26 December 2014 by Neil Boston
Why choose low impact exercising?
If your target is improved cardio fitness, strength or muscle tone, there’s a low impact exercise that will help you achieve your goal without placing needless strain on your body. Here are some options for you to consider:
Hit the pool to burn fat without stressing your body. Swimming allows you to maintain a fat burning heart rate of 130–150 beats per minute while working a wide range of muscles. It helps if you rotate your stroke and vary the intensity of your lengths. One option is to do two slower lengths, then two faster lengths. Variety of stroke and pace will keep boredom at bay and is much better for you than plodding along with the same stroke and pace.
This gives you a terrific cardiovascular workout that is kinder on the joints than running. Cycling is an excellent way to improve endurance and strength, especially in the lower half of the body. Take care to adopt the correct riding position to ensure you don’t overstrain your spine. Try joining a local group, I‘ve been out with Freewheelers half a dozen times or so and found them to be a brilliant sociable group and you can choose a ride to suit your aims. For the mountain bikers among you, try Behind Bars, they are fun people to be with and for the road racers there’s Outdoors Traders Cycling Club. More information here:
Walking is a fundamental movement pattern. We are designed for it and it impacts less on muscles and joints compared to jogging and running, which makes it a great way for people suffering from knee, hip or lower-back problems to maintain mobility. A gentle stroll will keep you mobile but to boost your heart rate, burn calories and tone your muscles, stride out so that your rate of breathing increases. Alternatively, try Nordic Walking in which you walk with the assistance of poles.
Vibration training such as Power Plate
Whole-body vibration training can enhance strength, weight loss and toning because performing movements on a vibrating platform makes your muscles work harder to counteract the vibrations and to keep you stable. Also, the muscle contractions are involuntary, so even if you lack strength initially, you can still expect great results. As most people haven’t tried this form of exercise, we offer you a free class to see whether you like it before parting with any money.
As well as helping to improve posture and flexibility, Yoga develops the ability to breathe more efficiently, optimises the digestive system and helps focus the mind on the body. As last week’s blog explained it is also good for cardio health.
Pilates is fantastic for boosting muscle tone and core strength and for improving posture and preventing stiffness, especially in your lower back and neck. It is a great whole body work out and in addition to being very effective is also very safe when you are in a class setting with a qualified teacher.