closer look at five effective forms of low impact exercise.
Best Low Impact Exercise
If you are looking to switch up your current exercise regimen or you’re hoping to strengthen specific areas without overloading your body with stress, here’s a look at five effective forms of low impact exercise.
- Walking – Walking is likely the most common form of exercise, as you can do it almost anywhere without any special equipment. Walking at a brisk pace will get your heart pumping and help to develop some muscles in your lower body. Running puts a lot more stress on your knees, hips and feet with each step you take, but walking removes a lot of this impact from the equation, helping to protect some key joints.
- Swimming – Swimming is another great activity to pursue if you are trying to limit the amount of impactful stress that you put on your body. Water’s natural properties help to counteract the effects of gravity, and it offers some resistance to movement, which forces your muscles into action just by moving around in the water. Whether you’re doing a water workout or simply swimming laps, you’ll find that it is an incredibly effective low impact form of exercise.
- Yoga – Yoga is another form of exercise that you can practice almost anywhere without special equipment. Yoga works to expand your natural range of motion and flexibility as you hold your body in different positions. You can look up some yoga poses online if you are trying to target specific areas of your body, or you can find a yoga studio near you for a more whole body workout.
- Cycling – If you want to get some fresh air while exercising, hop on a bicycle. You can go for a longer, low intensity ride, or you can head out for a short and physically challenging ride. Either way, the activity will have a low impact on your joints! There are plenty of scenic biking trails in and around the Twin Cities, or you can invest in a cycling machine so that you can bike no matter the weather.
- Rowing – The Land of 10,000 Lakes offers plenty of water to explore by canoe or kayak, and this rowing motion is a great form of exercise that won’t put a heavy impact on your joints. Rent a kayak or a paddleboard, or do some repetitions on the seated rowing machine at the gym to feel the benefit of rowing exercises.
If you want help finding a low impact exercise that is right for you or the injury you are working to recover from, reach out to the team of physical therapists at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.
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