While exercising regularly is an essential part of our life, heavy exercise can be harmful to our joints and muscles. It can lower the quality of our lives. Besides, heavy training is not suitable for everyone. For instance, if I have joint pain and I’m lifting heavy objects, the problem can worsen, resulting in long-term complications. Thankfully, there is what is known as low impact exercise. I commit to sharing with you in detail about this type of activity in this piece. So, let’s start right away.
Low impact exercise is the exact opposite of high impact exercise. To put it simply, it is a form of exercise which exerts minimal pressure or stress on our joints, including ankle, hip, and knee joints. In fact, some people consider low impact exercise as merely a warm-up to high-intensity training. Examples of low impact exercise include Pilates, Tai chi, yoga, swimming, cycling, walking, golfing, dancing, rowing, and hiking, among other activities.
I must mention that low impact exercise is not a preserve of any particular group of people. In fact, almost all of us get involved in some form of low impact exercise. Who does not walk, for instance? What we must understand, however, is that there are people who are not suited for heavy training, and this is for some good reasons. So, who is low impact exercise meant for?
Pregnant women: Yeah, I had to mention this, even if it is an obvious one. We must not forget that pregnant women experience an increase in body weight. This exerts more pressure on their joints and could result in joint pain. Thus, subjecting these people to high impact exercise is like adding the proverbial straw to the camel’s back. With low impact exercise, pregnant women can still keep fit and boost their flexibility, which comes in handy during child delivery.
The elderly: While exercise does not discriminate against any of us based on age, we must put this claim in context. Let’s imagine if an 80-year old grandmother was to lift some heavy weights, say 50kgs or so? That would be an injustice to their body. The crux of the matter is that our bodies grow weaker and weaker with age, including bones, joints, and muscles. As such, we are forced to do away with some forms of exercise, no matter how much we love exercising. That is where low impact exercise comes in. We can do yoga even in our 80s, not to mention swimming or walking, etc.
Obese patients: Most obese people experience joint pain due to too much stress on these parts of the body. If we indulge in high-intensity exercise when we are overweight, there are high chances that the pressure on our joints will even be more, leading to further pain and even inflammation. So, we should opt for low impact exercise if we know that we have this condition.
Now that we know what low impact exercise is and who can benefit from it, it is now time to discuss the next level and look at the possible advantages.
Improved cardiovascular health: We don’t have to be great runners, such as Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge, to improve our cardiovascular health. If we can regularly undertake low impact exercise, we will experience improved blood circulation, alongside other benefits.
Muscle endurance and strength: A long-term low impact exercise routine can add endurance to our body muscles and make them even stronger.
Weight loss: While most of us still believe that weight loss can only occur when we take on heavy exercise, the fact is that even low impact exercise can get the job done. However, we must be patient since the change in body weight can be slow and subtle.