As the weather gets more pleasant through the summer, we often want to get out and get moving, but if you have a chronic condition or injury, you may feel like you have to limit your activity and your options. If this is you, don’t feel trapped on the couch! Explore low-impact exercises, many of which deliver high-impact calorie burning results to help you look and feel better, without the risk of injury or strain that could happen with higher-impact workouts. Here’s a great article from livestrong with some low impact exercise ideas — and remember, you can always modify an activity to suit your level of ability and fitness. And don’t forget to support your muscles with plenty of water, vitamins, and Paula’s Purple Rice 😉 !
Don’t let the term “low-impact” fool you. Low-impact aerobic exercise gives you a calorie-burning workout — the perfect complement to your weight-loss plan. Low-impact exercises are less stressful on your joints compared to high-impact activities such as running and jumping rope. Low-impact aerobic activities are recommended if you’re brand new to exercise, but also if you’re overweight, pregnant or have an injury or chronic condition such as osteoporosis that makes high-impact activity risky.
Walking is one of the most popular low-impact exercises you can choose, says the American Council on Exercise, or ACE. It doesn’t cost a thing to start a walking program, although you might want to invest in a sturdy pair of walking shoes.
On days when inclement weather precludes outdoor activity, take your walking program to the treadmill, a piece of gym equipment equipped with functions that allow you to control the speed and duration of your workout.
The calories you burn depend on your weight and the energy you put into your step. A 160-pound person burns 276 calories an hour walking at a brisk pace of 3.5 miles per hour. Pick up the pace to 4 mph, and he burns 363 calories.
Exercising on an elliptical machine gives you a thorough workout and decreases the stress on your hips, knees and back, as both feet remain grounded at all times. Many elliptical machines are equipped with handles that resemble ski poles, which work your upper body as well. Exercising on an elliptical machine is a real calorie burner, too. A 160-pound individual burns around 371 calories exercising for 45 minutes at a moderately intense rate.
Swimming slims and tones your whole body, because you use all of your muscle groups during this activity. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service offers some tips, if you choose swimming as your activity of choice. Keep up a steady pace during the course of your workout. If you enjoy exercising in a group setting, consider trying out a water aerobics class. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that eats up the calories. Someone that weighs 160 pounds burns roughly 254 calories swimming for 30 minutes at a casual pace.
Exercise and Weight Loss
Exercise is the way to go for weight loss — in addition to a reduced calorie diet. ACE recommends burning 250 calories a day through physical activity and shaving another 250 from your diet to sustain slow, steady weight loss of one pound a week.
Low-impact exercises, such as cycling and swimming, are exhaustive when performed vigorously, and they may not be appropriate for your current level of physical health.
Keep it safe by easing into your new exercise plan until you build up your endurance. If you’re a male over 40, a female over 50 or if you have a medical condition such as heart disease, please consult with your physician before you engage in vigorous exercise.