5 Benefits of Low Impact Exercise
High-impact, high-intensity, no-impact, low-impact—with all of the terminology revolving around fitness, it can be a little confusing to know what is beneficial and what is not for your wellness routine.
What are low impact exercises, and what are the benefits of low impact training?
We want to talk about the benefits of low impact training and give you a little confidence (and a whole lot of inspiration) to add these low impact workouts to your routine.
What is Low-Impact Exercise?
Cardio workouts like running, sprinting, stair climber vs elliptical exercises, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and the like all place a lot of impact on your joints and can sometimes contribute to joint pain and joint discomfort. High impact exercises are great for building up muscle strength and agility, but the secret to high impact training is scheduling in low-impact activities and rest days to allow your body time to recover. Low-impact exercise, depending on the workout, can have little impact on your joints, especially in the lower body, which offers a ton of benefits as you get higher into your fitness level and deeper into your routine.
Examples of Low-Impact Exercise
Low-impact exercises, though, can also be the leading star of your intense workout routine. Many low-impact exercises offer the same benefits as their high intensity exercise alternatives and can be practiced for longer periods. Activities like swimming, water aerobics, yoga, PiYo, and even some forms of strength training are low-impact. To experience the benefits of low impact exercise, specifically cardio, you can walk, use the elliptical machine, climb the stair stepper, hop on a bike, or use the rowing machine.
Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise
1 | Do More
High-impact workouts like on a circuit training equipment call for a significant amount of downtime. On your rest days, your body repairs and builds the muscle strength that you’ve been working so hard to achieve. However, with a low-impact exercise routine, you can cut those rest days back significantly. (If you want to. Always listen to your body.) Exercises like swimming and yoga are practiced every day by many people across the globe. The trick is to play with the intensity of the workout and allow for “active rest days.” If you think that high-impact exercises are the only way to go for calorie burn, think again. Low-impact exercises can allow you to work out for a longer time in each session, and more often throughout the week without the higher chance of injury.
2 | Less Chance of Injury
And, on that note, we want to get into this fantastic benefit of low-impact exercise—less chance of injury. Now, as with any physical fitness workout, you still need to have proper form and breathing techniques, but without as much of the impact on your joints and muscles, your body will be put under less stress. Exercises like swimming, for example, are often even suggested to folks who have experienced an injury and want to get their strength back.
3 | Improve Flexibility
Many exercises that enhance flexibility are touted as low-impact. For instance, yoga, swimming, PiYo, and Pilates all help to strengthen your core and improve your flexibility as you get better at the low impact workout. Since many low-impact exercises are slower and allow for static time in a specific movement, your body has a chance to adjust and get deeper into a stretch. The more you allow for this sort of practice, the more flexible you will be.
4 | Active Rest
Active rest days are sought out by many of us who want our body to be able to recover from our physical fitness workouts, but still want to be productive. Active rest days are often filled with low-impact exercises like engaging in simple cardio workouts, easy hikes, a light swim, taking a long walk, participating in a yoga class or stretching, or even riding the bike around the neighborhood. So, if you build your workout passion around a low-impact exercise, the chances are that you will also get to do it on your rest days (if your body is telling you to stay active).
5 | Mental Health Benefits
Last but not least is the mental health benefits of low-impact exercise and even exercise in general. One study from Harvard found that walking for just one hour every day decreased the rate of depression in the studied individuals by 26%! Exercise is known to boost your mood, give you energy, help reduce anxiety, and so much more.
If you would like to take advantage of these low-impact exercise benefits, try them out at home or stop by a Chuze Fitness location near you. We can’t wait to pass a big smile to you online and in our clubs.