Do you ever want to work out but are worried about putting pressure on your joints? Exercise is one of the best ways to burn fat, boost your metabolism, ward off depression, and increase your energy. Whether you’re hurt, recovery from surgery, have joint problems, or any other reason for concern, you should still have the option to find exercises to improve your health and body.
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What is No Impact Exercise?
No impact exercise is exactly what it sounds like, it is an exercise that does not cause an impact on the joints. There are different levels of exercise intensity. Running, for example, is considered a high impact exercise and has been known to cause damage to knee and ankle joints. Walking is low impact because it doesn’t cause as much shock to the joints. Deep water walking, however, using a floatation device, is considered no impact, because you’re never putting any direct pressure on your ligaments.
What are the Benefits?
Any type of exercise is proven to increase your overall health. No impact exercise just takes it a step further to make sure your body is also protected.
- Increased cardio stamina
- Improved muscle strength and endurance
- Better muscle tone
- Increased metabolism
- Improved levels of energy
In addition to burning calories, and improving your muscle tone, these exercises usually don’t require a lot of equipment, large spaces, or create a lot of noise. These means you can work out virtually anywhere you like, whenever you have time. These exercises are perfect for hotels, small rooms, and at any time of the day.
Are No Impact Exercises for You?
Any exercise is good for you. However, people with certain physical conditions might benefit the most from no impact exercises since more intensive activities could slow down recovery time or damage their joints. The groups of people who have found these activities most suited for them include people that are:
- Recovering from surgery
- Sick or injured
- Suffering from joint or bone problems
- Very inactive
- Dealing with arthritis
No Impact Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
Yoga seems to be the answer to everything. Using stretching exercise that can help strengthen and tone your muscles, it also is known to increase balance, reduce stress, and build up strength. There are an endless number of yoga poses and stretches to try. Find the ones that you like the most and works with your body.
Pilates is another possible option. Similar to yoga, this type of exercise revolves around stretching, aligning your body, and helps tone and lengthen the body.
Also known as aquatic exercise, this kind of workout relies on the buoyancy of water to support your weight. Common aquatic exercises include swimming laps, treading water, or water aerobics classes. Swimming is one of the best total body workouts, as it can work every part of the body, without putting any pressure on your hips, knees, or ankles. This type of exercise is especially ideal for people who carry extra weight.
If your injury or joint pains are isolated to your lower body region: hips, knees, ankles, you can still benefit from upper body workouts and enhance cardio. Many gyms have arm crank cycles where you can sit on a chair and move the pedals with your arms. Another option is hitting a punching bag while sitting. Increasing your cardio is one of the best ways to burn calories and lose weight.
One of my favorite work out cheats is using whatever is around me: water bottles, soups cans, toys, you name it, and just doing some quick and light weight exercises with my arms. These always make me feel like I’ve done something productive, and usually helps me put those things back where they’re supposed to be.
A rowing machine simulates the action of rowing a boat or watercraft vehicle. This exercise targets your arms, chest, shoulders, back, and legs with no impact on any of your joints. This exercise is also great for cardio. It might just be me, but I am pretty sure this exercise targets my stomach too. Maybe I was doing it wrong. You can check out the video below for the right technique.
This one is the easiest types of non-impact exercise. You might even be doing it all the time without realizing it. Isometrics is simply the act of contracting and relaxing your muscles. Like holding in your stomach, or flexing your arm to show off your biceps.
You contract your muscle until it is fatigued, and then you release. Then you just repeat as many times as you like and for whatever muscle group in your body you like. These exercises can be done absolutely anywhere. Driving, at your desk, watching tv, or standing in line, for example.
Whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure you stretch and gently ease yourself into this exercise if you’ve never done it before. Many of these exercises are especially great because once you get the technique down, you don’t have to concentrate on your form that much. This makes them perfect to do while you catch up on your favorite tv shows, cook, or even talk on the phone.
I personally am known to do some interesting stretches at my desk and make it a point to stand while I’m talking on the phone. I might get some strange looks every now and then, but I can tell you I no longer feel the back pain I had before.
Remember to have fun and use the space around you. There are lots of options to get the work out you want anywhere. If you already know some of these moves, vary them up a little bit, get creative and enjoy. Exercise should be both good for you and enjoyable.
Need some motivation? Check out our 5 Tips to Getting Started on Your Fitness Right Now!