Sometimes less really is more, and that is something that can definitely apply to your workout regime. Yes, you might love the gym, but even the biggest gym addict can benefit from choosing a more gentle workout from time to time. As it helps your body to heal, and rebuild itself better, as well as reducing some of the pressure on your joints. So read on to find out about some low impact activities you can integrate into your workout routine.
Tai Chi is a martial art form that has much in common with the fighting form of Kung Fu. It is designed to keep the muscles flexible. It also has a spiritual element in that many practitioners believed it help them to channel their life energy constructively.
Leaving the spiritual element aside, Tai Chi is great for fitness because it promotes balance, muscle strength, and flexibility. It’s also useful as a meditative exercise, and this has been shown to improve well being overall. Making it easier to deal with the stress and physical pain of everyday life.
To start Tai Chi, it’s probably best to attend a club that is run locally. Although there are plenty of books and video guides that you can buy to get you started. Also be aware that there are two main styles practiced in the UK: Chen and Yang, and that you will also need to invest in equipment use as you get further into the practice, like a Tai Chi swords and staffs.
As you probably know, Golf is a very popular game played with small balls and clubs in an area called a golf course. The aim of the game is to get the ball into the hole on the green (part of the course), with as few shots as possible.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But anyone that has ever played this fine sport will know that it’s a little more challenging than it first appears. First of all, all golf courses are different, and they have different combinations of green, rough, water, and sand traps to navigate. Then you have the weather including wind and rain to contend with. That is what makes it such an addictive and challenging pastime, and keep folks coming back for more.
Golf is good for you fitness because you can actually burn upwards of 900 calories per game if you play 18 holes and carry your own bag. There is a lot of bending and twisting too, to keep your muscles supple and flexible, and it’s great for your heart!
Of course, to get all of these benefits you do need to visit the golf course, and if you continue with it as a pastime, you will eventually need to get kitted out. This is no mean feat, and it can take a fair bit of research and investment to get your equipment to the correct level for your game. Luckily, there are online guides that describe things like top rated fairway woods, or what the best sand wedge to use is. So you don’t have to rack your brains too much when it comes to every purchase you make for your golf bag.
Cycling is another great low impact sport that you can take part in without fear of putting too much stress on your muscles or joints.
There is a load of ways to do it as well, so you are bound to find something that suits. If you love the outdoors why not schedule in a regular bike ride with the family every week? Or if you want something a little more challenging you can try speed racing time trials or even mountain biking.
But you don’t have to go outside to get the benefit of cycling. You can do in indoors as well. Many gyms are now equipped with spinning machines and classes to guide you through the process. Although this sort of activity is low impact, you can still burn up to massive 400- 600 calories per session, and it can be thoroughly enjoyable as well as challenging.
Then there are the other bike machines in the gym, that you can use as well. Some folks like the recumbent bicycles because they produce more support for their backs while still giving them a proper workout.
In fact, you don’t even have to leave your house to get a cycling workout as now you can get relatively inexpensive static bikes to use in your home gym. Instead of just cycling steadily for 30 ins try an interval workout instead.
While you might think that jumping around with heavy weights at a good way to get fit (thanks, cross fit) that’s not always the case. In fact, using weights in a much more moderate fashion to improve the strengths of your muscles is often a better idea.
You don’t even have to go to the gym to do this activity either, as there are plenty of guides on the Internet giving you the info on how to do these activities at home.
Walking is often overlooked as a way of exercising, perhaps because, for the most part, we have to do it to get from place to place. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t getting your heart going, pumping clean blood around the body, and working your muscles out.
It’s also a great low impact workout, suitable for any level of fitness, as you can build up your tolerance at a slow pace. However, I think a lot of people overlook it as well because they see it as a bit boring. So to liven things up why not try hiking or rambling in some areas of outstanding beauty? Or why not use the interval training technique to provide a little more challenge? You can even enrol in a walking ‘race’ or try speed walking instead.
Lastly, a hugely popular low impact exercise to consider including in your workout routine is yoga. OK, I get that you might not be all up for the candles and chanting bit, although it can be kind of relaxing. But there are many different forms of yoga, so you don’t have to do one that is super spiritual if you don’t want to. Instead look for classes taught in sports centres and gyms, as they are likely to focus more on the actual stretches and postures.
Although it is worth bearing in mind that originally yoga was designed to allow the body enough flexibility to be still for long periods of time, for meditation. However, many folks also find that the bends, stretches, and postures keep their muscles flexible, long, and lean. As well as helping them truly feel their own experience in their body. Something that can inform them of their own limitations, and how to gently push through them and to make progress.
The equipment you need for yoga is fairly basic and can be bought inexpensively. Beginners can start with a mat, two foam blocks, and a belt. The belt and block are to help you get into the correct posture no matter what your level of flexibility.
Also remember that what is most important in any yoga class is not what the person next to you can or can’t do, but whether you are paying attention to your own body and how it feels to be in each posture.
Be careful too, of over zealous yoga instructors adjusting your posture when you feel you have reached your limit. Remember no one knows the experience of being in your body as well as you do, so don’t ever feel pressured to push further than feels comfortable.