Stretching, breathing and protecting your joints is underrated in a fitness world that tends to ask for more, more, more. Jump higher. Run faster. Push harder. So it’s no wonder that an average of 8.6 million people suffer sports- and recreation-related injuries each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But how do you slow down and still stay fit? Incorporating low-impact workouts might be just the answer.
“Low-impact workouts have gained popularity because they offer exceptional results with lower risk of musculoskeletal injuries compared to high-impact exercises,” says Michele Meleski, senior vice president, national fitness and wellness for Invited Clubs. Examples of low-impact workouts include cycling, swimming, Pilates, yoga and barre.
“Low-impact workouts are excellent for those wanting to prevent injury or those just beginning an exercise routine,” explains Meleski. “These types of workouts are also suitable for those recovering from an injury.”
“These types of workouts are also suitable for those recovering from an injury.”
Rather than stopping all physical activity after an injury, low-impact workouts offer a way to safely exercise. “By staying active,” Meleski says, “you allow the body time to heal while also retaining your fitness level.”
Low impact does not mean low results. Far from it, in fact. According to Meleski, “you still reap the benefits like increased strength, fat loss, improved flexibility and stress reduction.”
All the benefits with none of the risk — sounds pretty amazing, right? And it is, unless you are one of those people who thrive on heart-pumping, intense training sessions. Luckily, Meleski has a solution for you too.
If you don’t want to forgo your high-intensity workout, “try HILIT, or High Intensity Low Impact Training, which provides the benefits of time efficiency with the metabolic boost of high-impact HIIT with less stress on the body,” she says.
According to Health.com, HILIT is “intense in terms of heart rate, calorie burn and muscle fatigue, but low impact on the joints.” Examples include split squats instead of jumping squats, bear crawls instead of burpees and hammer curls instead of pullups.
“There are so many low-impact workouts to choose from, whether you are wanting to work out in the comfort of your home or are a regular gymgoer,” Meleski says.
She offers several options for both at home and in the gym:
Low-impact workouts for at-home sweat sessions:
- Core work
If you prefer to work out in your Club gym or fitness center, try these low-impact exercises:
- Weight training
- Stair-climbing machines
“As with any workout program, the most critical component is enjoyment,” Meleski adds. “With so many low-impact options to choose from, selecting one that you enjoy and look forward to will allow you to be consistent and achieve results.”
Protecting your joints, burning calories and having fun? Low-impact workouts are the summertime workout you’ve been missing!
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