Low-impact aerobics will get you where you want to go at a slow and steady pace. Practicing low-impact aerobic exercises like brisk walking, swimming, rowing and even some styles of vigorous yoga like Ashtanga, will not only give you all the regular benefits of their faster-paced counterparts but will lessen the strain on your joints. Put aside at least 150 minutes a week to break a sweat and reap a reward.
Some of the benefits of low-impact aerobics can't be tracked by a measuring tape or a digital bathroom scale. Take your cardiovascular system, for example. It's a complex network that needs your help to function optimally now and as you age. Low-impact exercise can help to decrease the risk of heart problems by improving your circulation, preventing or managing high blood pressure and controlling your cholesterol. You'll also decrease the chances of developing diabetes, arthritis and some forms of cancer.
Whether you want to maintain your svelte figure or lose a few pounds, low-impact aerobics can help you reach your goals. Consistency is the key. High-intensity workouts like running may burn calories more quickly, but if you stick to a regimen of five 30-minute bouts of low-impact aerobics per week, you'll be able to boast about your own calorie burn. You can up the ante by taking the stairs more often and performing odd jobs around your house with zest.
No amount or intensity of exercise will eradicate the challenges in your life, but working out on a regular basis will help you cope better. When you exercise, your brain secretes a slew of feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, that help you relax. You'll be able to approach your problems with a clearer head, your confidence level will rise and you won't be as susceptible to mood swings. Couple that with the better night's sleep you'll get by exercising consistently and you'll be outfitted with the best tools to handle anything with equanimity and grace.
Three’s Not a Crowd
The social benefits of exercising can be just as important as the physical ones. Low-impact aerobic workouts are often group activities like badminton and hiking. Working out with other people not only adds fun to what can be a hum-drum half hour, but it can give you the incentive to continue. You'll be with people who share your passion about fitness and who'll be the first to understand your pride in your achievements. Having someone have your back gives you strength and courage.
Linda Kaban is a certified yoga teacher and professional life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their fitness goals. With a bachelor's degree in the humanities, Kaban has been writing since 1998 and has been published in YOGALife magazine along with other healthy living publications.