Low Impact Exercise Tips from an Orthopedic Surgeon
Starting an exercise routine can be intimidating, especially when you have never planned a workout regimen before. You know the cliché, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”—well, neither was your body. It is completely okay to take your time and ease into exercise. You do not want to strain your body to the point of injury, which is why low impact exercises are so great. Low impact exercises are easier on your body because less jumping and jolting means less strain on the body. Low impact exercise also allows you to focus on how your body feels at your own pace. The beautiful thing is there are plenty of exercises to choose from based on your likings.
An underrated exercise that anyone can do is none other than… walking! Get out of the house for a half hour or so during the day and go for a walk. You could do this with a friend and double up the rewards with exercising and socializing. It is even better if the there is a bit of diversity in the terrain to challenge your body with some elevation changes.
Another exercise that is both fun and great for almost every muscle in your body is swimming. The water allows for little to no stress on your joints and you can tread at your own pace. There is a lot you can do in the water, whether that is swimming laps, running laps, or water aerobics—swimming is a great means of cardio and the water resistance helps build muscles you didn’t even know you had. Just be sure to use good swimming form.
If you want to push yourself and really work to build muscle, try weight training. You do not need a gym membership to do weight training, just a few free weights or even your own body weight. You should be careful if you decide to lift weights, because it is very easy to injure your muscles because of poor form or too much weight. If you are new to lifting, you might want to consider seeking out a trainer to help you learn the basics. There are also plenty of online, on-demand options.
After you are done with (or in addition to) all of your great new exercises, you can unwind and treat your body to some yoga. Yoga can be performed at all difficulty levels. If you want to just relax, stretch out, and clear your mind you can do a simple yoga program at the beginner level. If you would like to challenge yourself, there are flows that build core, arm and leg muscle with just your body weight. You can take a yoga class to get that community feel, or there are plenty of free online yoga classes you can follow. Yoga is a great way to get in tune with your body, and it is great if you love to meditate or just clear your mind of daily stressors.
The Bottom Line
Low impact exercises are a great way to ease your body into regular exercise. The fact that they are low impact allows for you to get your heart rate up while avoiding the risk of injuring your joints. There are endless options for exercise, so you can find what you enjoy and make it a part of your weekly routine.
You should always consult a doctor when you are incorporating something new into your daily regimen. Speak to Dr. Manning if you are beginning new routine after an injury. If you feel that you want to start adding more exercise into your life, please contact us to learn more or book an appointment.