No-impact exercises can be beneficial if you want to get your booty in gear with some exercise that won't stress your joints. Painful joints -- whether they're from a medical condition or obesity-related -- can put the kibosh on your fitness goals and plans. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, engage in exercises with no impact to get your workout.
The buoyancy of water supports your weight while helping you whittle away fat and tone your muscles. This no-impact form of cardio and muscle-firming exercise can help you reach your fitness goals and make you feel better about the way you look. You can swim laps, tread water or take no-impact water aerobics classes. Swimming burns around 500 calories per hour without placing pressure on your hips, knees or ankles. If excess weight makes it challenging to workout for long, you're likely to find you can exercise longer in the water because of the way the water supports your body.
In conjunction with your no-impact cardio exercises, flexibility training can be enjoyed to get the long, lean, limber body you want without any impact. Take a yoga or Pilates class for a no-impact stretching session with a social component, or do either of these forms of exercise at home. You can also perform stretches after your aerobic workouts or any time you want to relax your body and mind. Practicing yoga or Pilates does burn calories, but not as much as cardio exercise, so be sure to include both types in your fitness plan.
When you really must avoid any impact on your hips, knees or ankles and getting your hair wet is a less than savory thought, arm-focused cardio can help you shed fat and burn calories. Arm crank cycles provide an excellent aerobic workout as you sit in the cycle chair and crank the pedals with your arms. Most health clubs have a crank cycle or two, but if yours doesn't, rowing or hitting a speed bag while sitting can also help you get in a good cardio workout.
Keep in Mind
The only problem with no-impact workouts is that they don't do a lot for your bone health. Weight bearing exercises help maintain or strengthen bone density, which becomes more important as you age. As no-impact exercises improve your physical fitness and joint issues become less of a problem, begin incorporating strength training exercises into your routine. Before you do this, talk to your doctor to determine the best timing and the right exercises for you.
- Fitness Magazine: Recharge Your Exercise Motivation
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Five Fresh Forms of Indoor Fitness
- MayoClinic.com: Yoga-- Fight Stress and Find Serenity
- American Council on Exercise: Flexible Benefits
- American Council on Exercise: Krank It!
- Pennsylvania Department of Health: Women and Physical Activity-- The Importance of Strength Training
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